We spent the first hour plus at the Saturday Garagiste grand tasting doing a tour of pinot noirs. And we found two to watch: Vinemark Cellars and Vino Vargas. We’ll review each in detail as time permits. But we wanted to get the word out as soon as we could.
Vinemark Cellars was our first find of this event. Mark and Julie Wasserman released their first wine in 2012. Their 2012 Paso Robles pinot noir ($29) is interesting featuring bing cherry aromas and blackberry flavors.
[pullquote]This finesse Pinot Noir offers cedar and spice aromas that lead to juicy mouth-watering black cherry flavors. The varietal red berry flavors are complemented by dark chocolate and dried cherry, creating a Pinot Noir confection.[/pullquote]
But the real surprise is their 2012 Reserve Santa Lucia Highlands ($32, MAJOR BARGAIN). My tasting notes just say “sheer bliss.” The winery tasting notes are pretty accurate →
Vino Vargas is the joint project of Pedro and Victoria Vargas. Pedro is a U.C. Davis product. Victoria is a sommelier who trained at the French Culinary Institute. Talk about a wine power couple!
The Vargas 2012 Rio Ruso Russian River Valley pinot noir ($45) opens with strawberry aroma, followed by a light raspberry palate. The finish lasts forever, featuring nice tannins. Pedro and Victoria have been making wine for about five years, with total annual production around 1,000 cases. They feature four reds, two whites, and some specialty blends. Look for their first GSM coming out in December. (Rio Ruso is Spanish for Russian River).