Dusty Nabor’s Occasional Pinot

Dusty Nabor is a character, completely appropriate for the Garagiste festival.  Working with Karin Langer, his eponymous winery produces mainly syrah, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and the occasional pinot noir.  They source grapes mainly from nine vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. He was kind enough to share a pinot with us.

Dusty Nabor Dusty Nabor's Occasional Pinot

Dusty Nabor

The Wine

The 2020 Radian Vineyard Santa Rita Hills AVA pinot noir is pretty terrific. We were greeted with aromas of black cherries, blackberries, and blueberries with a hint of mineralogy. The palate is rich, almost a filet mignon.  Flavors of forest floor, more black fruit, with assertive tannins and acid.  If you have this in your cellar, give it a few more years.  If you don’t, I hate to bring bad news, but the winery is out of stock. In fact, they have no pinots currently available.

Dusty pouring Dusty Nabor's Occasional Pinot

Dusty pouring

The Story

Dusty’s first vintage was 2015. He is the owner, winemaker, and chief chemist.  Current production is 1,000 cases.  He got started at a local custom crush facility where he “figured it out.” The custom crush went out of business, Dusty acquired their equipment and went into business.  Today, he works with Karin Langer to produce excellent wines.  From the website:

Dusty Nabor Wines is a project born out of passion for producing site specific, terroir driven California wines. Our singular focus is crafting wines of distinction. Sourcing fruit from premier vineyards in Santa Barbara County including the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, Ballard Canyon AVA, and Los Olivos District AVA, we strive to create wines that express their place and vintage. 

Dusty and Karin Dusty Nabor's Occasional Pinot

Dusty and Karin

New Mexico Green Chile Stew

Just in time for New Year’s day, a recipe to warm your heart (along with other organs), as well as an option to bring luck in the New Year: New Mexico Green Chile Stew.  I first tried this recipe about 30 years ago in the heyday of the long-gone Chile-Heads email list and website.  The recipe calls for poblano chiles.  If you can find Hatch green chiles, the recipe will be better. We recommend a zinfandel or robust pinot noir to accompany this goodie.  Serve over rice.  Enjoy!



RN Estate Vertical 2016 and 2018 Harmonie des Cépages

Harmonie des Cépages 2016 RN Estate Vertical 2016 and 2018 Harmonie des Cépages

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The day after Garagiste 2022 Paso Robles, we spent a pleasant afternoon with Roger Nicolas, proprietor of RN Estate Vineyard. After a lot of tasting and quite a bit of conversation, we brought home a case of wine, a mix of vintages and styles.

A few days ago we opened the 2016 and 2018 Harmonie des Cépages. And we learned a valuable lesson. This blend needs to sit for a few years before opening.

The 2016 (may be available if you visit the winery) was just about perfect. Aromas of black cherries and other dark fruit with a hint of earthiness. The palate is lush with blackberries and raspberries and a nice touch of spice. A long finish with a good acid balance makes for a truly outstanding wine.

Harmonie des Cépages 2018 RN Estate Vertical 2016 and 2018 Harmonie des Cépages

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The 2018 ($55) opens with aromas that are very subtle with a bit of floral scents. The palate is lighter than the 2016 with more acid but the same lush mouthfeel and the same black raspberries. There is a good long finish with silky tannins. If you have a bottle of this, consider giving it another year or two.

Technical Details

Both wines are Paso Robles AVA. And both feature the classic Bordeaux grapes. The 2016 is 33% cabernet franc, 26% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 14% malbec, and 3% petit Verdot. The 2018 is 33% cabernets sauvignon, 29% cabernet franc, 29% merlot, 8% petit Verdot, and 1% malbec.

M. Nicolas retains his title “genius.”


Garagiste Returns to Its Roots in Paso Robles

And not a minute too soon! In the last few months we’ve managed to break two of our Garagiste glasses. That made attending the Paso Robles event an imperative. So we did. This is our overview. We will post reviews of individual wineries over the next few weeks.

Along with several hundred of our best friends, we witnessed Garagiste returns to its roots in Paso Robles. For those who don’t remember, this is a key event to discover new, small wineries. Some will go on to great success. See Pence Ranch and Lazarre Wines. Many are happy producing below the 1,500 case limit for Garagiste participation. Virtually all have online ordering and shipping to states that allow it.

Garagiste crowd Garagiste Returns to Its Roots in Paso Robles

Garagiste crowd. Click for larger image.

Pinot Noir

We tasted eight wineries’ pinot noirs:

Name and Link to Winery Page Review Link
Amrita Cellars
Cayucos Cellars
Demeter Family Cellars
Dusty Nabor Dusty Nabor Review
Entnyre Wines Etnyre Review
Hayseed & Housdon
Seven Angels Cellars
Volatus Winery Volatus Review

Our favorites were Volatus, Entnyre, and Seven Angels. But you will be happy with pinots from any of these folks.

Best Labels

The award for best labels goes to Innate Wines. Sadly, they do not produce a pinot noir. We made a mistake not tasting their wines because it looks like they distribute exclusively in South Carolina with no direct sales. Luckily, we picked up a business card from Nathan DeCamps, owner, winemaker, and likely chief bottle-washer. We’ll contact him to get his story.

Innate best labels Garagiste Returns to Its Roots in Paso Robles

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This was the surprise of the event. We like chardonnays with minimal oak and no butter. (We’ll make an exception for the rare butterscotch.) Every single one of the chardonnays we tasted has nice notes of honeydew melon in the aromas and on the palate. They vary with the amount and type of citrus, with an occasional note of herbs.

Name and Link to Winery Page Review Link
Hayseed & Housdon
MEA Wine
Optio Vineyards
Seven Angels Cellars
Torch Cellars Torch Cellars Review
Volatus Winery Volatus Review


Goodbye to another Garagiste Garagiste Returns to Its Roots in Paso Robles

Goodbye to another Garagiste. Click for larger image.

This was one of the most exciting Garagiste festivals we have attended. We look forward to drinking their wines over the next few years.


Torch Cellars is Best Chardonnay by a Hair

All the chardonnays we tasted were very good. We thought Torch Cellars was the best, but the decision was awfully close. 

Mark Welch Torch Cellars Torch Cellars is Best Chardonnay by a Hair

Mark Welch, Torch Cellars winemaker and Alya

We were greeted by winemaker Mark Welch and his pal Alya. Along with owner Greg Jelstrom, they produced their first vintage in 2013. Their annual production is 800 cases. This fits their stated goal:

… [producing] annual releases … from renowned vineyards in the Willow Creek, El Pomar and Templeton Gap regions of Paso Robles.

Mark Welch and Greg Jelstrom Torch Cellars is Best Chardonnay by a Hair

Mark Welch and Greg Jelstrom


The Torch 2021 San Luis Obispo County – Paso Robles chardonnay ($36) is a winner. Opening with butter on the nose, followed by crisp flavors of green apples, with subtle notes of Meyer lemon and baking spice. Get it quick – only 50 cases were made.

Why Torch Cellars?

This story is too good to rewrite.

The inspiration behind the Torch brand is two-fold. Mark’s nickname at Wild Horse Winery, where he worked in the nineties, was Torch, thanks to his blazing-blond and unruly hair. The Torch Cellars’ logo visual design, featuring the amber hues of California sunlight, (and not Mark’s golden locks), honors Mark’s grandmother, Doris Schultz, a talented artist from Santa Cruz. Decades ago, she crafted a beautiful, sun-shaped mosaic serving tray, made from shells, coral and coins. For years, Doris used this tray for special occasions and when entertaining guests. In tribute, her grandson’s wines now grace the tables of Torch customers, each bottle showcasing Doris’ sun design, radiating her warmth every time friends and families gather to celebrate life’s joys and bounty.

An homage to the present and past. Here’s the logo you’ve been waiting for.

Torch Cellars Logo Torch Cellars is Best Chardonnay by a Hair

Torch Cellars Logo. Click for larger image.


Etnyre Wines

Etnyre Wines is a close second for best pinot at Garagiste 2022 Paso Robles.  They make pinot noir and syrah. We were greeted by Ethan and Karen Etnyre. Both were charming. Ethan’s knowledge of every detail of the grapegrowing and winemaking process was impressive (to say the least). You can learn a lot about grapegrowing and winemaking from their “Our Story” page.  We really appreciate the time they took with us.

 Etnyre Wines

Ethan and Karen Etnyre. Click for larger image.

Their wines are San Luis Obispo County AVA, Quin’s Vineyard. Quin is their son, now 22 years young. Sadly, he wasn’t there. In fact, he has never worked behind the table at a wine event. Come on, Quin! You get to meet interesting people like us!

The Wines

The Etnyres were pouring their Quin’s Vineyard 2017 and 2018 pinot noirs. Both are $40. The 2017 opens with aromas of forest floor and Bing cherries. The palate is very earthy with more forest floor and a nice acid balance. This one could use a few more years in the bottle. Jeb Dunnuck gave it 91 points

The 2018 reveals the difference between vintages. Aromas of strawberries and spice with more forest floor notes. The palate has notes of earth and raspberry, with less earth than the 2017. Mr. Dunnuck rated it 90 points, probably because this vintage is unlikely to develop as much over time as the 2017. 

The Story

The Etnyres planted the first vines in Quin’s Vineyard in 1998. They’ve been making wine since 2005. Originally, they planted only the 2A clone. Later they added clones 114, 667, and 777. John Alban of Alban Wines to plant their first vines. Also props to them for taking UC Davis viticulture and enology classes. They learned very well.

In a recent experiment, they planted … well, let them describe it.

A single row of own-rooted Torrontés, an Argentinian white varietal, was planted within the original Syrah block. These grapes are harvested and co-fermented with the Syrah, producing our own spin on one of the finest regions of the Rhône – the Côte Rôtie.

Torrontés is the most popular white wine in Argentina, sometimes called the chardonnay of Argentina. Unlike chardonnay, this grape has floral quality similar to vioignier. We look forward to trying their first bottling of their new blend.

Ethan has a non-traditional family history. Let him describe it:

Enjoying wines with friends and family are some of my best memories growing up in the Chicago suburbs. These wines were often accompanied by very tasty foods. When my wife and I moved to the Central Coast of California in 1992, we found ourselves living in an extremely high quality viticultural area of California. Twelve days after arriving on the Central Coast, we were fermenting grapes in a 32 gallon food grade plastic barrel in the basement. We were hooked. After 13 years of home winemaking and UC Davis Viticulture and Enology classes, we released our first vintage of Etnyre Wines in 2005. We remain a micro winery with clear focus on our 2 acre estate vineyard producing the finest small volume lots on the Central Coast of California.

Jeb Dunnuck has also reviewed the 2015, 2019, and 2020 vintages. At $40, the wines are a bargain. Please don’t tell Ethan and Karen!


Volatus Wines is TOPGUN

Apologies for the all caps in the title. You’ll soon see why.

Volatus had the  best pinot at this Garagiste. Added bonus: they also have a chardonnay. Hal Schmitt, owner and winemaker, is a TOPGUN instructor. We thank him for his service, but are very happy he started making wine. Somehow he’s still an instructor. Here’s why it’s TOPGUN:

Volatus TOPGUN Cuvee Volatus Wines is TOPGUN

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And here’s Hal in his day job.

Hal's day job Volatus Wines is TOPGUN

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The Wines

We were greeted by Chris and Brenna who were friendly, knowledgeable, and informative. Hal could not be there. His son had a soccer game. TOPGUN, winemaker, and a dad. What more could we ask for? The answer, of course, is great wine!

Chris and Brenna Volatus Wines is TOPGUN

Chris and Brenna. Click for larger image

The pinot noir is Paso Robles 2021 Adelaida District ($40). Spice and earth palate, mild acid finish typical of Adelaida pinot grapes. Give this one a few years to grow up. But it’s very nice.

Volatus’s chardonnay is the 2021 “Charlie” ($32). It features aromas of butter and oak, a palate of pear and green apple, with a few tropical notes and a good citrus balance. The finish is long with good acid and hints of minerality.

How much did we like these wines? We are now members of the Volatus “Ready Room” wine club.

The Story

Volatus contracts for a lot of facilities. Their wine is made at Midnight Cellars. Most of their grapes are sourced, but they’re starting a vineyard. The grapes come from a number of vineyards. They also look for unusual grapes, recently discovering Brun Argenté (Vaccarèse). They’ve actually been making wine since 2004. How did we manage to miss them?

The website has the full story. Hal was stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, about 80 miles northeast of Paso Robles. He regularly visited the big city to taste wine. One day in the late 1990s, he met Rich Hartenberger, owner and winemaker at Midnight Cellars. Rich and his wife Michele started making wine in 1995. My guess is that Hal and Rich learned from each other. And – bonus – Hal met his wife Victoria in the Midnight Cellars tasting room.

Victoria and Hal Schmitt Volatus Wines is TOPGUN

Victoria and Hal Schmitt (click for larger image)

Fast forward today. Volatus produces about 800 cases per year. Hal, Chris, Brenna, and (important!) Victoria all look like they’re having fun. We sure hope so!

Hal at work Volatus Wines is TOPGUN

Hal at work (click for larger image)

Wine For the Road

The Darwin Awards are awarded to people who have died because they made an incredibly stupid mistake.   They have essentially removed themselves from the gene pool, giving evolution a big assist.  They also give honorable mentions for good (but failed) attempts.  One of those went to Labile (name changed for obvious reasons), who found an innovative way to consume vast quantities of wine at a price of zero. He invented wine for the road.  I cannot count the number of ways he could have died.  Forthwith, the tale of the crafty wine slurper.

2020 Honorable Mention: Wine For The Road


RN Estate 2019 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir Horizontal

RN Estate bottles RN Estate 2019 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir Horizontal

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As regular readers know, RN Estate Winery in Paso Robles is one of our favorites.  We have been wine club members there for longer than we can remember.  Last night I discovered two 2019 pinots from the Santa Rita Hills.  This provided a rare opportunity for an RN Estate 2019 Santa Rita Hills pinot noir horizontal.

The two vineyards are La Encantada and Fiddlestix. We learned that terroir matters. A lot.

The Wines

The La Encantada opens with notes of cranberry, bing cherry, and undertones of rose petals. On the palate, bright acid with notes of red raspberry and black cherries. Terrific mouth feel, you’ll want to slosh this one around a little. Long, complex finish with silky tannins and layered acidity.

Fiddlestix actually could use another year in the bottle. It’s bigger and more tannic. Swirl vigorously to bring up the subtle notes of cherries and raspberries. The palate is cranberries, black cherries, and forest floor. Another one to slosh in your mouth. The finish is longer and more pronounced than the La Encantada. The Fiddlestix has less acid than La Encantada, but the same nice layering finish.

The Vineyards

Santa Rita Hills AVA map osmaller file size RN Estate 2019 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir Horizontal

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Both vineyards are on the south edge of the AVA.  Ironically, they are closest to the ocean:

Santa Barbara County AVAs RN Estate 2019 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir Horizontal

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That location gives them cool nights and warm days.  The two vineyards are virtually adjacent.  There is more to terroir than climate.  It would be interesting to compare soil composition, altitude, slope of the vineyard, and other factors.  But these two bottles show that terroir matters.

I would be negligent if I did not mention a book I’m proud to have reviewed.  John Buechsenstein and Tim Patterson wrote “Wine and Place: A Terroir Reader.” This book is a must-own for any serious wine fan.  Highly recommended.

What Wine Pairs With Pickled Beets?

What wine pairs with pickled beets? That question came to mind when I fielded a request for a pickled beet recipe.  I’d say a zinfandel, preferably something that can stand up to the acidity.  Zichichi might be a good choice.

But the real point is the recipe.  Forthwith,

Pickled beets


A Passion 4 Pinot – The Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

Our friends at Maggy Hawk were kind enough to forward an invitation to this event. So on January 7 we checked into the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert right next to Palm Springs. Our goal: “A Passion 4 Pinot” – The Palm Springs Pinot Fest held the next day.

Marriott Resort A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

Yes, we know it’s mid-March. Life stuff happens. And we waited for our order from one winery to be delivered so we could be sure it was as good as we thought. We’re just happy to have attended and get to write about it. This is part 1. There will be several more forthcoming.

Your faithful correspondents A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

Your faithful correspondents

We’ll start with the two we rated best in show. One, Beau Marchais, is a joint venture between the late Philippe Cambie and Adam Lee, founder of Siduri and one of the first to develop small-batch single-vineyard techniques. The second, Domaine Della, is a project of David J. Hejl, former CEO of Kosta Brown. A warning: these wines are not cheap. Most Beau Marchais wines are $95 per bottle. Single-vineyard pinots from Domaine Della are a relative bargain at $85. While we would never call that price point a bargain, all the wines we tasted deliver value for the money. Regular readers know this is quite an exception for us. Our taste buds usually give out around $75 a bottle. These wines were eye-openers.

We’ll start with the wines then take a look at the venue. But first, a quick look at some of the tasty bites on the menu.

Tasty bite A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

Tasty bite

The Wineries

You may have noticed this article has been revised.  Our coverage of events will henceforth be broken into several parts.  There will be an introduction — what you’re reading now — followed by a list of wineries we plan to review.  Each winery will be linked to its home page and our review.  We hope this will be more convenient for both readers and winery owners.  Click here to see the list of wineries.

The Venue

In January California still required masks for indoor events. The organizers solved this problem by moving onto a patio at the Marriott.

The Venue A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

The Venue

The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is truly spectacular. A moat runs through the lobby, with boat service available to some of the restaurants and other ground floor amenities. And the place is huge. Our bellman said he walks about fifteen miles a day. We did not match that, but we did walk 3 miles the day we arrived just exploring. The following day we “only” managed 1.6 miles as we spent most of the afternoon at the Pinot Fest.

Marriott Pools A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

Marriott Pools

We would be remiss if we did not mention Saturday dinner at the Rockwood Grill. Weather permitting, try to sit outside as the room is noisy even when only a few tables are occupied. The staff could not have been more helpful and accommodating. And the food was terrific. While it’s not cheap, you can spend a lot more at other places with food that is not as good. We paid $100 excluding tip and wine.

Rockwood Grill A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

Rockwood Grill


We only hope the organizers do this again next spring. We recommend this even for anyone who wants to taste pinots that are hard to find and/or very high priced.


A Passion 4 Pinot — the Wineries

Here’s the list of wineries we plan to write about.  If you’re really curious about a specific entry, e-mail us and we’ll try to move it up our priority list.

Winery Home Page

California Wine Fan Review

Lando Wines

We were greeted by Sam Lando, founder, owner, and winemaker at Lando Wines. These folks only make Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley pinot noirs. Our bliss point!

Sam Lando Lando Wines

Sam Lando

Sam was pouring three pinots: 2019 Sonoma Coast ($69), 2019 Russian River Valley ($57), and the 2018 Truth & Valor Sonoma Coast. (Prices are from wine-searcher.com) Joining a growing crowd of wineries, Lando offers allocations to those on their mailing list twice a year, spring and fall.

Lando bottles Lando Wines

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The Sonoma Coast blend opens with red raspberry and cherries on the nose. On the palate, blueberry, chocolate, and savory spice. Smooth, long finish. We liked it!

Truth & Valor is more complex as you’d expect. This is lighter, with noticeable tannins. Lay it down for a few years. Features an unusual delicate mouthfeel. The palate is red raspberries, black cherries, leather, land black pepper. Delicious!

The Russian River Valley blend was bigger with more dense flavor than the Sonoma Coast. Bright red and black cherries on the nose continue to the palate. As the flavor develops, minerals, earth and light herb notes emerge. The finish features some tannins, good acidity and good balance. Wait a year or two for the tannins to integrate and this will be even better.

The Lando Story

Sam was working for an unnamed winery where he fell in love with pinot noir. We’ll let him tell the story.

After working for five years with one of the most sought after Russian River Valley Pinot Noir producers, he departed at the end of 2012.

In the middle of the 2012 vintage, Sam and his wife Jennifer decided to take the leap and take the winemaking hobby to the next level. They borrowed against their savings and began building the foundation to develop a small Pinot Noir focused winery. The goal is to make intense, yet elegant and balanced wines from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. They push themselves to make great wines they enjoy drinking and take great pride in sharing with their dear friends.

Sam and Jennifer headed to Sebastopol with their kids Henry and Emma. They’ve been producing 1,500 cases a year until 2021 when output fell to 700 cases. Blame COVID.

Jennifer, Henry, and Emma Lando Wines

Jennifer, Henry, and Emma

Lando uses a custom crush facility in Healdsburg, leaving him free to track down good fruit. Sam told us that his biggest problem is that they “can’t make wine fast enough.” He also bemoaned the recent hikes in costs. Despite producing about half the 2020 production in 2021, the total cost of labels increased by 255%. Bottles were hard to find. Apparently supply chain issues even affect high-end wineries.

Get on their mailing list and buy some wine. You will not regret it.


A Passion 4 Pinot — Domaine Della

Domaine Della uses the allocation system. There is no wine club per se. Sign up for their e-mail list and they will notify you when wines are available. There is a deadline for ordering. We ordered four bottles and received them last week.

David Hejl and friend A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

David Hejl and friend

David J. Hajl is the founder and driving force behind Domaine Della. We are fortunate that during his time with Nabisco he was assigned to the Paris office. Before that he worked his way through college working as a waiter, sommelier, and chef. He left Nabisco to join a private equity firm. In 2010 he bought a ton of grapes and made his first two barrels of wine for personal consumption. That was the beginning of the end of his career in finance. In 2011 he accepted the CEO job at Kosta Brown. Not a bad entry level position! While there he got the idea for Domaine Della and began to explore it. Let him describe what happened next.

In 2015, I left Kosta Browne as she was no longer my project, she became my passion and obsession. I have been crafting distinctive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay ever since.

Della was David’s mother. Her favorite flower was the iris. Hence its presence on the winery’s labels.

Domaine Della Bottles

David was pouring three pinots: a 2018 Sonoma Coast blend ($72), a 2019 Graham Family Vineyard (Russian River Valley, $85), and a 2019 Terra de Promissio (Sonoma Coast, $85). All three are terrific and unique.

The Graham Family Vineyard opens with aromas of violets, black cherry, black raspberry, and licorice. On the palate, more black raspberry with notes of earthiness and cinnamon. A long, complex finish with elements of cinnamon and a perfect acid balance.

By contrast, the Terra de Promissio opens with aromas of blueberry, black cherry, red raspberry and spice. The palate is black cherry and black raspberry with undertones are blueberry and cranberry. The mid-palate features earthiness and black tea. A lingering velvet finish rounds out the experience.

The Sonoma Coast blend features aromas of bing cherry, raspberry, strawberry, and spice. The palate is light, characteristic of the best Sonoma Coast pinots. The palate features more cherries with bright acidity.

David and sons A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

David and sons

We are very happy to welcome Mr. Hajl to our list of outstanding pinot noir producers.


A Passion 4 Pinot — Beau Marchais

From the website:

Beau Marchais Winery began on a summer evening in July of 2018 in the town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. I was fortunate enough to be invited to Philippe Cambie’s home for dinner and during that meal, Philippe said, “I’ve always dreamed of making Pinot Noir.” I must confess, I adored his words. Here is one of the most successful winemakers in the world, saying what he dreamed of doing. It easily could have been, “I think I can make really good Pinot Noir” or, “I can be successful making Pinot Noir,” but, instead, it was about his dream of making Pinot Noir.

Sadly, M. Cambie passed away on December 18, 2021. Adam was still mourning the loss when we talked briefly with him at the event.  And he recently announced that this year would be the last vintage for Beau Marchais.  Adam doesn’t feel that he can continue without M. Cambie’s collaboration.

Adam Lee

Adam Lee A Passion for Pinot - the Palm Springs Pinot Fest Part 1

Adam Lee

Adam was pouring their 2019 Soberanes Vineyard (Santa Lucia Highlands, $95). This wine is delicious and will reward those with the patience to age it for a few years. Aromas of orange combine with blackberry in a unique combination. On the palate, fig, chocolate and light roast coffee beans. There is a nice spice finish with fine tannins and great acid balance.