It was another Friday evening after work. A drive to Old Town Temecula made the evening wonderful with a tasting at Lorimar Winery. The actual winery is located off Anza road, north of Rancho California road, however their new tasting room is located next to the old mercantile store off of Main Street.
The tasting room is visually appealing with rich woods, murals, and multiple pouring areas. It also contained an area for sit-down pouring. Mark Manfield provided warm hospitality and a willingness to share his craftsmanship. His wine tasting list was almost daunting with twelve wines to choose. Too many for this late evening, but perfect for a day time trip.
The evening started with an ’09 Chenin Blanc-Viognier. This well-balanced Viognier blend was bright and clear with melon and honeysuckle nose. Green apple and pear fill the mouth and finish off with grapefruit-pepper. This was a very well structured white wine and had a very surprising full flavor. Actually it is one of the best Viognier blends that this author has tasted in this valley.
Next up was an ’09 Gewurztraminer that was a lightly sweet wine that finished off-dry. This is a good afternoon wine that would please most palates. The apricot and herbal notes are predominate. This wine would go well with tart cheeses and apple slices. As Mark continued to pour and talk about his wines, he made sure that the glasses were carefully cleaned to ensure that none of the flavors of the previous wines mixed into the new ones being tasted.
As the ’05 Medley Estate Meritage was poured, the garnet color seemed to dance in the glass in anticipation of the first sip. The nose was distinctly ripe berries and cherry. Upon first sip, the flavor just confirmed what the nose picked up, rich fruit. The flavor lasted at least a minute on the palate with the complexity and silky tannins that denote an elegant finish. This wine will only continue to improve with age and should be good for years to come under the proper cellaring conditions. This wine is distinctly a California Bordeaux and will be a pleasant addition to anyone’s wine collection.
Finally the tasting was finishing up with a ’08 Solo. This 100% Cabernet was the same Cabernet used in the Meritage and had a very similar nose. However it was not as complex as the previous, but was still just as good. This deep ruby color wine would be good with any steak and would be a welcome addition with higher fat foods. The wine should be able to hold up to any red meat.
Although the tasting was officially done, Mark was not going to let anyone leave without tasting his ’08 Sangiovese. This smooth, silky wine had the right acid to tannin balance one would expect in a well crafted wine and was so good, it had to go home. With Sangiovese in hand and a Oggi’s US Open Pizza waiting at home, thoughts continued of the wines that were not tasted that evening at Lorimar. A follow up story will have to be done, so keep an eye out for the Lorimar sequel. At least I will…