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Doffo Winery

Doffo winery in Temecula is dancing to it’s own tune.

At a recent winery tour I had decided my first stop was to be Doffo winery. I had seen their signs, and knew their name, but somehow had managed to never try their wine.

Damien and Marcello Doffo

The first thing you notice upon pulling up to the winery is that it is someones private residence, with the winery tasting room crammed into an old garage. The second thing that you notice are signs saying that reservations are required for tasting. Owing to the fact that I do not have an assistant to set my appointments, I choose to overlook the sign, made it five feet before a man with ‘the list’ stopped me in my tracks. Are you on the list he said, to which I replied what list?

I slipped him my business card, and made it onto the list.

Tasting Notes

Forward: Marcello told Damien to treat me right, let’s call that an understatement of giant magnitude. Damien took his Fathers instructions as a literal challenge, all while trying to manage an insanely enthusiastic, and well-heeled crowd. We tasted everything except the Ports, which I regret missing, however this was the first of 10 wineries for the day, and Port would have really messed up my palate.

I want to apologize in advance, these tasting notes are cursory, I had no idea what I was about to experience.


From the Barrel

Two wines were presented by Doffo, to all the people participating in the World of Wine weekend—who remembered to make a reservation—unlike myself.

Meritage, tied with Vindemea’s Bordeaux blend for best red wine at the World of Wine. Very nice, a little more age would make it perfect, very smooth and well made.

2008 Zinfandel, Very nice balance, not tannic at all, mellow, not typical of Temecula, much more refined.

Standard Wines

2009 Syrah, pepper overtones, red berry, none of the typical ‘Temecula Dirt’ taste. ($34)

2007 Mistura, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, field blend, interesting taste ($38)

2007 Malbec, 70 cases produced, very mellow wine, differs from a Argentinian Malbec, Doffo’s  has more subtly and finesse, floral hints, minerality present. 36 magnums also produced. It is a great wine, buy it before it is gone forever. ($58)

Library Wines

These are the types of wine where I look in the mirror and say are you serious, how did I end up with such a fantastic job?

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, when tasted 15 bottles remaining on planet earth for sale. Plum, hint of melon, perfect wine, no need to look North. ($180)

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Going to age fantastically, currently high in tannins, only in the bottle for 6 months. ($99)

2005 Tiarella, named in honor of the grandchildren’s names (Tiago and Fiorella), Cabernet Sauvignon, blackberry and vanilla. ($77)

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, first crop, and a little green in taste which is typical in newly planted vines. Hopefully the tannins fall out over the next few years. This is definitely a keeper, as the tannins will preserve it for a very long time to come. ($165)

Overall a fantastic lineup. There were more to taste, however I had already run nearly an hour behind schedule at Doffo…and it was an hour well spent. The allowed me to taste some fascinating wines. You have to be a fanatic in the fields and the cellars like the Doffo’s to create wines at this level.

For another point of view, see the recent article on WINEormos

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