We were invited to Wine on a Dime in Temecula for a private tasting of John Alan Wines out of Paso Robles, California.
Our guest and wine excursionist was the very articulate Aaron Warren, Sommelier with a Five Star background. Encyclopedic in viticulture and seasoned in palate, Mr. Warren brought a palpable earthiness to the descriptions of each of the nine wines we tasted.
We began with East Bank Cuvee 2006 (my favorite overall!). Part Cabernet franc and part Merlot, the initial nose prepared the mouth for a fruity, “Bordeaux-driven” taste that would be as fine with fish as it would be with meat. Hints of cardamom, hazel, and toffee were discernable from just the small tasting.
Next, Mr. Warren treated us to what he called a “tongue-swirling, tooth-staining” Malbec 2007. All the wines are aged in French Oak, mostly old European that gives the wines their multi-dimensional and hearty flavoring.
The Malcontent 2006 was actually named by the brothers Ford – owners of the John Alan Winery. It’s a combination of Malbec, Petite Verdot, and Zinfandel grape medley that is one of their most popular wines.The taste is refreshing and light for a red – just as easy to sip alone as with a pairing of food.
The Cabernet Franc 2007 is similar to a French Burgundian wine, deep and throaty with a smack-y aftertaste. Aaron suggested pairing it with coq au vin or roasted squab. Just your everyday meal!
We ended the evening with a Meritage 2006 and a Meritage Reserve 2005. Both wines are a product of the Templeton region located south of Paso Robles in the Central Coast of California.
The vineyard is in the heart of the so-called Templeton bench area, which is producing world class Rhone and Bordeaux varietals due to the hot summer days and very cool nights. Aaron explained that this geographic location has a greater range of climate than the Temecula Valley giving the wines their heady flavor.
The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 is John Alan’s favorite. Its fruit has a thick skin that provides an intense and deeply layered cab. Aaron informed us that the vineyard uses state-of-the-art new world technology integrated with old-world style that offers an expressive, balanced yet complex flavor portfolio. The winery produces only 2500 cases annually and has no public wine tasting … yet. Plans for the future include a tasting area and a bed & breakfast. Currently, you can only find John Alan Wines at Wine on a Dime – the only source within a 50 mile radius. It is surely worth the drive across town for special meals and friends.
28061 Jefferson Avenue, Temecula