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Wine Pick of the Week – Cougar 2009 Malvasia Bianca

I first met Jennifer and Rick Buffington, the owners of Cougar Winery, three years ago on a detour with our realtor who was showing us properties in the Temecula Wine Country. After a log day of house hunting, it was time for a break. Our friend and realtor Joe DiLullo knew just the place to go. As we drove up the impressive driveway to their vineyard, he was filling us in on perhaps one of his favorite wineries and local rest stops. It was summer, so upon entering the cooler temperature of the winery we felt more than comfortable, but somehow at home.


(photo by Michael Chava)

We proceeded to the wine tasting counter and before even sampling any wine, Joe handed us a Wine Club membership form and confidently said this would be one of our favorite local rest stops along the De Portola Trail on our way to our new home, so being a member only made sense. Talk about a making a sale! Well, needless to say, that day to meet our new wonderful friends and neighbors, Jennifer and Rick.

We tasted all of their Italian varietals, not just from the glass, but also straight from the barrel! Being that we were now members we certainly had to take full advantage of our discount, so we left with all our favorites of the day. Cougar Winery is now among one of my favorite local rest stops before heading home to our vineyard property.

On this particular afternoon earlier this week, I decided it was time for a quick stop to taste the new release Jennifer had told me about a few weeks prior. Going in specifically to taste this newest wine, I decided to save that tasting for last and enjoyed some of my favorites first, their 2008 Estate Sangiovese and the 2007 Meritage, which fills up a good portion of our wine cellar at home.

My friend Mike was working that day and as he poured the last tasting he said, “ready for some liquid candy?” Enough said! It was as refreshing, tasty, and sweet as biting into a perfect green apple!

Introducing Cougar’s newest release: the 2009 Malvasia Bianca. This Italian varietal originated in Greece before being widely planted in Italy. It’s light and refreshing with flavors of granny apple and honey. Since the best summer wines are light and refreshing, this will definitely be one of my favorite Temecula wines to pair with some of my favorite summer recipes. Try it with a seafood antipasto dish, grilled vegetables, or a friend for a “perfect pick” of liquid desert, while enjoying a summer day!

They will be offering Taste of Temecula fans a 10% discount on their new release the week of September 13th. Simply mention you read this article on our web site.

Cougar Vineyard & Winery – 39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592. 951-491-0825.

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