(A Chris Baptiste/Clara Best collaboration.)
Each one of us has his or her own criteria for what makes a winery “great.” For some it’s the quality of the wine, period, whether whites or reds are preferred. Without fantastic wine, how can a winery call itself “great,” correct? Others gravitate toward certain wineries for their tasting rooms and the people working in them. What’s not to like about a warm, inviting room populated by knowledgeable, fun servers behind the bar? And still others may choose one winery over the other for its location and what that locale provides. I myself love panoramic views of our Temecula Wine Country while I relaxingly sip wines from our region. The visual connection with the rows of vines and the rolling terrain adds something almost magical to the wine tasting experience. Of course, not every winery meets all of the above criteria, and that’s OK. But one that does is Leonesse Cellars.
Since 2003, Leonesse has been one of the “anchors” amongst the wineries (now up to 9 in number) on the De Portola Wine Trail. Their reputation for producing first-class red wines has been well-deserved, their tasting room is one of the most elegant and warm in the Temecula Valley, and the view from their outdoor patio and terrace is absolutely stunning. When one visits Leonesse, one receives a first-class Temecula wine tasting experience.
After enjoying a couple of selections during my latest visit, I came to the conclusion that their 2007 Cinsaut was my favorite of the day. It’s a medium-bodied red wine, one that’s perfect for those transitioning from whites to reds. It’s not too bold, not too spicy, and the tannins are soft. I find strawberry and cherry in the nose (maybe a little Starburst-ish), and the mouthfeel is light, bright, soft, and full of lighter berries. It can be easily paired with tomato or meat sauce Italian dishes, lamb, and perhaps roasted pork. The 2007 Leonesse Cinsaut is the perfect wine to share with family and friends throughout the upcoming holiday season.
38311 De Portola Road
Temecula, CA 92592