Bridlewood Estate 2006 Central Coast Syrah is a dark, pungent, opaque purple-ruby wine with a nose of jammy blackberries, blackcurrant, and spice. On the palate one experiences black fruit and a roasted meat/bacon flavor along with mushrooms. The quality is incredible at any price, and this one is under $20. The grapes grow on the high bed of an ancient seabed in the eastern Santa Ynez Valley on what was once an Arabian horse farm.
From Argentina comes a Malbec from the Catena family, who began making Alamos Wines in 1993 to help meet the rising demand for Argentine wines. Alamos is located in the prestigious Mendoza growing region of Lujan de Cuyo. A small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon is added, in addition to Bonarda, and the wine is “conditioned” with French and American oak before the blend is assembled. The 2008 Malbec is lush with blueberries and blackcurrant on the palate and a long, delicious finish of cloves and blackberry jam.
The last wine was Don Miguel Gascon Malbec 2008, jam-packed with blue fruit, cooked plums, delicate violets, and mocha. The winery’s founder, Mr. Gascon, was born in 1861 in Aragon, Spain, grew up as a farmer, moved to Argentina, and became dedicated to proving that Argentina could produce fine wines.
Throughout the lunch, winemakers told their stories, some apologizing for their English which was actually quite good. Yet even if it wasn’t, their passion for their wines rang true in any language. A delightful afternoon filled with many wonderful wine stories. Salut!