Quite by accident we happened upon Chapin Family Vineyards. Located on Summitville Street in Temecula, California, Chapin is located at the far end of Rancho California Road. The tasting room was busy on the day of our visit, but owner Steve Chapin made room for us at the tasting counter and welcomed us with a big smile. That’s what struck us about Chapin; his smile. He seemed to be enjoying the hectic atmosphere and never stopped smiling! His enthusiasm created an energy that seemed to permeate the entire tasting room.
Dining out one spring evening at a favorite Neapolitan pizzeria, we chose a bottle of Nero d’Avola wine to accompany our meal. Not being entirely familiar with this varietal, I was curious to know more. Nero d’Avola is a dark black grape with origins in the Italian island of Sicily where the climate is primarily warm and dry.
This is a really nice wine for the price. When you purchase a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc you often get a highly tart and lemon citrusy-tasting wine, and sometimes, overly so. In the glass,Fern Ridge had a light yellow-green grass hue with aromas of soft citrus. The wine comes alive on the palate with just-the-right tartness of pungent gooseberry and passion fruit. The finish is smooth and dry.
Shroud Mountain wines are crafted in California by Aaron Bader, a former Opus One winemaker. Tasting notes for this 2015 Cabernet have described this wine as medium-bodied, rich and full of serious flavor. It also received a 90 point rating by The Tasting Panel Magazine. Maybe so, but we didn't think it merited that high a score and we didn't think it was all that rich and flavorful.