TN: Wine From San Diego? Oh Yeah!2011 Los Pilares 50% Grenache, 50% Carignane

  • 2011 Los Pilares 50% Grenache, 50% Carignane - USA, California, South Coast, San Diego County (1/25/2013)
    Very exciting wine. Meant for immediate consumption a 50-50 blend of Carignane and Grenache. Beautiful light cranberry-strawberry color with fresh aromatics. Some spice and acidity - but not racy - just gentle. Some floral elements. It made feel like a kid picking fresh strawberries and eating them right off the vine with the dust, and fragrance in the air. There is a lot of sediment on top floating. After letting it settle, the wine is alluringly fresh and fruity, but not in any kind of extraced way. Almost comes off as a robust rose from California. This is nothing earth shattering as far as profund stuff, but what it is, is so vastly different than everything else in that price point that I would only want to drink this and wines of its ilk - This is exactly what should be consumed over good food and at a price point that doesn’t break the bank. The grapes are picked from San Diego County and have had minimal intervention.
    From the winemaker -
    The details: 100% whole berries. No stems. No added yeast, acids, enzymes, yeast food, tannins, or anything else. No oak. No no sulfur dioxide or any other additives or preservatives. The complete list of ingredients is fresh grapes. We did not filter or fine or even rack except to blend.
    Impressive stuff - Congrats to winemakers! (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

I had the 2010 and enjoyed it, a simple, eminently quaffable red table wine. There was a ton of hype about it being “natural” or some such thing, but looking beyond that fact, the winemakers seem to know how to make juicy, acid-drive wines. Not sure that this is 92 points based on the note though, as that score would seem to indicate something profound and incredibly good.

Interesting. Will have to check it out next time I’m in San Diego. I have to say I haven’t been impressed with wine from the county in the past (it also seemed very tampered with and confected), but this producer sounds like it has potential.

Do you mind if I ask how much the wine goes for at retail? I am guessing $23. Looks like they only sell by the case on their site and I couldn’t easily find a price online…

I very much enjoyed the 2010 also. Very fresh and drinkable any night of the week.

I paid $21 for it in NYC. It was part of a promotional sale - otherwise it would have been closer to $30 (which is a little steep - but they have to pay the rent). I will be going back on Monday to get a few more. This is the exact opposite of tampered with.

Scores are so subjective. 50% of the time, I don’t put them in. For this, since I did find it incredibly delicious and evoked excitement, I went with a 92. Profound? only in the sense of what they are doing and how it translates to the glass and ultimately the gullet. I didn’t know about the hype… I bought this at my local store in NYC during a promotional sale, when I passed on a 2010 Jamet that I felt was too rich for my wallet, and decided to let my trusted wine salesman pick one for me - since he knows my palate. I guess if you take away the context of how I bought it (saved money) and the emotion it evoked, it might be lower. But that is the beauty of wine, everyone has there own impression, and people who score are always affected by those variables.

All that said, this wine would be great at a picnic on a summer day with a slight chill with great food and people. Could see drinking a lot of it and being very happy.

Loved the 2010. Looking forward to the 2011.

Yeah, $30 does seem like a lot based on your description and what I read online. Still, it would be interesting to try. Also good to support this type of wine production in San Diego.

Alex, had a chance today to taste the 2009 Vesper Carignane at Sea Rocket Bistro here in San Diego. I think it is an excellent wine, with lots of fruit, and a price to go down very easy ($46 at the restaurant)

Orfila is my San Diego show off wine, and now I have a new winery, many thanks for the post. [cheers.gif]

The number, and quality, of San Diego County wines is growing very rapidly. I was one of the judges at the first ever San Diego only wine competition.There were some amazing wines. While San Pasqual used to be my go to winery, I feel they have stumbled in recent releases. Top on my list would be Fallbrook (an amazing Rosato rose) and a little tiny place called Gloriosa. They made an amazing zin that was my favorite wine of the entire competition. They are in the south central part of the county out near Campo. For full results please ss:

Campo? Why did they not choose Dulzura or Potrero? They’re more accessible.

Duh. Soil, climate, winds, elevation, the same factors that govern most vineyards.

Guess you thought I was serious.

No, I just thought you were being your normal jerky self.

On a serious note, it’s nice to see San Diego wineries beginning to produce some tasty stuff. The last tasting of San Diego wineries I attended, back in 2011, was full of god-awful wines. Almost all of them were flawed or just plan mediocre. At that point, Temecula was in the lead as far as producing quality juice, but those crazy Temeculans charge way too much for their wine. Hopefullly Los Pilares keeps up the trend of reasonably priced, high quality wine.

My pleasure. Glad to know good wines are being made in San Diego. [cheers.gif]


Hard to let go, isn’t it?

There was an article a week or two in eithe the LA Times or the WSJ about how high water prices are causing many of the avocado growers in the San Diego area to pull out their avocado trees (which require a great deal of water) and replace them with other crops, including vinifera. The article talked about the low water needs of wine grapes, plus the ability to get more revenue out of weddings and tourism.

So that may help spur the development of the wine industry around San Diego.