Lani next poured a side-by-side comparison of their 2014 Barbera from Clarksburg and their 2014 South Coast Barbera from the Fullbrook area. We liked them both (and actually purchased both) but enjoyed the differences between these two vineyards. Although both made by winemaker Ryan Scott, the differences were striking, even visible! The Clarksburg Barbera had leather aromas and a soft, fruity flavor, with Bing cherry leading the way. The South Coast Barbera was a more traditional, punchy and tannic rendition, with a hint of cinnamon on the finish. Perfect beside a steak.
We then tasted their 2014 Sangiovese. Lovely library aromas, with a hint of blackberry, and great depth of fruit on the tongue, especially red plums and cherries. The finish vanished like a ghost, leaving the tiniest hint of tannins and spice. The 2014 Tempranillo had equally good complexity and a welcoming aroma that made us look forward to our first sip.
We next ventured into some blends. Their first blend was called CATastrophe (see what they did there?). This was described as their “secret blend” because the winemaker did not disclose the component varietals. We found it mellow and smooth, with middling tannins and a nice level of acid on the finish. We were stumped, though, trying to identify the blending wines. Their 2013 Tres Amici was documented, containing Nebbiolo, Barbera and Petite Sirah. Ryan Scott showed his talent for balance here, by delivering a superbly drinkable wine. Yes, some came home (um, to the condo) with us.
The blends continued with their Dos Amigos, combining 60% Tempranillo and 40% Petite Sirah. I called it “a bunch of fruit cheering” and put a bottle on our “bring home” pile. Their 2014 Zinfandel was next. Aromas of a forest after a rain and flavors of fruit and spice throughout the taste. Lots of alcohol, too. At 16% it compares with Lodi Zins for punch.
The tasting was coming to a close. Whew, so many wines! Luckily we had shared tastes and divided the wine list among the five of us. The penultimate taste was their 2014 Tannat. A gorgeous blueberry aroma, fruity with a crisp finish with tiny tannins. You’re right, one of these came back with us, too.
We finished up with their Moscato dessert wine, which exceeded expectations! Vanilla and apple sauce up front, with a pear and lime surprise that forced us to take some back to sip on while we watched the sunset.
With our wine inventory replenished (we purchased more than a case, it turned out) we thanked Lani for a truly extraordinary tasting experience and set off into the Carlsbad sunshine. Yet another reason to return soon! Wine Tasting in Carlsbad Village is a great way to end or start your vacation.