Some of our best wine discoveries have been through recommendations, typically sharing bottles with friends. We also make a point to ask wineries we enjoy what they recommend. After all, if we like their stuff, chances are we’ll like what they drink, too!
While on the road in California wine country earlier this year, we found ourselves with a little extra time between tasting appointments (oh, what to do…). We were finishing a tasting at one of our favorite spots, Plumpjack, and decided to ask our hostess for a recommendation. We were looking for a boutique winery, and off the beaten path. She suggested nearby Saddleback Cellars. It’s an appointment only winery, so she picked up the phone and made one for us ~ and what an awesome find!
Saddleback Cellars has everything ~ great outdoor seating next to the vines, welcoming hosts, wonderful wines, and one of the coolest wine dogs we’ve ever met – Chloe. We had the opportunity to taste a variety of their wines, including the 2009 Merlot, 2009 Syrah, 2008 Cab, 2010 Zinfandel, 2010 Chardonnay, and our hands down favorite, 2010 Viognier.
The Viognier has great floral and fruitful aromas, with flavors of peach and nectarine. It is not overly sweet, a very easy drinker with a long and flavorful finish. It definitely is drinkable on its own, but pairs well with creamy cheese, and light meats like chicken and fish. We enjoyed our (first) bottle with ricotta spinach lasagna. Fortunately, we have more than one bottle, as it would also pair exceptionally well with one of my favorite appetizers, sliced pears topped with blue cheese and honey. Hello patio!
It is a limited production wine ~ only 328 cases produced. You can purchase it directly for $26/bottle (on sale until 7/5/13 for $23). If you are in the Napa area, we definitely recommend a stop at Saddleback Cellars. Enjoy the wine, and give Chloe a good belly-rub for us!