Sunday, March 4, 2012


A lot is new at Belle Marie and Chateau Dragoo. Summer-like weather obligated us to taste two crispy whites: 2010 Chenin Blanc and 2009 Chardonnay, both from Northern California grapes. The winery’s team has come up with some tantalizing spice blends to tickle the senses; we were especially impressed by how their secret “Chardonnay spice,” sprinkled on a sliver of cheese, enhanced the flavor of the wine.

Moving on to reds, we encountered a well-balanced 2009 Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara grapes) and some old favorites with roots in the Guadalupe Valley: 2006 Commemorativo (Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon), 2008 Tempranillo, and 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Mick Dragoo treated us to a taste of his yet-to-be-released Super Tuscan, a full-bodied, fruit-forward blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our quarterly Vintage Club selections included a 2005 Barolo – which prompted us to drink the 2003 we’d been hoarding with dinner - quite a treat.

Belle Marie's tasting room is open daily 11:00-5:00. 760.796.7557

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