Monday, January 9, 2012

BLUE DOOR WINERY tasting room

Blue Door Winery in San Marcos recently opened a tasting room in the heart of Julian – a welcome addition to the town’s budding wine landscape. Winemaker Marc Hashagen sources grapes from many parts of California, with a lot (especially white varietals) coming from Santa Barbara County. We loved his 2010 unoaked Chardonnay.

Marc was working in international finance when he had an epiphany of sorts: he wanted to become a boutique winemaker, expressing his passion while keeping things simple and natural. Meanwhile, his old friend Kameron was working in the Santa Barbara wine industry. She moved to San Diego and reconnected with Marc… now they’re engaged. Blue Door’s annual production has grown to approximately 750 cases. Kameron manages the tasting room and vigorously promotes the wines.We tried three outstanding reds: a 2008 Santa Barbara Barbera – soft on the palate but still with plenty of tannins, 2008 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (our favorite) aged in American oak – fruit and spice on the nose, pepper later on. This wine is light; one could mistake it for a Pinot Noir. The just-released 2008 Santa Barbara Cabernet Franc is, we were told, highly changeable depending on one's mood and food. We enjoyed its pleasant grassiness.

We look forward to tasting Marc’s famous Merlot, with fruit from the Hidden Meadows area of Escondido. The 2010 vintage will be released at the end of this month. There’s also a Zinfandel on the horizon.

Blue Door’s wine club members get two bottles every three months, at $20/bottle or 20% off retail. And free tasting, of course.

The tasting room is open Friday-Saturday 11-6, Sunday-Thursday 12-5. 760.765.0361

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