EP 573 A Temecula Wine Tasting

Gary Vaynerchuk tastes 3 wines from the emerging Temecula region of Southern California.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2007 Keyways Sauvignon Blanc
2005 Hart Family Meritage
2005 Thorton Estate Syrah

Latest Comment:

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Luca Bercelli

90/100

line of the day ‘ Joe the plummer whose arse crack is sticking out a little bit, the clothes don’t fit’ (this was describing a fruitbomb that couldn’t harness the sugary flavours)

Gary was in a good mood today and desperately tried to be nicer to these wines than he normally would be. There is a funny visual moment when G describes a woman who is looks nice from a distance but on closer inspection is trying a tad too hard

Tags: california, meritage, red, review, sauvignon blanc, Syrah, Temecula, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • Andrew Saliga

    I saw the Hart last night and almost bought it. I think the horrible label is what made it catch my eye.

    It’s so true about what you were saying about 89 vs. 88 points. The fact that this didn’t make it to a 90 point (and the price) make it a pass for me.

  • Andrew Saliga

    I saw the Hart last night and almost bought it. I think the horrible label is what made it catch my eye.

    It’s so true about what you were saying about 89 vs. 88 points. The fact that this didn’t make it to a 90 point (and the price) make it a pass for me.

  • Jolie Elman

    Temecula is a place for groups of female 20-somethings to grab a party limo or party bus and go winery hopping for the camaraderie and for the buzz. It’s difficult to take Temecula wine serious. I find Temecula wine to be insipid and overpriced. I, personally, find Temecula wines to not be worthy of other wines produced in California.

  • Jolie Elman

    Temecula is a place for groups of female 20-somethings to grab a party limo or party bus and go winery hopping for the camaraderie and for the buzz. It’s difficult to take Temecula wine serious. I find Temecula wine to be insipid and overpriced. I, personally, find Temecula wines to not be worthy or on par with other wines produced in California.

  • Jolie Elman

    Temecula is a place for groups of female 20-somethings to grab a party limo or party bus and go winery hopping for the camaraderie and for the buzz. It’s difficult to take Temecula wine serious. I find Temecula wine to be insipid and overpriced. I, personally, find Temecula wines to not be worthy of other wines produced in California.

  • Jolie Elman

    Temecula is a place for groups of female 20-somethings to grab a party limo or party bus and go winery hopping for the camaraderie and for the buzz. It’s difficult to take Temecula wine serious. I find Temecula wine to be insipid and overpriced. I, personally, find Temecula wines to not be worthy or on par with other wines produced in California.

  • http://www.bendaniel.org/ Ben Daniel

    I grew up in Mendocino, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by wine from Temecula as well as from Escondido, a little bit to the south.

  • http://www.bendaniel.org Ben Daniel

    I grew up in Mendocino, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by wine from Temecula as well as from Escondido, a little bit to the south.

  • http://bloviatrix.wordpress.com/ Sharon

    Sometimes ‘The Ladies’ aren’t wild about sweet alcoholic fruit bombs either :-)
    QOTD: Right, Jets already beat Rams, so…
    Pats 27, Jets 21

  • http://bloviatrix.wordpress.com/ Sharon

    Sometimes ‘The Ladies’ aren’t wild about sweet alcoholic fruit bombs either :-)
    QOTD: Right, Jets already beat Rams, so…
    Pats 27, Jets 21

  • karenp

    We visited Temeculah a few years ago and thought the wines sucked. Price and quality just didn’t match … and the wineries were so proud of their properties. A Napa wannabe…

  • karenp

    We visited Temeculah a few years ago and thought the wines sucked. Price and quality just didn’t match … and the wineries were so proud of their properties. A Napa wannabe…

  • Grapedigger

    Cool Show GV…Never heard of Temecula wines before! Thanks.. One thing for sure, they need to reconsider their pricing..Cheers

  • Grapedigger

    Cool Show GV…Never heard of Temecula wines before! Thanks.. One thing for sure, they need to reconsider their pricing..Cheers

  • Dan

    My wife and I discovered Temecula several years ago (we live in LA) and our favorite out there is Mount Palomar Winery. Their dessert wines including their Riesling, Sherry, and Port, and especially their Muscato di Amore are all fabulous. I have to say I think Temecula is better for dessert wines than your big bold reds or whites with any finesse. However, Mount Palomar’s Cloudbreak and Best of Vintage Syrah both grab my attention as well, despite their high price point. In the normal price ranges, they do make a pretty fabulous Sangiovese and their Travoto mock super-Tuscan isn’t too bad either. Just my 2 cents.

  • Dan

    My wife and I discovered Temecula several years ago (we live in LA) and our favorite out there is Mount Palomar Winery. Their dessert wines including their Riesling, Sherry, and Port, and especially their Muscato di Amore are all fabulous. I have to say I think Temecula is better for dessert wines than your big bold reds or whites with any finesse. However, Mount Palomar’s Cloudbreak and Best of Vintage Syrah both grab my attention as well, despite their high price point. In the normal price ranges, they do make a pretty fabulous Sangiovese and their Travoto mock super-Tuscan isn’t too bad either. Just my 2 cents.

  • Matt

    Growing up in Northern California and now living in San Diego, I completely agree with you on this. Temecula wines are overpriced and there are very few bottles that are worth their price tag out there. With all of the great competition from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Hollister, etc., they only survive by catering to tourists who “hop” from winery to winery to get blacked out. All of the places mentioned above make much better wines at or below the prices Temecula charges.

  • Matt

    Growing up in Northern California and now living in San Diego, I completely agree with you on this. Temecula wines are overpriced and there are very few bottles that are worth their price tag out there. With all of the great competition from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Hollister, etc., they only survive by catering to tourists who “hop” from winery to winery to get blacked out. All of the places mentioned above make much better wines at or below the prices Temecula charges.

  • http://www.popple.us/ dan

    I live in san diego and I’ve been up to Temecula for some tastings – I would say that the day I went up the Thornton 2005 Cab was by far the best wine we tasted all day. Their wines are crazy expensive for the quality- but in a $10 flight with cheese platter the combo of their cab with some goat cheese was absolutely one of my favorite culinary experiences ever. The property up there is beautiful, but it’s a little snobbed out. ah well. i guess it’s better that they produce than not produce at all… even if it is overpriced.
    cheers

  • http://www.popple.us dan

    I live in san diego and I’ve been up to Temecula for some tastings – I would say that the day I went up the Thornton 2005 Cab was by far the best wine we tasted all day. Their wines are crazy expensive for the quality- but in a $10 flight with cheese platter the combo of their cab with some goat cheese was absolutely one of my favorite culinary experiences ever. The property up there is beautiful, but it’s a little snobbed out. ah well. i guess it’s better that they produce than not produce at all… even if it is overpriced.
    cheers

  • http://Winelibrary.com/ CraigG

    I used to support a branch office in Temecula where I used to work. Damn, I didn’t think they made wine there back in the day. Prediction = Rams will lose, whoever they play.

  • http://Winelibrary.com CraigG

    I used to support a branch office in Temecula where I used to work. Damn, I didn’t think they made wine there back in the day. Prediction = Rams will lose, whoever they play.

  • MattUD

    Haven’t had any Temecula yet, and a little late on the predictions, but it worked out for the Jets!

  • MattUD

    Haven’t had any Temecula yet, and a little late on the predictions, but it worked out for the Jets!

  • http://www.trocard.fr/pages/accueil.php Kristen

    I was very surprised you liked the Sauvignon blanc! This must be a first!

    QOTD: no football predictions, sorry. But I did see Temecula spotlighted in a Cooking Light article on wine regions across America to visit.

  • http://www.trocard.fr/pages/accueil.php Kristen

    I was very surprised you liked the Sauvignon blanc! This must be a first!

    QOTD: no football predictions, sorry. But I did see Temecula spotlighted in a Cooking Light article on wine regions across America to visit.

  • JayZee

    Interesting show, but I wasn’t impressed with the wines as you described them. I mean, if Temecula wants to play with the Cali Big Boys, they are going to have to bring some thunder, right? I didn’t get that sense. As for Temecula as a region, I think I’ve had something from Thornton in the past, but I cannot recall what type of wine it was. Apparently it wasn’t that memorable.

  • JayZee

    Interesting show, but I wasn’t impressed with the wines as you described them. I mean, if Temecula wants to play with the Cali Big Boys, they are going to have to bring some thunder, right? I didn’t get that sense. As for Temecula as a region, I think I’ve had something from Thornton in the past, but I cannot recall what type of wine it was. Apparently it wasn’t that memorable.

  • CarinaG

    I’ve lived in Temecula for over 5 years now. Check out Palumbo Family. Best reds in the valley.

  • CarinaG

    I’ve lived in Temecula for over 5 years now. Check out Palumbo Family. Best reds in the valley.

  • Mike

    If you have a chance to check out Temecula try what they call the backside on De Portorla Rd. There is 7 smaller winerys that have a variery of wiens. Cougr has an Aglenaico, Cortese, Arnies, and a few other Itilain varitals.

  • Mike

    If you have a chance to check out Temecula try what they call the backside on De Portorla Rd. There is 7 smaller winerys that have a variery of wiens. Cougr has an Aglenaico, Cortese, Arnies, and a few other Itilain varitals.

  • yowens

    QOTD: Steelers in Superbowl. QOTD2: Hadnt heard of it.

  • yowens

    QOTD: Steelers in Superbowl. QOTD2: Hadnt heard of it.

  • Dessert Wine Nerd

    QOTD1: Steelers pound Cardinals in Super Bowl, Arizona falls apart next season.
    QOTD2: Dont know anything except what youve talked about. Will look into more.

  • Dessert Wine Nerd

    QOTD1: Steelers pound Cardinals in Super Bowl, Arizona falls apart next season.
    QOTD2: Dont know anything except what youve talked about. Will look into more.

  • G

    Just came back from my second trip to Temecula today, so I dialed this up. A year ago, Keyways was the only winery I liked. Tried 4 more today and was mostly puzzled. Miramonte had a couple drinkable reds that seemed to be priced about right. Baily was mostly a pass. Weins did alright, but I’d read a label, take a sniff and shake my head. The cab came across as a zin on the nose. Just odd. Then made Wilson Creek where the Legacy was drinkable and they offered that in the 05 and 06 versions. 06 worked better for me. But what an odd area this is, ‘very touristy’ is dead on. Comments next to me ranged from “Why do you do that swirly thing” to “Don’t they have any sweet wines?” Was thinking this was the Wal-Mart shoppers AVA, but Wal-mart shoppers have a good sense of value and there were few value plays here. So this is the AVA for people who don’t have the taste and sense to shop wal-mart.

    Didn’t try any whites, but the reds were more often than not just puzzling. I was drinking Gigondas the prior week back in DC. While they are much different than northern CA wines that I’m more accustomed to, those wines made sense. Across the board these wines were just puzzling as to where they were going. At times it seemed they had to make a concerted effort to make the grape on the label and the flavor in the bottle unrelated.

  • G

    Just came back from my second trip to Temecula today, so I dialed this up. A year ago, Keyways was the only winery I liked. Tried 4 more today and was mostly puzzled. Miramonte had a couple drinkable reds that seemed to be priced about right. Baily was mostly a pass. Weins did alright, but I’d read a label, take a sniff and shake my head. The cab came across as a zin on the nose. Just odd. Then made Wilson Creek where the Legacy was drinkable and they offered that in the 05 and 06 versions. 06 worked better for me. But what an odd area this is, ‘very touristy’ is dead on. Comments next to me ranged from “Why do you do that swirly thing” to “Don’t they have any sweet wines?” Was thinking this was the Wal-Mart shoppers AVA, but Wal-mart shoppers have a good sense of value and there were few value plays here. So this is the AVA for people who don’t have the taste and sense to shop wal-mart.

    Didn’t try any whites, but the reds were more often than not just puzzling. I was drinking Gigondas the prior week back in DC. While they are much different than northern CA wines that I’m more accustomed to, those wines made sense. Across the board these wines were just puzzling as to where they were going. At times it seemed they had to make a concerted effort to make the grape on the label and the flavor in the bottle unrelated.

  • Kirk from Temecula

    We’ve lived in Temecula since 1996 and moved to Temecula Wine Country in 2005. We just had our first harvest of our 2 acres of Cinsault. It got barrelled yesterday. It’s gone from a dozen or so wineries to a very touristy 30 or so. I agree that most of the wineries, larger ones especially, either cater to or just attract (mostly female) people more interested in copping a buzz than tasting. We’ve been sticking to the smaller, family run wineries lately. The larger ones have a circus feel to them.

    As sar as the quality goes, you have to be choosy. Now I’m no wine expert. I just started taking wine seriously about six months ago. I’m in the early stages of my journey. To me, the stand outs are Briar Rose, a very small outfit; South Coast, one of the biggest; Doffo, another small one with an Argentinian ex-patriate owner of Italian descent.

    I’m afraid that the emphasis on tourism is going to keep the Temecula Valley from achieving it’s potential. Also, it seems odd, considering all the money made from the tourism end of things that the wines are priced as high as they are. Maybe the fact that we’re close to Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego convinces that higher prices equates to higher quality.

  • Kirk from Temecula

    We’ve lived in Temecula since 1996 and moved to Temecula Wine Country in 2005. We just had our first harvest of our 2 acres of Cinsault. It got barrelled yesterday. It’s gone from a dozen or so wineries to a very touristy 30 or so. I agree that most of the wineries, larger ones especially, either cater to or just attract (mostly female) people more interested in copping a buzz than tasting. We’ve been sticking to the smaller, family run wineries lately. The larger ones have a circus feel to them.

    As sar as the quality goes, you have to be choosy. Now I’m no wine expert. I just started taking wine seriously about six months ago. I’m in the early stages of my journey. To me, the stand outs are Briar Rose, a very small outfit; South Coast, one of the biggest; Doffo, another small one with an Argentinian ex-patriate owner of Italian descent.

    I’m afraid that the emphasis on tourism is going to keep the Temecula Valley from achieving it’s potential. Also, it seems odd, considering all the money made from the tourism end of things that the wines are priced as high as they are. Maybe the fact that we’re close to Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego convinces that higher prices equates to higher quality.

  • John__J

    Qotd: I dig Temecula

  • Anonymous

    Have not tried these wines, not sure if I have had any from this area. QOTD-a little late for that..no thoughts on that area. http://www.winelx.com

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZE2ZQOSOK2EALHM676YDQT5HY4 Dfgg Err

    I moved to Temecula 3 years ago and got a few jobs in the wine country, i have worked in 4 different wineries as i like to gain more knowledge on wine and moving around allowed the experience of seeing different ways of the Wineries. I still have my wine fridge full of Sonoma and Napa bottles even with working here in temecula. But with that said, there are a few keepers from Temecula Wine Country; Weins is really coming around with reds, Danza Del Sol (Opened fall2010) is making some well-rounded reds now and the whites are awesome with full bodied wines…they even have bottles from the previous owner who wasn’t big on filtering creating a lot of tannins and wasn’t making wines for the profit causing them to have cheap sale prices for the quality they are at. Oak Mountain is doing well on reds. I also recommend Robert Renzoni as he focus on his heritage of Italian wines. Avoid South Coast at all costs as their wines are too young and are thrown on the shelf just for the sales, no resting periods plus huge tourist over priced place. But that is how most of these wineries are; Callaway, Wilson Creek, Thornton, Longshadow, South Coast, watch out for Ponte(unless you are just out here for getting drunk) Ponte servers no nothing about wines except that a bigger pour creates bigger tips. They are all just party hardy young inexperienced servers who are looking to make good tips.

    Temecula does have some amazing hidden wines, but don’t ask what the best wineries are from your hotel and don’t trust Google top wineries on the map, as these are just going to be fake-outs. Instead go to smaller wineries where the owners are in the winery (Hart, Renzoni, Danza Del Sol, Oak Mountain, Doffo) and ask them where to go to next since they are the professionals.

    If possible, my one suggestion is get to these wineries during the week, that is where true wine drinkers/tasters are able to “Taste, gain knowledge, and meet the owners/wine makers” Weekends here is just young partiers taking shots of the highest alcohol content wine. Don’t trust others opinions on wines, trust your own, at all cost don’t Judge Temecula on 2-3 wineries, get to as many as possible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=630276710 Luca Bercelli

    90/100

    line of the day ‘ Joe the plummer whose arse crack is sticking out a little bit, the clothes don’t fit’ (this was describing a fruitbomb that couldn’t harness the sugary flavours)

    Gary was in a good mood today and desperately tried to be nicer to these wines than he normally would be. There is a funny visual moment when G describes a woman who is looks nice from a distance but on closer inspection is trying a tad too hard

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