In the world of wine, it’s always a thrill to discover an innovative producer who creates exciting wines. Such is the case for me with Presqu’ile Winery. Prior to tasting through a number of its current releases I hadn’t heard of the winery. Over the years, I have been fond of chardonnays and especially pinot noirs from Santa Maria Valley, so I was definitely curious to sample.After tasting, I found something the wines to be worth noting for anyone who loves well-made examples of those grapes. The Murphy family who owns the winery has a 73 acres parcel, but they also partnered with local growers to source fruit. Each wine is distinct while sharing similar characteristics. The wines are loaded with typicity that speaks of the variety in question. There’s a sense of place in these wines that screams of the cooler climate in which they’re grown. And more than anything else, each wine has remarkable texture and impressive mouthfeel that ties the grapes together like an invisible connective tissue. The next time I’m anywhere near the winery, I’ll make a beeline for Presqu’ile. In the meantime, I’ll keep drinking its beautiful wines; you should too!
Presqu’ile Santa Maria Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($22)
This offering was produced entirely from estate fruit. It was aged in a combination of concrete egg (35 percent), neutral oak (28 percent) and stainless steel (37 percent). Peach, lemon zest and wisps of vanilla bean lead a stunning array of aromas here. Honeydew, papaya, citrus and stone fruits are all present throughout the layered palate. Minerals, bits of sage and copious spice characteristics are evident on the lengthy finish. This unique and stunning sauvignon blanc is an absolute steal for $22.
Presqu’ile 2013 Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay ($35)
All of the fruit (100 percent) chardonnay came from their estate vineyard. Five clones of chardonnay were used. Aging took place over 12 months in French oak (15 percent new) and six months in stainless steel. Hints of crème fraiche and lemon curd are dominant on the lovely nose of this Chardonnay. The palate is stuffed with glorious amounts of fresh orchard fruit and corresponding spice notes. Marzipan and Linzer tart characteristics join continued bits of pear and apple on the above average finish. The purity of fruit from the first whiff to the last sip of this chardonnay is impressive to say the least.
Presqu’ile Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2013 ($42)
Three clones of pinot noir (115, 777, 667) were used for this wine. All of the fruit (100 percent pinot) came from the estate vineyard. Aging took place over 18 months in French oak of which 55 percent was new oak. Wild strawberry and rip red cherry aromas leap from the nose. Cranberry, pomegranate and bits of bay leaf are evident on the deep palate. Bits of roasted beet, cinnamon and clove emerge on the impressive finish. This is a gorgeous example of pinot noir that will demand you return to the glass for one sip after another.
Presqu’ile Steiner Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 ($48)
All of the fruit for this pinot noir came from the namesake vineyard in San Luis Obispo. This site is planted to four clones, 667, 777, 115 and Pommard. Aging took place over 18 months in French oak (55 percent new). Bing cherry aromas and wisps of sage are present on the nose here. Raspberry flavors, minerals a touch of tobacco dot the generous palate. Chicory and continued mineral elements present on the persistent and engaging finish. This is a singular and extremely delicious expression of pinot noir.
Presqu’ile Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 ($60)
This pinot was produced from clones from the estate vineyard. Aging took place over 18 months in French oak; 60 percent of the barrels were new. Black cherry, bits of forest floor and a touch of leather are all present in beautiful aromatics of this pinot. The palate is deep and dense with black fruits leading the charge and wisps of red fruit interspersed throughout. Black tea, earth and dried black cherry elements are all present on the finish. Bigger, darker fruit flavors present here than the other pinots, setting it apart a little. That said it still retains the grace, texture, and distinctive mouth-feel that connects these wines.