Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Imagery Estate Winery

Wine and art at Imagery Estate Winery.

Ready for something different? Our friend Greg from Benziger Family Winery invited us to a tasting at their sister winery, Imagery Estate Winery. Imagery is a nice twist on the marriage of art and wine. Dedicated to limited-production, rare wines from uncommon varietials and vineyards of exceptional character, a trip to Imagery will give you a chance to sample the uncommon wines, pinot gris, barbera, tempranillo, mourverde just to name a few.

When you walk into the tasting room, you know you’re in for something different. A stroll by the gift shop will bring you to a large tasting bar where you will be warmly greeted and invited for a tasting. Greg, our friend from Benziger was working at Imagery. He presented us with an opportunity to taste five wines for $10.00. This is not something to shy away from. These wines are crafted in small lots of 200 to 600 cases each. The retail price on these wines range from $26 to $45 with the 2004 Pallas Estate (a Bordeaux blend) priced at $70.

Greg talked to us about the grape varietials that we were not familiar with and poured our choice. We were encouraged to look over the art collection and enjoy our wines. We decided to just kick back and enjoy without taking tasting notes.

The wines I sampled were:
2006 Moscato di Canelli. A white floral and fruity Moscato with flavors of apple and lime. Mildly sweet and medium bodied. This is a favorite in the hot Tuscan summer.

2004 Tempranillo, which is the Spanish grape. A nice rich, lush, dark fruit with a hint of mineral. I’ve had two tempranillo wines before. One I loved, one I called in the stunt palate. This wine was excellent!

2004 Barbera. Known for its acidity and soft tannins, smooth flavors of raspberry and cranberry with some dark cocoa. I wanted to give this Italian grape another try because of the success I had at Bonny Doon. This gave me a chance to see what a 100% Barbera is like. Not disappointing. A great change from Cabs, zins and merlots.

2004 Petite Sirah, a 500 case production. Greg informed me that the vineyard is located in Paso Robles. Another wonderful wine.

2003 Ash Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Cedar, leather to cassis, blackberry. Great for now or eight years from now.

Put this winery on your short list, when you need a change. The art, the wine, the great values. We walked out with a bottle of the Double Gold Winner, 2003 Sunny Slope Cabernet Sauvignon. Be assured, when we pop this bad boy open, I’ll take better tasting notes!