grenache

Revisiting Wine Tasting - Shokrian Vineyard & Winery

At Revisit Wine Co., part of our mission is to share wine-related experiences with you as we explore wine country. We’re even going to attempt some video! Stay tuned!

About a year ago, we were driving around and saw a small sign on Cat Canyon Road (a very isolated road near Los Alamos) which said, “Shokrian” and looked to be a vineyard. We made a note to check it out later. We discovered that part of it used to be Melville’s “Verna’s” vineyard, an excellent Syrah we enjoyed as members of Melville’s wine club. We also found that there were some renown area winemakers involved with the project, including Drake Whitcraft (Whitcraft Wines, Santa Barbara) and Morgan Clendenen (Cold Heaven Wine).

On a beautiful January day, we decided to venture back out to explore Shokrian. The gate was closed and the sign said, “Appointment Only.” Not to be deterred, we called the number to see if we could stop by. After some effort, we were able to get in touch with Babak Shokrian, the owner, who happened to be there with his estate winemaker, Alice, and his beautiful dog, Cocoa. The tasting room is tiny, funky, and cool - The property is spectacular. Babak has been working on the project since 2013. We tasted a number of wines, including Viognier (Clendenen’s specialty), a young, dry Rose’ of Grenache, Pinot Noir, a Syrah, and a GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre) blend. While tasting, we had a wonderful chat with Babak and Alice about the vineyard and the wines. Babak has a house on the property with a few goats, sheep, and chickens (and maybe 1 cow) that we saw grazing from a distance. We explained our project and agreed it would be a perfect winery to feature in one of our shipments.

We enjoyed every wine, and walked away with a Pinot Noir and a Syrah. The Pinot is described by Matt Kettman of Wine Enthusiast (92 pts) as “lush and think with boysenberry paste, clove, star anise, and vanilla” – yes, it is one of those fuller-body richer Pinots that are sometimes found in this area.

The 2015 Syrah was somewhat known to us as Melville Verna’s which we always enjoyed. It is described by Clendenen as having velvety tannins with hints of blueberry, pepper, tobacco, spiced meat, and plum. We definitely tasted the complexity of the wine, but it was also very smooth.

What most impressed us was the feeling of ease about the entire place. From the welcoming of the team for an unplanned tasting visit, to the casual talk about our mutual love of the area and of future collaboration, we thoroughly enjoyed the visit and look forward to featuring these wines in our Club shipment and in our soon-to-launch online store!

Thanksgiving Wine Suggestions

Fall Wine Club Shipment

Fall Wine Club Shipment

As we approach the holiday season, many of you may be thinking about what you’ll serve for your special holiday meals, so I wanted to provide you with some suggestions to help you on the wine-pairing side. One of the fun things about wine is that everyone’s palate is different. But that also makes it more challenging as a host! So I recommend having a couple different options available. Let’s focus on Thanksgiving, and I’ll follow up with some December holiday recommendations.

You typically can’t go wrong starting with a sparkling wine or Champagne. Handing a guest a glass of bubbly gets the celebration off to a great start! For your meal, for the white wine, I recommend a fuller-bodied wine – a Chardonnay. Why? Because that is the white wine that will stand up to some of the richer flavors of a Thanksgiving meal. Or you can even continue into the meal with your sparkling wine. The bubbles and acidity balance out the rich flavors of the meal without overpowering them.

On the red side, the best choice is on the lighter side because turkey is a light meat. One of the common pairing recommendations is a Nouveau (young) Beaujolais – a bright, fruity option. However, I prefer something which balances the fruit with a bit more interest and substance. I think the perfect choice is a Pinot Noir with some nice earthiness which should blend well with savory sides like stuffing, and turkey gravy. Some people don’t realize that there is a broad spectrum of Pinot Noirs, from light to full-bodied. If you’re not a Pinot Noir fan, you could also do a Grenache, which is a lighter Rhone varietal, but it’s harder to find a good one. For those who prefer a full-bodied red, I recommend a Rhone blend, like a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre). Again, a bit more difficult to find a good one. A straight Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon would overpower the turkey, but the blend with Grenache softens it. The gold standard in Rhone blends is a Chateauneuf du Pape from the French Rhone region, but there are also some excellent options from the Santa Barbara or Paso Robles area. Whatever wine you choose, it will bring that special touch to your meal which melds all of the wonderful flavors and personalities of the holiday!

The Revisit Wine Club Fall Package contains 3 wines perfect for your Thanksgiving feast. Scroll down to see our blog below, or www.revisitwineco.com to learn more about our wine club!