On the basement level of the historic Santa Maria Inn you will find their wine cellar. Even though we went on a Friday night, this place was absolutely dead (which worked out well for us because we got great service!). We had the privilege of sitting in their cute 'cellar room' with pretty murals on the wall. Luckily for us they were offering a variety of cheese and crackers to go with their tasting! If you actually stay at the Inn they offer you a free tasting which consists of 4 wines of your choosing.
They also offer a variety of board games to play while you sip on your wine, which was a fun addition especially if you haven't played board games in awhile (like me).
Justin Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (2011), $25: "Beautifully balanced, with attractive aromas of black fruit and spice, this smooth, ready to drink Cabernet is made with the same care as the highest quality, traditionally-made Bordeaux wines."
- Color - very dark burgundy.
- Aroma - semi sweet, black cherry, bold.
- Taste -dry and lingering deep finish.
- Aroma - Nothing special but it was a smooth, easy drink (especially for a Cab. Sauv).
Tolosa Winery Pinot Noir (2009), $30: "Looking at its deep hue you think it will be big and brawny in the mouth, but just the opposite is true. The aromas are effusively fruity with blueberry dominant. Unusual for us is the lack of any herbal tones except a hint of dry hay. The mouth is full and soft while still being lively and dynamic enough to be a good companion at the table."
- Color - very dark.
- Aroma - very bold dark fruit.
- Taste - semi dry and earth forward with a subtle spiciness.
- Overall - Too dry and earthy for my taste; I like a little fruit in my Pinot.
Riverbench Vineyard Pinot Noir Estate (2009): "The Mesa fruit has always had a dramatic difference to it- bright red berries on the palate, with lush textures and a rolling, lingering finish. You can taste the land in this wine, earthy and mysterious, and it’ll only make you wish you had more."
- Color - very deep burgundy.
- Aroma - bright and fruity with raspberry and strawberry hints.
- Taste - slightly tart finish, fruit forward, with subtle pomegranate
- Overall - Very flavorful with a lingering tartness. Very tasty and fruity.
Foley Pinot Noir, Barrel Select (2010), $60: "Our 2010 Barrel Select Pinot Noir is undeniably California in style – ripe, juicy, expressive and exotic. The core aromatics are cocoa powder, espresso, sweet oak and milk chocolate."
- Color - deep burgundy.
- Aroma - semi sweet with a hint of blackberry.
- Taste - lively on the tongue, fruit forward, with plum and raspberry notes.
- Overall - Best on the list! Fruit forward with a somewhat tart yet smooth finish. I'd order again!