De Angelis Wines
2009 San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir
California: San Luis Obispo
What We Say
HIGH QPR ALERT:
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Mission Codename: The Pinot of the Angels
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to De Angelis Wines, a San Luis Obispo winery whose previously-featured Viognier was exceptionally popular with our Operatives. This time around, secure an allocation of their 2009 Pinot Noir, a high QPR beauty that drinks above its price-class.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: De Angelis Wines
Wine Subject: 2009 De Angelis Pinot Noir – San Luis Obispo
Winemaker: Jerry and Marsha De Angelis
Backgrounder: Earlier this year, we featured a superior San Luis Obispo Viongnier from De Angelis Wines. We loved the wine. So, too, did our Operatives who snapped up the wine in record numbers, making it our top-selling Viognier to date. For today’s wine, we sent Agent Red back to De Angelis to procure their much sought-after 2009 Pinot Noir, a wine that is very popular with the winery’s own wine club. Don’t miss out on this great wine.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest ruby red hues, with a slightly darker core. At the edges of the wine, a fine ring of light ruby encircles the glass. After swirling, slow-moving, wine-colored legs start high up on the glass wall.
Smell – Full, fragrant, spiced and sweet, with Bing cherry, wild strawberry, cranberry, spiced boysenberry and violets. As the wine breaths, it opens up nicely, to reveal subtle aromas of dried orange peel, cedar, subtle rhubarb and subtle spice.
Feel – Soft and round on entry. Then, the wine settles onto the mid-palate where fine-grained tannins and soft minerals introduce a gentle, gradually spreading dryness.
Taste – Black cherry, wild strawberry, dried orange peel and dark boysenberry take a lush and delicious lead. As the wine opens up, it reveals flavors of dried red flower petals, brown spice, black cherry, toasty oak and subtle dried earth.
Finish – Long and lush with dark red fruit yielding to the earthen flavors of flower petals, forest floor and dried orange peel. At the tail end, subtle flinty minerals and soft spice linger for a long time.
Conclusion – Today’s high QPR wine is delicious. This 2009 Pinot Noir – San Luis Obispo, from our friends at De Angelis Winery, is a dark, extracted, balanced beauty that delivers great, dark fruit with a rich, earthy quality. Decant for best results and you’ll be rewarded with more authentic fruit flavors. Pair this darkly delicious wine with a grilled pork tenderloin or grilled salmon. Either one, with a cherry reduction sauce. The combination is absolutely divine.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Jerry & Marsha. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 Pinot Noir – San Luis Obispo today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKERS: We are happy to be a featured wine in Wine Spies. We feel that this is a great opportunity for us, and for folks to access a handcrafted wine made in very small lots.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKERS: Like many winemakers, we started with a small personal winery and vineyard. As our knowledge grew, and our wines became more appreciated, we were asked to make wine at a number of wineries, and eventually to become the winemakers and general managers at a larger winery and Custom Crush facility in Paso Robles, CA.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
WINEMAKERS: We have had a number of great teachers and colleagues. Probably the most influential was Harold Osborn. Harold was, and is, an incredible resource, as well as a fine winemaker. During his many years in the field, he has made wine in California, and consulted to wineries in New Zealand and Australia.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
WINEMAKER: We make wine for wine drinkers! Also, for ourselves – De Angelis Wines – and for a number of clients. These clients are located in Northern and Southern California, and as far away as New York. We handcraft our wines paying great attention to detail, and to developing wines that are true to the variety. The wines we produce taste like they should taste and reflect the region, and the terroir of that region.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
WINEMAKER: This Pinot Noir was released in July of 2011. The fruit for this wine was sourced from both warm and cool weather vineyards, and the resultant wine is a 14.1% classic Pinot Noir, that exhibits a terrific mouthfeel, a long finish, and fruit both on the nose, and in the mouth. This was accomplished by carrying out two separate fermentations and using different yeasts in each. One yeast developed this wine’s intense foremouth volume and mid-palate tannin structure . The other yeast provided the jammy, cedar and spice overtones that are subtly tasted whenever one drinks this wine.
This wine was aged in both Hungarian and French oak barrels for 14 months, was allowed to develop slowly, and was bottled in mid-February, 2011. From the time this wine was in barrel, it was clear that this wine would be a great De Angelis Wines Pinot Noir as barrel tasting throughout aging was very successful. This Pinot Noir is as good as a Pinot Noir should be both now and in the future.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKER: Like many well-made Pinot Noirs, this wine goes very well with any meal made with mushrooms, lamb, steak or veal. We particularly enjoy it with boned and rolled stuffed rabbit. We have also paired it with well-seasoned poultry dishes, and a variety of both hard and soft cheeses.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Central Coast so special?
WINEMAKERS: That’s always a good question! Many folks do not think of the Central Coast as a Pinot area. They are wrong. The area around Paso Robles, especially the higher elevations grow excellent fruit. The long warm days, coupled to the cool nights most of the growing season are ideal for the style of Pinot Noir we make. The weather in the area allows us to extract all of the flavors that one expects from a Pinot. What we especially enjoy is the deep color we obtain in our Pinot Noirs. That is, in my opinion, is due to the area, and the weather coupled to the terrific farmers we have who grow amazing fruit for us to use..
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKERS: Actually, we are just finishing bottling our wines, and the wines of clients that we serve. We recently bottles our 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (250 cases) and our 2010 Pinot Noir (125 cases.). We are just beginning g the process of readying the winery for the 2012 harvest. Toward that end, we are checking equipment, supplies, materials, and the total tons of fruit we will convert into wines. Additionally, we are assisting clients obtain the fruit needed to make their wines. There is a lot to do at this time of year, as what we do now will greatly impact how well the harvest goes.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
WINEMAKER: We recommend that people approach our wines, and wines in general, with few, if any, preconceptions. There are thousands of labels in California, many of which are produced in small lots by dedicated winemakers. What makes winemaking so interesting is that there is no singular way to make a particular wine variety. That is there is room for many wines and wine styles.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
WINEMAKER: That’s about it! Thank you for the opportunity.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This Pinot Noir was released in July of 2011. The fruit for this wine was sourced from both warm and cool weather vineyards, and the resultant wine is a 14.1% classic Pinot Noir, that exhibits a terrific mouthfeel, a long finish, and fruit both on the nose, and in the mouth. This wine was aged in both Hungarian and French oak barrels for 14 months, was allowed to develop slowly, and was bottled in mid-February, 2011. From the time this wine was in barrel, it was clear that this wine would be a great De Angelis Wines Pinot Noir as barrel tasting throughout aging was very successful. While young by our standards, this Pinot Noir is as good as a Pinot Noir should be now!
A great Pinot made from warm and cool weather fruit.
About The Winery:
This adventure in winemaking began in 1999 . We planted a small vineyard in Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia Bianca on the Central Coast of California. Shortly after we planted, a neighbor planted a 30 acre vineyard, mostly in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. As we became more involved with our own winemaking, we tended to spend time in the neighbor’s vineyard. We began to share information, problems, and at least most of the time, solutions.
This part of the California is known for Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. A little farther north and inland, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown, and to the south Viognier, Roussanne and more Pinot Noir. Since 1999, the same area has increased production until it is now home to some incredibly large vineyards.
Wanting to learn more about the art and science of winemaking, we asked to work, gratis, at a nearby winery. We did that for two seasons, and made our own wines as well. The wines kept improving, and we kept learning.
In 2004, we were asked to become the winemakers for the neighbor mentioned above, and agreed to do so. Seemingly overnight our home winemaking hobby was a pretty full time job. This kept us busy as we made 4200 cases of wine that year.
In 2006 we were asked to help design a new winery, where wines would be made for a number of people as well for as ourselves. We accepted. During that year we not only made wines for others, but established De Angelis Wines. De Angelis Wines is a small production label, where each wine is crafted by hand. The fruit for our wines is sourced from our own small vineyard in San Luis Obispo County, as well as the Santa Barbara area, and the Sacramento Delta. The total production of our 2006 wines was 355 cases. Production in 2007 was 535 cases of our wines. We increased production in 2009 to 735 cases. In addition, we also managed to make approximately 12,000 cases for other folks at the winery. Our latest work in wine making was completing a 2011 harvest, followed by accepting invitations to design, and help build, two new wineries, and to be the winemakers and/or consulting winemakers at both. So in what area do we make all these great wines? That area is Paso Robles, CA.
This story is not terribly dissimilar to others who have gone from home to professional wine makers. We did this fairly quickly. One reason is that one of us has a doctorate in chemistry, so that part was easy. The other reason is that we are probably – when one combines our ages, either the oldest, or one of the oldest pair of winemakers on the planet – 136 years young. This experience is very important as we make wine, manage our vineyard, and manage the winery in general. Additionally, we still do quite a bit of the work ourselves. This is often to the chagrin of our young, impressionable, but terrific staff.