"Now wines are wonders; great wines are magical; and winemakers are mad. Like horse fanciers, they are always trying to improve the breed." - William E. Massee
We are constantly trying to improve what we do here at the Wine Bar, and we have some great new menu items for the private dining on the cave on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. This week we have all three nights available in the wine cave. Contact Toni@winewatch.com to check out this week’s menu options for a private dining experience at Wine Watch.
We will take up to 15 people but will accept as few as 6 for a curated dinner by Chef Toni. We must know in advance what food items you want so you will have to coordinate the menu with Toni ahead of time but she can put together any of your favorites from past Wine Bar menus or whatever you want if she has enough notice. The best thing about this table is the view of the wine, we have the largest selection of vintage wine in South Florida and everything is available at a retail price!! You may want to bring a sweater it is 64 degrees in the wine cave.
Our summer Happy Hours continue Thursday nights with three great producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for our “Terroir Tour” with good friend Florent Blanchet from XXI Wines and Spirits in two weeks on Thursday, August 25th. In addition to the nine wines that we have below we will also be serving a few older vintages from each of these wineries that we have in our stash.
The fee for this tasting is $95 + tax and we only have 25 spaces available for this event. For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAPPY HOUR WINE TASTING FEATURING DIFFERENT TERROIRS OF CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NOIR FROM CALIFORNIA AND OREGON WITH WAYFARER VINEYARDS, BETHEL HEIGHTS WINERY AND FOXEN WINERY
Thursday, August 25, 2022 - 6:00 PM
2020 WAYFARER ROSE WF2 FORT ROSS SEAVIEW
Price: $30.00 Sale $26.40
A medley of watermelon, white peach and orange zest aromas unfold in the glass, along with notes of kumquat and Asian pear. Tangerine and lemon come together for an intensely juicy entry, while a touch of richness satiates the palate.
2019 WAYFARER CHARDONNAY WAYFARER VINEYARD FORT ROSS SEAVIEW SONOMA
Price: $97.50 Your Price: $85.80
A beautiful bouquet with that briny mineral quality with notes of lightly toasted oak spice lemon curd and white flowers with a big creamy texture on the tongue a long layered finish echoing the nuance from the nose lengthening the finish, lots of minerality and chalky mineral notes. Finish 45+ Most Excellent +
2020 WAYFARER PINOT NOIR WF2 FORT ROSS SEA VIEW
List Price: $51.00 Sale $44.88
The 2020 vintage opens with aromas of vibrant dark fruit, blueberry and blackberry compote, subtle forest floor and savory earth. Delicious pomegranate enters the palate, at once refreshing, dense and powerful. Rich notes of dark chocolate round out the finish. Enjoy as the wine continues to open in the glass.
2018 WAYFARER PINOT NOIR WAYFARER VINEYARD FORT ROSS SEAVIEW SONOMA
Price: $100.50 Your Price: $88.44
(98+ Points) "The 2018 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard has a medium ruby color and slowly opening perfume of garrigue, dried orange peel, prosciutto and rose petals with mineral-laced cranberry and red and black berry fruits. The medium-bodied palate, grainy and incredibly fresh, slowly gains in flavor amplitude and nuance in the mouth, ending in a fanfare of spicy detail." Wine Advocate
2016 BETHEL HEIGHTS CHARDONNAY CASTEEL WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Price: $78.00 Your Price: $68.64
(95 Points) The 2016 Chardonnay Casteel opens with intense mineral notions on the nose, aromas of pulverized stone and petrichor over lemon meringue, Red Delicious apples, hazelnuts, honey toast and clotted cream. Medium-bodied with a light creamy texture, it has beautiful white flowers in the mouth with honey nut and apple pie nuances and a streak of crushed rock running with the very bright acidity, finishing very, very long and honeyed. WINE ADVOCATE
2019 BETHEL HEIGHTS JUSTICE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR EOLA AMITY HILLS
Price: $60.00 Your Price: $52.80 Quantity in Stock: 24
(96 points) Outer quote mark The 2019 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard comes from mostly Dijon clone vines planted in 1999. It has lovely scents of blood orange, blueberries, tea leaves and cinnamon. The palate offers finely detailed flavors and an abundance of silty tannins, finishing with fantastic length and layers. (EB) Inner quote mark (12/2021) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2018 FOXEN VINEYARD & WINERY CHARDONNAY BLOCK UU BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD SANTA MARIA VALLEY
Price: $37.50 Your Price: $33.00
(93 Points) The 2018 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU sports a light gold color as well as a pure, crystalline bouquet of honeyed apple, pineapple, citrus blossom, spice, and white flower. It has a kiss of background oak, but it's beautifully integrated, and the fruit is front and center. With good acidity, a balanced, layered texture, and a great finish, it’s already drinking nicely yet should keep for 7-8 years, if you're so inclined. Jeb Dunnuck
2017 FOXEN PINOT NOIR BLOCK 8 BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD SANTA MARIA VALLEY
Price: $75.00 Your Price: $66.00
(94 Points) The 2017 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Block 8 saw the same upbringing but comes from a larger block. Its slightly lighter ruby/plum color gives way to a more savory, medium to full-bodied effort that offers classic notes of dried cherries, forest floor, and earthy, loamy soil notes. It too is beautifully balanced and layered, and it a terrific wine. Drink it anytime over the coming decade. Jeb Dunnuck
2019 FOXEN PINOT NOIR JULIA'S VINEYARD SANTA MARIA VALLEY
Price: $75.00 Your Price: $66.00
(95 Points) The 2019 Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard is more elegant and finesse-driven, with a beautiful perfume of framboise, wild strawberries, violets, and sappy flowers. All about red fruits and flowers, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a seamless, flawlessly balanced mouthfeel, good acidity, and just a hint of classic Santa Maria salinity on the finish. Aged 16 months in 21% new French oak, this brilliant Pinot Noir is up with the crème de la crème in the vintage. Jeb Dunnuck
Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie
King Salmon Sliders with Lemon Dill Lavender Aioli
Wild Mushroom Flatbread with Savory Herbs and Smoked Tomato
Duck Confit Tacos with Cherry BBQ and fresh Mint
The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $95 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail email@example.com.
A bit about the Three Wineries that we are featuring tonight:
They have been on a constant path of improvement at Wayfarer Winery and when Jayson Pahlmeyer started out in 1986, he had no winery and no vineyards but was determined to make one of California’s best wines and one that would stand up to the best of those made in Burgundy France and the rest of the world.
I was happy to accept the Pahlmeyer family’s invitation to visit the Wayfarer Vineyard in August of 2013 and it worked out perfectly for me as I was already out on the west coast for the Washington State Wine Auction. It was great to visit the Fort Ross Seaview appellation with one of the state’s best ocean side resorts Tamber Cove. This place was a throwback in time, one of the most unique establishments that I have ever visited and the only place to have a group stay that is coming out to visit the vineyards here on the true Sonoma Coast.
The story of the Wayfarer Vineyards begins with Helen Turley as winemaker for Pahlmeyer in the early day she found this property for Jayson. It was an organic farm one of the most northern vineyard m the Fort Ross Ava. They are in a warm spot in a cold area. David Abreu planted the vineyard in 2002 and they are two ridge lines in from the ocean so to say the least extreme growing conditions. In 2011 the Fort Ross AVA was approved all of which is above 900 foot elevation and is right on the ocean.
The vineyard here is planted with a very tight density 6 x 3 as opposed to 8 x 10. More concentrated fruit is the result. It is 30 acres broken down to 30 blocks of 1 acre each. They are on 3 main ridges they used three different root stocks because of the different flavor profiles because of the temperatures in the vineyards. They have several different clones on the property and these are the first releases from this exciting new label from this extreme growing region.
A bit more about the Pahlmeyer family and the Wayfarer Vineyard:
In 1972, while finishing law school, Jayson Pahlmeyer was at the starting gate of his grapes-to-wine quest. He and John Caldwell, a good friend and fellow wine explorer, had developed a penchant and a deep admiration for the Bordeaux style of grape growing and winemaking. Their shared wine palate and nose led them on investigative trips to the famous French vineyards where they acquired cuttings from the five classic Bordeaux varietals. Back in California with their Bordeaux cuttings, they began their grand experiment.
The Caldwell family owned a 55-acre parcel off the beaten path in the Coombsville area. Despite being out of the accepted loop for what was considered "Wine Country," Jayson and John decided to perform the trans-Atlantic transplanting here that would produce Jayson's dream "California Mouton." The area's wine experts grimaced at their plan. Even at a mere 500-foot elevation, a good portion of the acreage was vertical, presenting massive rock-clearing problems due to the extreme pitch of the land. The boulder-like size and density of the rock pieces were formidable obstacles. Also, there were stout 300-year-old oak trees blocking important sunlight. But Pahlmeyer and Caldwell would not let pessimism rule.
In stepped Jack Caldwell, John's father, helping them refurbish a junked mining rig salvaged from Montana. With additional shovel-help from a crew of eight men, they planted around the long-standing oaks and lava rocks, sacrificing a considerable amount of usable acreage to preserve the natural environment.
Jayson now recounts, "It took us six years to get our first commercial harvest. In 1981, '82 and '83 if you had come out to the vineyard, you would have said it looks like these guys really screwed up. The vines just sat there doing nothing." The immigrant vines were unaccustomed to the soil and the standard three year maturation period extended to six long years. But Jayson and John's patience-some called it delusion-paid off.
A vineyard neighbor, friend, and guru of Napa Valley winemaking, Randy Dunn, was so impressed with the fruit's intensity and complexity that he offered to purchase every bit of the 1986 crop.
Randy's entry into the Pahlmeyer saga was extremely timely because now that the vines were finally ready, Jayson would need the expertise of a bonafide winemaker to bring the experiment to the ultimate test: the tasting.
Helen Turley was offered the reins as winemaker when Randy moved on to concentrate on personal projects. At Pahlmeyer, Helen immediately began her steady rise to world-renown prominence for the vineyard and winemaking magic she performed. A pioneer in the industry, she constantly pushed the envelope in winegrowing and winemaking with cutting-edge and risky techniques. She also became instrumental in opening doors to women in the wine industry, an insular world known for its fierce attachment to tradition.
Helen continually sought out better fruit sources for Pahlmeyer. As the new millennium emerged Pahlmeyer sourced fruit from low-yield sites in Spring Mountain, Wooden Valley, Atlas Peak and Coombsville. In order to push their quality to new levels Jayson knew that he would have to have complete control over what was happening in the vineyards. The only way to do this was to plant estate vineyards, leading to the development of Pahlmeyer's Waters Ranch and Wayfarer Farm.
The Waters were pioneers in Napa Valley, establishing their Ranch in the early 20th Century. Their original home built in 1908 is still standing. Childless, in the 1950's they turned their spread into a camp for Girl Scouts. In 1996, the Waters' ranch came to Jayson's attention. At 1,500 to 2,100 feet above sea level, the property was ideally situated for raising Bordeaux-style grapes. Today, the vineyard supports just over 70 acres of vines planted over the saddleback of the mountain by the vineyard developer extraordinaire David Abreu. Each block of the vineyard is unique, offering the different growing conditions needed for Chardonnay and each of the five Bordeaux varietals that go into the Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec. Jayson, as before, set out to plant this vineyard with land preservation and conservation in mind, donating 57 acres of the property to the Land Trust of Napa Valley. The Pahlmeyer brand was sold to Gallo in 2019 but they still Waters Ranch in Napa Valley.
The story of the Pahlmeyer’s Sonoma Coast property, Wayfarer Farm, begins with David and Dorothy Davis, an archetypical 1970's California couple. They supported their chosen simplistic lifestyle by selling the Farm's small fruit and vegetable crops to local upscale restaurants like Chez Panisse and Zuni. By the late 1990's they were ready to retire to Oklahoma. Helen Turley and her husband John had already established their nearby Marcassin Vineyard, which has become the iconic vineyard of the region. As consultants to Pahlmeyer at that time, they introduced Jayson to the Davis's. Pahlmeyer purchased Wayfarer Farm in 1997 and enlisted David Abreu to develop the property.
The bulk of Abreu's previous work in vineyard design had been exclusive to the Napa Valley. Wayfarer Farm was the first vineyard he developed on the Sonoma Coast. His meticulous eye and penchant for perfectionism produced another state-of-the-art vineyard for Pahlmeyer.
Wayfarer Farm would be the proving ground for one of the first "true" Sonoma Coast wines. The locale boasts an extremely rare combination of climate and geography. The Pacific Ocean's cold water currents mix with the land's warm air to produce a night fog ideal for growing Burgundian varietals. Today, this amazing appellation is the prime viticultural source for Chardonnay and Pinot noir and has been referred to by Jayson as California's Cote d'Or.
With the next generation of Pahlmeyer’s taking over Cleo Pahlmeyer and winemaker Todd Kohn are now focused on one thing- making the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this incredible vineyard site on the true Sonoma Coast
Inheriting her father’s vision and verve, Cleo Pahlmeyer is the new generation of Wayfarer.
Raised in Napa, her education took her east where she received a BA in Art History from the University of Virginia, and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Connoisseurship of Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.
Returning to the family winery after working in the international art world, Cleo has worked closely with her father since 2008 to learn every aspect of the family business. Cleo began as a sales assistant, answering the phone and entering orders, and went on to manage direct to consumer sales and marketing, then public relations. In 2017, she was appointed President.
When it came time to realize Wayfarer’s estate label, it was obvious who would bring the energy and expertise needed. "The great wines of the world do not come from a blend of various sites; they hail from individual vineyards, specific vineyard blocks," Cleo says. "Wayfarer is no exception, and it has been the opportunity of a lifetime to bring these wines to life."
A mother of three, the vineyard is now beloved by her children too, not to mention her husband, Jamie Watson, who pours his own passion for wine into Wayfarer. “I must be my father’s daughter,” Cleo explains, “because like him, I have naturally gravitated to Pinot Noir. Wayfarer is a very special place for me personally. It has a soul that can only be felt by breathing in its air, walking on its soil, feeling its warmth."
Wayfarer Winemaker Todd Kohn has deep roots in Northern California. He grew up in the town of Redding, just three hours north of Sonoma. Graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Viticulture and Enology, Todd always enjoyed science, and had a strong desire to work with his hands. During his first harvest internship—at the California sparkling wine house, Schramsberg—he fell in love with wine, and the dedicated work of harvest.
Additional internships, focused in the vineyard, lab and cellar, helped develop Todd’s thorough knowledge of winegrowing and winemaking. Experience at several premiere Napa Valley wine producers, including Opus One, soon led to an opportunity in Australia, at Moorooduc Estate. Working in the Mornington Peninsula region of Australia gave Todd invaluable insight into growing and crafting world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—great preparation for his role at Wayfarer.
Todd joined Wayfarer in the beginning of 2013 as Assistant to the Winemaker. Over the next 5 years, he worked hand in hand with the Consulting Winemaker to define Wayfarer’s vineyard practices and winemaking techniques, before taking the helm as Winemaker in December of 2017.
A bit about Bethel Heights Winery:
United by their interest in wine, in 1977 Ted Casteel, Pat Dudley, Terry Casteel, and Marilyn Webb abandoned the academic life and, together with Pat’s sister Barbara Dudley, bought 75 promising-looking acres northwest of Salem, with 14 acres of newly planted cuttings in the ground. They moved to the vineyard in 1978 (except Barbara, who was in California working as a lawyer for farmworkers with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board) and started a new life. In 1979 they cleared and planted 36 more acres. In 1981 they harvested their first crop and started home winemaking in Terry’s basement. In 1984 Bethel Heights produced their first commercial vintage of 3000 cases: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer, all Estate Grown.
For the first thirty years Ted was responsible for managing the vineyards and Terry made the wine. Pat and Marilyn shared responsibilities for marketing and business management. Over thirty years they grew their wine production to 10,000 cases, and made common cause with our fellow pioneers to establish the Willamette Valley as the home of New World Pinot Noir.
Meanwhile, five cousins grew up knowing the tidy rows and wild hidden places of Bethel Heights as their backyard playground, science lab and adventure park. Now they have taken their places as co-owners, co-workers, and stewards of this place.
In 2005 Ben Casteel (son of Terry and Marilyn) took over from his father as Winemaker at Bethel Heights. In 2007 Jon Casteel (second son of Terry and Marilyn) launched Casteel Custom Bottling, a mobile bottling company that serves wineries throughout Oregon, including Bethel Heights of course. Mimi Casteel (daughter of Ted and Pat) worked with the family at Bethel Heights until 2017 when she started farming her own vineyard at Hope Well and launched her Hope Well Wine project. Jessie Casteel grew up among the vines at Bethel Heights, but now lives in Chicago. Jessie brings a creative outlier perspective to the direction of the family business and serves as our ambassador in Chicago and points east.
So where did the name Bethel Heights came from? They found the answer in a small booklet written in 1941 by John E. Smith called Bethel, Polk County, Oregon. According to Smith, “One of the earliest settlers in this vicinity was Rev. Glen O. Burnett who came to Oregon in 1846 and built his house half a mile or so north of the present location of Bethel School. To the heights eastward, he gave the name ‘Bethel Hills’, Bethel being the name of the church in Missouri that he had recently served as pastor.”
The property now known as Bethel Heights Vineyard was originally platted in 1909 and recorded under the name Bethel Heights Walnut Groves. A number of the original walnut trees and their children still flourish around the edges of the vineyard.
Since 1984, both the Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay have been the most transparent statement of Bethel Heights terroir that they produce, the sum of all its parts. Old vine storytelling delivered with tension and energy – these wines are the foundation of this producer and a statement to the terroir of their vineyards.
A bit about Foxen Winery:
Bill Wathen and Dick Doré (also known as the “Foxen Boys”) have been making wine together since 1985, when they founded Foxen Winery & Vineyard at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in northern Santa Barbara County. Since that time, their dedication has remained the same—the creation of very small production, sustainably-farmed, vineyard-focused wines using a "minimalist" approach to winemaking.
Life has come full circle for Dick Doré. Born and raised on the family-owned Rancho Tinaquaic, this sixth generation Santa Barbara County resident returned to his roots in 1985 where he established FOXEN Vineyard & Winery with Bill Wathen.
After working as a banker in the late sixties and seventies, this University of California at Santa Barbara graduate gave up his nine-to-five job and moved his family to Europe. Over the next year and a half, Dick traveled the back roads of France, Italy and Spain, where he developed his love of wine. Dick returned to the Rancho Tinaquaic in the late seventies, just as the Santa Barbara County wine industry was emerging. With his passion for great wines firmly established, he initially worked to support his family, which included working for the Tepusquet Mesa Vineyard. It was here that Dick and Bill’s paths crossed and a life-long friendship and partnership was established.
Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Bill Wathen is a true Central Coast native. He chose to attend Cal Poly University where he graduated in 1975 with a degree in Fruit Science, specializing in vineyard management. After graduation, Bill’s first job was to work for two Santa Barbara County viticultural pioneers -- Dale Hampton and Louie Lucas, at the Tepusquet Mesa Vineyard (now owned by Cambria Estate) and the Nielsen Vineyard (currently owned by Byron Vineyard.)
In 1978, Bill went north to become vineyard manager at Chalone Vineyard, where he was mentored by California wine pioneer and Chalone founder, Dick Graff. It was here that Bill learned traditional French winemaking techniques and appreciation for great Burgundies. Graff’s influence inspires Bill’s winemaking philosophy to this day. Bill’s approach to winemaking is straightforward as he explains, “It goes back to my roots as a viticulturist. I make every effort to make the perfect wine in the vineyard. Maximized viticulture equals minimalist winemaking.”
Returning to Santa Barbara County in the early eighties, Bill joined long-time friend, Dick Doré, and began making plans to make wine together.
The winery was named in memory of William Benjamin Foxen, an English sea captain and Dick's great-great grandfather, who came to Santa Barbara in the early 1800's. In 1837, this Santa Barbara County pioneer purchased the Rancho Tinaquaic, a Mexican Land Grant that originally totaled nearly 9000 acres and comprised most of what is now known as Foxen Canyon. Captain Foxen adopted the distinctive "anchor" as his ranch cattle brand, which has become a trademark of the winery. It is very fitting that FOXEN has made its home on the 2000-acre Rancho Tinaquaic, which remains in family hands.
With the completion of FOXEN’s new solar-powered winery and tasting room in 2009, the historic and beloved “tasting shack was renamed “Foxen 7200”, where Bill and Dick now feature their Bordeaux and Cal-Ital-style wines, under a newly designed label. FOXEN Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rhône-style wines are showcased in the new solar-powered tasting room at 7600 Foxen Canyon Road.