More and more I find myself searching for whites other than Chardonnay. Maybe it’s been too many years of focusing on this varietal, I don’t know, but it’s a sweet moment to find one that becomes a ‘well, well, look-what-I’ve-found moment, as I did with the 2011 Castoro Cellars Estate Grown Chardonnay – affordable, vibrant, well-balanced and one that I have stocked up on. Pear and pineapple are prominent on the palate, the fruit is crisp with an interesting spicy finish, a lovely Chardonnay, rich but no cloyingly, not overly oaked, fresh yet graceful. This a perfect wine for deck-time, cheese and breads, and for most dishes with the white sauces we all love, pasta, seafood and chicken. My price here in Tulsa without the advantage of a volume discount is about $13.00. I’m hoping to find the Zinfandel Zinfusion Reserve 2011 next. See a winery video below.
The grapes for the 2011 Chardonnay were mostly sourced from the Templeton Gap Whale Rock Vineyard, organically-farmed and certified. The winery is out of the 2011 Chardonnay but I still see it available on the InterWebs so bet you can find it. You’ll be glad you did. Alcohol: 13% Take a 360 degree tour here. See video of some of the tasting parties and evening concerts here.
Located on the West Side of the Paso Robles appellation, in the “Templeton Gap”, the Whale Rock Vineyard is a true gem. The vineyard is 100% CCOF Certified organically grown and consists of over 125 acres of grapes. Varietals grown in the vineyard include Zinfandel, Primitivo, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Charbono, Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Carignane and Grenache. The vineyard’s name is a reference to the thousands of petrified Whale Bones scattered throughout the property. A beautiful reminder of ancient times past.
Due to the climate of the Templeton Gap, the grapes experience warm days followed by cool nights and mornings that are heavily influenced by the nearby coastal mountain range. Temperature shifts over 50 degress and above are very common, giving the grapes the stress they need to thrive. The soil in the Whale Rock Vineyard is high in limestone, broken sedimentary rock and water transported gravels.
Niels and Bimmer Udsen started the winery in 1983 after Niels had worked for 5 years under the tutelage of Tom Myers at Estrella River Winery. Castoro is the Italian name for Beaver, the nickname for Niels, thus the motto “Dam Fine Wine.” When you visit the winery, your children will be treated to alcohol-free Zinfandel Grape Juice. Grown-ups love it too.
Castoro wines enjoy abiding in the Paso Robles AVA of San Luis Obispo County.
The winery’s motto is Dam Fine Wine. The phone number is 1-800-DAM-FINE. Gotta love that. Harvest is underway at this moment and an annual Labor Day weekend event known as Beaverstock has just concluded. Fun-loving, fine-wine-making wineries like Castoro Cellars is why I would love to live in California. If you live in the area or are visiting, take a look at their event calendar here. Located at 1315 North Bethel Road, Templeton, California 93465.
As always, I am not paid to write my reviews, I do not receive wine samples and I always do a thorough tasting, never just a sip or two.