We were pleased to have the opportunity recently to taste some of the new releases of Ventana Vineyards with one of its owners, Randy Pura, Ventana is among the wineries we visited a couple of years ago when preparing Report # 29 The Wines of Monterey County. Ventana consists of 300 acres of vineyards located in the Arroyo Seco AVA, which offers cool climate growing conditions for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and other varieties produced by this winery.
The Ventana team includes Steve McIntrye one of Monterey County’s finest winegrowers, who is also a partner, and Sabrine Rodems, the talented winemaker at Wrath. Sabrine divides her time between Wrath and Ventana Vineyards and is supported by former Bernardus wine maker, Mark Chesebro. Ventana’s wines are all well-made and very affordable. National Distributor: San Francisco Wine Exchange.
Ventana 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Arroyo Seco ($14) 88 This Sauvignon Blanc offers aromas of tangerine citrus and white peach. Steel fermented, it is ripe and creamy on the palate with stone fruit flavors, hints of minerality and a crisp finish.
Ventana 2012 Chardonnay Arroyo Seco ($15) 89 The Chardonnay is rich tasting and creamy on the palate, revealing ripe mango and pineapple fruit with a note of butterscotch. Fermented in stainless steel and oak, and aged for 10 months, it displays good balance and freshness.
Ventana 2011 Pinot Noir Arroyo Seco ($20) 90 This is a flavorful Pinot Noir that displays ripe raspberry and cherry cola flavors with a touch of toasted oak. Aged for 10 months in barrel, it has good balance, acidity and freshness on the finish.
Ventana 2010 Rubystone Arroyo Seco ($16) 90+ This blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah was our favorite of the tasting. It is a delicious wine with ripe red berry Grenache aromas and black cherry, black pepper and spice on the palate. Aged for 16 months in French and American oak, it is nicely balanced and integrated with lots of toasted fruit flavors on the finish.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler