August 21st, 2008 15:39 EST
Visit Midnight Cellars and Winery on your next stop to Paso Robles
On my way to Cambria for the afternoon I stopped at Midnight Cellars Winery and Vineyard. I just love the drive on the 46 west to the coast, it has such a nice view of the ocean and the oak trees are just exceptionally gorgeous! A word to the wise: On a day in July you can experience a 30 degree temperature drop once you get to the coast, so bring a jacket.
Midnight Cellars is on Anderson Road, I mention the street here because it is nestled behind Dark Star and Grey Wolf Wineries. It is easy to miss unless you are looking for it. Their tasting room and facility is painted blue which goes well with their midnight theme. At the Tasting room I was greeted by Karen Jones. As we regularly feature their wines in our Coastal Vineyards Wine Club, I am familiar with their wines and have tasted them all. So Karen took the time to tell me about The Hartenbeger family who founded the winery just 10 years ago in 1995. One thing that I found interesting about Midnight Cellars is they produce more than 70 percent of their own fruit making much of the wines estate grown.
Karen poured several wines for me, I will tell you about two of them. I tasted the 2006 Chardonnay Estate Reserve, of which they only produced 175 cases. This is a full-bodied Chardonnay. It has aromas of apples and vanilla. It definitely leaves a fruity taste in your mouth with flavors such as apple, pear and honey. If you are a fan of Chardonnays you will love the long finish and the buttery oaky taste.
I also tasted the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon "Nebula.` This wine is a very dark ruby color. Upon smelling the wine you definitely sense the dark cherry and plum accented with oak and spice. The taste is full-bodied in the mouth with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry joined together with a dash of spice. The finish is long and you taste the berries, oak and spiciness. In my earlier conversation with Karen I told her that I enjoy barebequing and do it 3 to 4 times a week. She made me promise that my next rib eye would be paired with this wine. I will be doing that in the next few days. What an amazing wine and only 1,600 cases are currently being produced.
Midnight Cellars is truly a boutique vineyard and winery. They are best described as an artisan producer of Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay wines. They currently produce about 8,000 cases of wine each year. On a side note, for our many New York wine club members you will be happy to know that their wine can be found at a dozen restaurants including the Taste Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Use coupon code (sop) to get a 10% discount at www.cvwine.com
Rocco owns and runs a Bacon of the Month Club called The Bacon Freak Bacon is Meat Candy Club as well as a Wine Club called the Coastal Vineyard Wine Club