I love trying wines from tiny boutique wineries. I have found that some of my favorite Temecula wines come from small wineries, where the winemaker is also the owner. Boorman Vineyards is just such a winery. It is located in the La Cresta area, just northwest of Temecula’s wine country. I was fortunate to taste their wines on many occasions, but had never been to the winery itself. My husband Steve and I finally made an appointment to go, along with our friends, Michael and Kelly. Michael loves big reds, but is new to the area and is not familiar with Temecula wines. The drive up was gorgeous. We knew we were in the right place when we saw rows and rows of grapevines in front of a gracious home. Rosie Boorman was there to greet us and lead us into the small tasting area that was set up in one of the barrel rooms. Instead of a bar, a long table was set up with chairs, and cheese and crackers were laid out. Todd Boorman, the owner and winemaker came out and spoke with us. The first wine he poured was an ’07 Pinot Noir made with grapes grown in Fallbrook. It was nicely acidic, and lightly earthy. The cherry tones that you expect from a Pinot were still present. We then tried an ’07 Barbera. It had a big fruity aroma, softly wafting earth and a light mouth feel. The wine is low in tannins, but its high acid content keeps it from being flabby.
“It has been over-produced in the past, so it was made poorly,” he explained.
I tasted many of those poorly produced Merlots, enough to make me stop buying them, but the Boorman Merlot changed my mind. The first thing that hit me when I inhaled the bouquet was chocolate and cherry. The taste was assertive, and flavorful. This was no wimpy, overly fruity wine. It was exquisite.
Following the Merlot was a Petite Verdot. Petite Verdot is usually used as a blending wine because it has an extraordinarily dark color. With its firm tannins, and floral tones, I have long been a fan. Todd ages his Petite Verdot for 20 to 24 months in order to soften its strong flavors. The result is a wine so dark you can’t see light through it, with a hearty mouth feel, and complex flavor.
The ’07 Cabernet Franc was next. The Boorman Cabernet Franc has long been one of my favorite wines. I have heard wine connoisseurs complain that Cabernet Franc is too herbaceous. Todd told us of the care he takes to make sure all of his grapes are uniformly ripe before they are picked. This especially makes a difference in the Cabernet Franc. It is soft and round, but rich. It is delicious by itself, or paired with food.
The last wine we tasted was Metaphor, Boorman Vineyard’s own proprietary blend. It was smooth, smoky and peppery. Metaphor is labeled with an artist series of labels. The Boormans pick photographs from friends, family, or wine club members to go on the bottles. The current label is a gorgeous color manipulated picture of a Yosemite stream.
When we were done tasting, we all discussed our favorites. Kelly loved the Barbera and the Cabernet Franc. Michael liked the Cabernet Franc too, and the Merlot. Steve and I liked it all, but we bought a Barbera, a Merlot, and a Metaphor.
We never should have waited so long to go to Boorman Vineyards. It was just far enough away to not feel like the same old thing, but not too far, for us commuter weary Californians. Don’t make the same mistake we did. If you have not yet been to Boorman’s you should go.
Now through January 19th get Boorman’s Barbera for 15% off by mentioning Taste Of Temecula
Boormans Vineyard: boormanvineyards.com
You can find Boorman wines at Frankie’s Gourmet Italia, D’Canters, The Edge, Anthony’s, Temecula Creek Inn, Ravioli’s Gambling Cowboy, and more. You can also find it at Barron’s Marketplace and The Wine Company.
Story By Bethany Rogers