Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Full Service Tasting Room Manager!

We knew the day would come, he warned us many times, but our friend Rich is leaving wine country for Hermosa Beach and time with his wife and many creative/business opportunities!

With little time to prepare, Ron and I packed some of the Black Magic Chocolate Cake (look for the recipe in the coming weeks) I had made the night before and headed out to the Maloy O'Neill tasting room to see Rich on Monday.

As always, we were greeted with this winning smile!

After Rich poured us our first wine, a couple of guys came in for a tasting. They were Canadian.

When they left, Rich invited us out to the barrel room to "thief" wine! 

There he is, thief in hand, looking a bit impish (and maybe even excited about our unexpected visit?)!

We missed the last formal cellar club members barrel tasting in February, so this was a real treat.

From the first barrel, we tasted a 2007 "Primativo" which was delicioso

We have one bottle of Shannon's 2005 Primativo that we purchased just before the price went from $36 to $75!

The next barrel contained a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with a tiny percentage of Petite Syrah and Mourvedre.

Rich says this 2006 vintage will be the next Maloy O'Neill "Fremere," or it should be if he has his way!

I'm a big fan of huge red blends that blow your mind, knock your socks off and send you zinging into rainbows and star streams in a very non-cliche way!

This 2006 is just the stuff to make that happen in a warm fuzzy way.

Here's a photo of Ron and Rich. After we tasted these heavenly concoctions, we stepped out into the sunlight of a beautiful March day and snapped a few photos on the patio.

Rich and I toasted, too!

He has a bright future, and we're happy to have found this gem of a friend.

Rich, best wishes to you and your wife in SoCal. 

We'll be visiting you if we're allowed, and of course, you are welcome in our home!

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