Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pelerin Wines - exceptional fruit with traditional winemaking results in premium wine

Pelerin is French for pilgrim and it symbolizes the journey of Chris and Cathy Weidemann. Chris left school at the age of 20 and started painting houses in Connecticut until he landed a job at a wine shop and discovered his passion for wine. He then moved to California with little money and got hired at Freemark Abbey winery in Napa as a cellar worker.
His passion for wine grew and he enrolled 1994 at U.C. Davis in the Viticulture and Enology program. There he met his future wife Cathy. Chris went on to make wine for several wineries in Napa valley and eventually to Morgan winery in Monterey, while Cathy pursued her MBA at San Jose State and worked as marketing director for Paraiso Winery.

Finally in 2002 they finished their pilgrimage to live their dream and established a small artisan winery in the premium wine region, Santa Lucia Highlands. 

They follow the time-honored plan of purchasing exceptional quality fruit and use traditional winemaking methods to create well-balanced wines with multi-layered complexity. Their fruit is sourced from organic vineyards.

Pelerin 2008 “Les Tournesols” Roussanne blend is produced with 72% Roussanne, 19% Viognier and 9% Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands. The wine is finely balanced with apple and stone fruit aromas and flavors with notes of butterscotch, spice, vanilla, jasmine and roasted almonds. It has nice acidity and a good minerality leading to a finish with honey and ginger.

The 2007 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is sourced from three vineyards in Santa Lucia Highlands, including 60% from Paraiso Vineyards, 20% from Tondre Grapefield and 20% from Fairview Road Ranch, wow, now that is location, location, location! The wine delivers the aromas and flavors of ripe cherry and strawberry with cola, cedar and spice notes. It even has a bit of a red bell pepper flavor for interest. The fruits come together beautifully leading to a long enticing finish.

The 2006 Monterey Syrah is 100% Syrah with 48% from Paraiso Vineyard in Santa Lucia Highlands and 52% from Mesa del Sol vineyard in Arroyo Seco. It is nicely balanced with flavors of black raspberry, pepper, spice, white pepper and roasted garlic and even a note of leather. It has a nice finish that will want you wanting more.

Pelerin’s most famous wine is the 2007 “RTW” (Red Table Wine) Red Blend, consisting of 50/50 Zinfandel and Syrah. In this vintage all the grapes came from the Arroyo Seco Mesa del Sol vineyard. Anne Hougham’s Mesa del Sol vineyard is a haven for heat-loving varietals. The sandy, gravelly soil above the Arroyo Seco gorge with the dramatic differences between night and day temperatures stresses the fruit and delivers the bright fruity flavors. You will definitely notice the dark fruit, black raspberry, and blackberry fruit mixed with clove, cinnamon and allspice plus a chocolate aroma.

For more information:  Pelerin Wines website

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