Making wine is a complex blend of art and science. No visit to Monterey Bay is complete without a visit to Blue Fox Cellars, a shining example of blending these elements to produce amazing and unique wines.
Just upstairs from the Carmel Ridge Winer, the Blue Fox Cellars tasting room shares a large space with a retail showroom displaying artisan wood art. The entire space was a celebration of the art of woodworking and nature, with an artistic approach to every element. The window signage promised “wine tasting with the winemaker” and we were not disappointed. We were made welcome by owner/winemaker Edward Lovaas, who showed us some of his favorite wooden art pieces and then set us up with a tasting flight.
We settled in and learned a little about Edward. He graduated from the winemaking program at U.C. Davis, and his understanding of the art and science of making wine became clear very quickly. We started our tasting with a 2015 Arneis. This is an Italian varietal that does not get a lot of attention in California because it is a difficult grape to grow and equally difficult to transform into wine. We got our first glimpse of Edward’s finesse with his craft as we sipped on this wonderful white wine with lemon notes with restrained acid on the finish. Our second white was their 2015 Tocai Friulano. Another Italian varietal (hailing from Venice) this wine showed amazingly balanced layers of fruit. Rounding out the selection of white wines was the 2015 Bianco, a blend of 8 varietals. Another interesting wine, with so much to love as it danced across the palate.
We next tasted the 2012 Grenache Rosé. This was a very light, intriguing rosé that reminded us a bit of a Montepulciano with a lot of fruit up front and a crisp, dry finish. Their 2012 Grenache was equally captivating. Made with 7% Syrah, this just calls out to be paired with some hearty BBQ’d ribs. Our next taste was their 2013 Syrah. This was huge! Great fruit, medium tannins. Age this another five years and it will be incredible.
We finished up with a 2013 Zinfandel. This was a festival of dark fruit and restrained pepper. Not at all in the Lodi style, but equally memorable. We broke our own rule of “one bottle per winery” and promised ourselves that we would visit Edward again soon. A true artist!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?