Just off the “main drag” of Monterey Bay’s Cannery Row is the tasting room for Pierce Ranch Vineyards. We visited recently, and found the few block’s walk to be a very good investment!
The Pierce Ranch Vineyards tasting room is a converted bungalow surrounded by beautiful flowering bushes, with a roof bearing a whimsical weather vane topped by two whales. After enjoying the grounds for a bit, we went inside to find a long bar in a room awash in light from the surrounding windows. We met wine guide Roxanne, who welcomed us and told us a bit about the winery and the wines being offered for tasting.
We started with their 2014 Arinto, a Portuguese white wine with crisp citrus notes and hints of pitted fruit, vanilla and lychee nut. A refreshing start to our tasting! We next tasted a non-vintage Tourbillon, a field blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. This was pleasantly balanced, with flavors of smoke, plum, and caramel, and a lightly spicy finish. This wine led off our “take home” list!
Their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon tasted somewhat young. Nice Bing cherry, Figi apple, and cranberry notes, with tobacco and smoke on the finish. Laying this down for 4-5 years should pay off magnificently. Another favorite for us was their 2015 Touriga, with an amazing aroma leading to low acid and moderate tannins. We loved the notes of caramel and elderberry, and the slightly sweet finish. The final taste of the flight was their 2013 Zinfandel. A great balance of spice and fruit, with lots of cherry on the palate and pepper on the finish. A delicious way to wrap up our flight.
Tasting complete, we addressed the tough choices regarding which wines to purchase. With our thanks to Roxanne, we walked the few blocks back to our Cannery Row hotel and prepared for an amazing dinner at Bistro Moulin. Tomorrow: Carmel!
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?