Before the 2017 LAWineFest, I received an e-mail from the winemaker/owner of Sycamore Ranch Vineyard and Winery, Richard Krumwede. What caught my attention was that the winery seemed to be in the mountains, enroute to Big Bear. I called and a couple of days later began talking to Richard, and our conversation ended on his assurances he would send a bottle for me to taste in advance of registering for our 12th Fest. I received the wine shortly afterwards, still recovering from the knowledge that he had opened a winery in Crestline. I tasted the 2015 Primitivo. Not a simple wine, it came through as more complex than anticipated. The nose threw black peppermint at me, along with a sweet caramel, the palate showed strong vanilla, as well as berry fruit flavors. Grapes were from the El Pomar District, Paso Robles AVA. A sophisticated product — 127 cases were produced.
I made a promise to visit Bill Powell this year. When that didn’t happen, he sent some wine to OC to be delivered to me. Thus I finally got my hands on his 2011 Ascent Reserve. This Rhone blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah featured a great color, strong fruit forward with berry. This was a more complex wine than expected. A co-taster thought it was too tannic. I didn’t agree and thought this would be good paired with lamb.
On the eve of the LA Fest, I tried some new Greek wines – presented first was a very dry red wine Xinomavro 2014, strong red color and a smooth edge. The Agiorgitiko 2016 was also a dry red wine with a strong finish. I preferred the 2015 Limnio but will taste them all again at the first OC Winefest this November. Let’s see how they do!