2021 Kissin' Cousins
37% Viognier, 37% Roussanne, 26% Grenache Blanc
A magnificent bouquet of young spring blossoms, nectarine, and bruised pear exude the freshness of this jovial blend. With equal parts Viognier and Roussanne finished off with a barrel of Grenache Blanc the 2021 version of our Rhone white blend is sure to excite. With a luscious mouthfeel and mouthwatering acidity, the wine ignites on the palate with flavors of baked pears, canned mandarins, and lime zest. As the saying goes, “Only the good die young” drink this one early and often for prime enjoyment! Pair it with grilled halibut tacos with a cilantro lime crema slaw or indulge in the dual-textured bacon-wrapped scallops, either will surely delight!
Draped in a crimson robe, this alluring temptress seduces you with aromas of ripe cherry, strawberries, and anise before laying her grasps on you with powerful notes of raspberry compote, plum, white pepper, and bouquet garni. Silky across the palate, her sculpted tannins and rich fruit flavors gently massage your tongue into eternal bliss. Drink her in all her youthfulness for maximum enjoyment.
Jeb Dunnuck says, "The 2019 Grenache is certainly outstanding and a terrific example of the variety, which can be more difficult in California. Deep ruby/plum-hued, with a lifted bouquet of kirsch, candied violets, ground pepper, and herbes de Provence, it’s medium to full-bodied, has ripe, polished tannins, and a great finish. Drink it over the coming 5-7 years." 93-Points
40% Mourvèdre, 40% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Intriguing. Sultry. Captivating all audiences with an intense bouquet of red fruits frolicking through rose gardens at sunset on a warm summer day. Savory notes of smoked meats and dried herbs couple with ripe black fruits to produce a wine so aromatically intense that you think you’ll smell it for days! The wine glides across the palate showing off its velvety textures and complex character. Ripe tannins and firm acidity, it is graceful in all its power and will drink well over the next decade.
Jeb Dunnuck says, "The ruby purple-hued 2019 Azimuth reveals notes of dried flowers, rose petals, and red and black fruits as well as leather, spice, dried herbs, and cured meat. Medium to full-bodied, supple, and elegant on the palate, with ripe tannins, this complex, balanced red is elegant and seamless. I love the tannins, and it has good acidity and freshness, staying light on its feet." 95-Points
85% Primitivo, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Mourvèdre
Give this wine a swirl and sniff and imagine yourself on a warm spring morning enjoying a fresh out of the oven croissant with raspberry compote drizzle whilst surrounded by blossoming plum trees and violets. Now open your eyes and take a sip of all the wonders this wine embodies. Ripe red fruit, dark cocoa powerberries, and cinnamon-dusted buttercream coat the palate and leave you with subtle hints of clove and star anise. Traditionally a powerhouse wine, the 2019 is subdued with sleek elegance and sophistication. Enjoy now or cellar for 8-10 years.
80% Tempranillo, 14% Grenache, 6% Mourvèdre
The Tempranillo-dominated cuvée finished off with a pop of Grenache and a gentle splash of Mourvèdre showcases aromas of cherry cola, chili powder, rosemary, vanilla, and excelsior. Bright fruit characters dance along with Mexican spices, mole, and ground black pepper. A very structured wine with muscular tannins the wine lingers on the finish with great length and a desire for more!
100% Mourvèdre / 60% Whole Cluster Fermentation
The second coming, and by popular demand, another staple in the lineup is this beautiful expression of Mourvèdre fermented with 60% whole cluster. Raw, savage aromas of blackened beef, leather, and damp forest floor couple with sweet notes of vanilla and dark roast coffee. The palate is filled with rugged spice, chocolate-covered fruits, wet stone, and lively acidity. The stem inclusion and native ferment provide a gentle chewiness to the tannin as the wine finishes with great length and freshness.
Hello Caliza Family,
We're excited to announce our limited inventory 2021 Holiday Gift Sets to share with family, friends and colleagues. Use the below brochure to review our elegant gift pack options. To ensure on-time delivery all packs need to be purchased by Monday, December 6th.
We're excited to release Caliza's 2021 corporate gifting program. We put a great deal of care and thought to ensure every gift is unique and memorable. Once you've taken a moment to review our four different package options the order link is located at the bottom of the page. I'm more than happy to assist with any questions. Please direct to email@example.com or text/call my mobile at 562-706-0356
There are a few important aspects to note:
Here is the corporate order form. Please click on the below link, download the sheet and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 KISSIN' COUSINS
48% Viognier, 30% Grenache Blanc, 22% Roussanne
Star bright and golden-hued. Vivid aromas of fresh jasmine and early spring flowers lead to notes of sweet peach, ripe pears, and stones wet from a damp sea breeze. With voluptuous mouthfeel and great structure, the wine has lingering flavors of green apple, pineapple, dried apricots, and freshly squeezed lime. Impressions of honeyed melon coat your palate as a mouthwatering acidity leaves you longing for more! Drink now for prime freshness!
Wine critic Jeb Dunnuck says, “Kirsch, ground pepper, and herbes de Provence-like notes all emerge from the 2018 Grenache, which is medium to full-bodied and offers plenty of character, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Drink this mouthfilling, powerful, yet balanced Grenache any time over the coming 5-7 years.” 93 Points
Like a shy seductress who will flee when pursued… yet enlivens when caught, this dark and alluring blend of a few different lots of Grenache is truly captivating! Aromas of raspberries, ripe cherries, pomegranate, white pepper, dried herbs, and sweet tobacco burst from the glass. Your palate is hit with soft velvety textures, layers of complexity, and subtle undertones of wet gravel and crushed rock. Ripe plums, herbs and spice leave you with a long, lingering, juicy finish that begs you to take another sip! Enjoy this racy, sultry wine in its youth for the ultimate pleasure, we promise it will not disappoint!
50% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Wine critic Jeb Dunnuck says, "The 2018 Azimuth showed brilliantly, with rocking notes of blueberries, ripe strawberries, dried flowers, and spice all emerging from the glass. Deep purple-colored and full-bodied on the palate, it has ripe tannins, a terrific sense of purity, and a great finish. Based on 50% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, and 20% Syrah, it's going to keep for a solid decade." 95 points
On one hand savage, untamed, and wild. On the other calculated, deliberate, and concise. Feral aromas of black truffle and smoked chipotle powder couple with intense fruit character of dark plum, black cherry, and blueberry cobbler. Deep black fruits marry notes of leather, underbrush, and spice bringing this well-integrated blend to life. With sweet vanilla overtones and silky soft tannins, this wine is full of complexities and tantalizing textures that fill your mouth with all its goodness.
88% Tempranillo, 12% Grenache
Wine critic Jeb Dunnuck says, "The Tempranillo-dominated cuvée, the 2018 Sympatico includes 12% Grenache and spent 18 months in 36% new French oak. Lots of red and black fruits, white and black pepper, gamey meat, and cedary spice notes emerge from the glass. It’s a firmer, medium to full-bodied, structured wine that needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will evolve nicely through 2030." 93+ points
Deep purple center and a ruby-hued rim. With nearly 90% Tempranillo, this may be the best Sympatico vintage to date! Explosions of fresh wood shavings, humidor, bouquet garni, and a plethora of red and black fruits. Flavors of cherry cola, fig jam, espresso, and peppered boar jerky are complimented by firm, polished tannins, and luscious notes of dark cocoa powder. This is a wine that will not only touch your palate… but grip your soul!
85% Primitivo, 15% Petite Sirah
Wine critic Jeb Dunnuck says, "Based on 85% Primitivo (Zinfandel) and 15% Petite Sirah, the 2018 Primitivo sports a dense purple color as well as notes of mulled plums, peppery incense, candied orange, and flowers. Full-bodied and powerful on the palate, it has terrific balance, loads of fruit and opulence, and a great finish. It's not lightweight and is close to 16% alcohol, but it’s a rocking Zinfandel with loads to love. It should keep for 7-8 years at a minimum." 94 Points
The Mike Tyson of the vintage, this bad boy packs a punch! Deep, dark, inky purple color match aromas of blackberry jam, black plum, roasted nuts, and candied orange wheels. Dense and unctuous with flavors of Grandma’s plum pies, juicy wild berries, leather, dried leaves, and loads of pepper. A long, luscious finish full of refined, sophisticated tannins and big fruit flavor will make the most avid Zin lover shiver with excitement!
We invite you to book an exclusive virtual tasting with Caliza to preview our newest releases. Click HERE to purchase your Virtual Tasting Double Pack Experience, and use discount code: CLUB at checkout for a special 50% discount! Thank you for being a wine club member and for all of your support!
The Caliza Team
Superbowl isn’t just for beer drinkers anymore. It’s time to step it up a notch with these End of the Day/Game Day wine and appetizer pairings!
2019 Rosé Paired with Melon Prosciutto Skewers
2019 Albarino Paired with Shrimp Ceviche
2017 Cuvée Paired with Homemade Mediterranean Flatbread
For the Dough:
For the Pizza:
For the Dough:
For the Pizza:
2018 ZM Cuvée Paired with BBQ meatballs
People often ask me during Harvest something to the effect of "how are things looking this year?" Without fail, I find myself overwhelmed by the question, and perhaps come across a bit amateurish for the inability to find an adequate response.
What a lot of people might not realize is that even for small producers, a vintage consists of 10, 20, 50, or more lots of wine that are all being treated independently of one another. These lots are all developing over time separately and nothing is a sealed deal until the cork is in the bottle, and even then things will change. The result is an incredibly complex tapestry that cannot be justified by generalizations. This is the reason that the question about how things are looking never has a short answer, even when things are indeed looking very good.
Luckily, as winemakers, we have the luxury of making educated guesses based on trends that we have seen over the years. Now that all lots of wine from 2020 are pressed and undergoing malolactic fermentation (or completely through with it), I would like to provide you with a little insight as to how the season unfolded and what you may expect from this vintage.
First off, let's talk about what Mother Nature dealt us.
Apropos to the year 2020, there were plenty of curveballs that kept us on our toes. Some of the most notable weather traits preceding and during Harvest were extreme heat spells. A fairly mild summer came to a screeching halt around mid-August when warm tropical air pushed over the Central Coast on several different occasions. For the critical point of the growing season triple digits were commonplace. Through most of the estate this sped up the ripening process by rising sugar levels and conversely lowering acid levels. Harvest officially began with the first pick of Tempranillo and Viognier on September 14, which was five days ahead of 2019 and two days behind 2018.
With regard to the heat, certain varietals fared better than others, but at Caliza we were reminded of why Syrah is our star-child. It seems as if the heat benefited most Syrah clones as these lots came into the winery with unprecedented depth of color and ripeness. Overall, the heavier varietals tended to follow this trend whereas the lighter varietals were driven more towards bright characteristics and were picked at slightly lower than average sugar levels. For this reason, I predict 2020 to be somewhat of a hybrid of 2017 (which saw brighter, redder characteristics throughout) and 2018 (which was classic Paso dark). This could serve to broaden the palette of colors we have to choose from as we begin blending in April, thus opening the door for more complex and well-rounded wines.
Aside from the heat, like most of the West Coast, Paso was tortured by terrible air quality as a result of the devastating wildfire season in California. This brings up significant concerns related to "smoke taint," a term that describes smoky flavor permeating grape skins and making itself perceptible in the resulting wine. In Paso, we have to count our blessings being situated where we are. Though some wildfires raged within 100 miles of us, the level of devastation experienced in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties is near incomprehensible to us who stayed relatively out of harm's way. Smoke taint seems unlikely for Caliza, although there is no way to know until the wines have spent some time in the barrel. Regardless, I remind myself constantly to be thankful that the things endured up North were not thrown upon us as well.
As for how things played out in the cellar-- and this is where it gets good-- I have to say 2020 Harvest was markedly different from past ones for a few reasons.
First and foremost, at Caliza our winemaking team has consisted of myself, Carl, and Andy for four years in a row. The benefits of working with the same team year after year are self-evident, and there is an undeniable "flow" that emerges as multiple seasons are spent together. Aside from familiarity, we also have had the luxury of being the sole occupants of our current winemaking facility for the second year in a row. For this reason, we made significant improvements within the winery over the summer in order to maximize efficiency during the busy months. One such improvement was an increased number of tanks. This allowed us to ferment bigger lots together as well as give us more control over the fermentation process itself. Another improvement was utilizing an outdoor crush pad for all destemming and processing. This helped maximize indoor space, therefore cutting back on multiple hours per day that in previous vintages were spent shuffling around fermenters and equipment. On top of all these improvements, we had slightly lower yields than in past vintages, which made the bulk of the work a little more manageable.
When you put together all these changes, the result is a significant reduction in what I like to call "frantic moments." Anybody who has worked a Harvest knows what I'm talking about. At some point during our busy season there are bound to be times when one or all of us loses our wits and makes poor decisions, becomes overwhelmed by the number of tasks to be done, or simply succumbs to sleep deprivation. In my short tenure in this profession, I have realized that a big part of doing a good job is staying in control and avoiding mistakes.
For me, 2020 was a vintage marked by many challenges all being met with precision and tact. Throughout Harvest, the cellar was a relatively calm and organized environment where all of us were able to act rationally instead of rashly. For this reason, I think as a team we have come closer to achieving what we hope to achieve than ever before. Early on, the wines from this year are showing a lot of promise. As mentioned before, I am especially excited to see what happens with our Syrah, and I feel confident that there will be another Reserve in 2020. Also, I think our team will be pleased with the amount of variety and breadth of spectrum to choose from during the blending process. All in all, I think that 2020 will have some redemption for us in three years when the wines are ready to drink. Cheers!
We are excited to present to you a short film that features the Caliza team discussing the Fall 2020 releases. The film also contains a small glimpse into our daily life here in Paso Robles during Harvest time. Please, crack open your favorite Caliza wine, pour a glass, and enjoy this video we have created with the help of two Atascadero High alums.
The Caliza Team
Is it possible to have back to back stellar vintages? Well…for us we think we really did! Now it is up to us to make sure that 2019 knocks it out of the park just as much as we believe 2018 did. Y’all haven’t had a chance to taste any of these just yet but be ready to have your socks knocked off!
One would think that when we sit down to taste and blend wines it would be a dream, well, it is! Haha! Except that it can also be stressful at the same time. By this time, we are deciding how to really nail the finished wines and what combination of barrels and varieties to use to make that final wine truly sing. In the end, it is not only about what we think the best and most delicious wine is but also if it is a wine that represents what we do at Caliza and one that our loyal members, supporters, and future consumers will enjoy. The anxiety is driven by not knowing how the wine will be perceived by others…we know we love the wine, but will you?
Yes, getting to taste through, give or take, 100 different barrels and aging vessels is a lot of fun and truly very interesting. We age wines in many different types of barrels: new, neutral, 225L all the way up to 500L barrels, and concrete (we also use stainless steel barrels, but those are for white and rose wines). It is amazing how the same lot of wine that was fermented and pressed off into the same tank can taste so drastically different once barreled down, even when put into the exact same barrel from the same cooper with the same toast level and age of the barrel. The culmination of all these unique intricacies is what allows us to deliver unique and fascinating wines with great complexity and character.
We blend in two steps: 1) the initial blend of the core components of the wine and 2) final blending just before bottling with minor tweaks/additions here or there. The initial blend is done in the early Spring of the subsequent year that the wine was made (2018 red wines are initially blended in March-April of 2019). Blends are finalized approximately 12 months later (so 2018 reds in the Spring of 2020) and then bottled shortly thereafter. This dual process allows the wine to show us where it wants to go; it is our job to guide it to the finish line. Sometimes the initial blend is what we end up bottling, it matures so gracefully that as we revisit it over time it just comes together perfectly. Truly wonderful. Sometimes we go through 5, 10, 15 or more final trial blends before we are satisfied with the results. Every year is different, every year is unique.
Now for the process:
2019, much like 2018, gave us another vintage of power and finesse reminiscent to couples dancing an intense contemporary routine. On one side you have the male component: potent fruit flavors, muscular tannins, richness, and density. Then the other side you have the female: intoxicating floral notes, exotic mouthwatering acidity, and layers upon layers of complexity. Blending in years like this is only difficult because you can only use each wine once. After we rack and blend the wines in a tank (rack is defined as moving wine from one vessel to another) we rack them back into the same barrels they came out of for additional aging. At this point we like to come back to them in two weeks just to see how they are integrating at this early stage. We did that just the other day and man…I have to say that you have a lot to look forward to when these beauties get released as they are just phenomenal now! Really looking forward to what is to come with these gems and the back to back Reserve Syrah vintages will be something for the ages for Caliza! Cheers Y’all!!!
Hello all, for those of you who haven't met me, I am Tyler and I have been a member of the team at Caliza since August of 2017. I have been working full time here since January of 2019, and you may have run into me in the tasting room or at one of our events over the last couple of years. You also may have run into me at Il Cortile, which up until the middle of March, was my second job.
When crisis strikes, no amount of worrying will make our problems wash away. The world continues to spin, indifferently. COVID-19 has come in like a hard frost and taken with it all sense of stability and certainty that we once shared. Out of necessity, it has been my crusade to look at the silver linings in this whole situation. In my search, I have found a few that I would like to share with you.
As inviting as it sounds to continue working two jobs forever, it is my intention, rather, to build a career solely out of winemaking. This is why I am living on the Central Coast. One area in which COVID-19 has benefitted me is the luxury of having only one job, and lucky for me, it is the one that entertains my future. There is a lot of well documented evidence (and overall common sense) that dictates when you spread yourself too thin, you are not as effective in any given area. Just like a vine that is pumping out too many clusters of flavorless fruit, people cannot effectively handle too many things at once. I have been this vine, recently, and whomever is tending to the universal vineyard has come and snipped off my extra clusters, thinned my extra shoots. The fruit of my labor is now that dark, concentrated Willow Creek delight. In the past month, I have been able to better focus on my work at Caliza, including the mind-numbing tast of bottling and waxing most of the 2018 vintage wines. Regardless of the task, I have enjoyed my work thoroughly. I have taken my boots off at home instead of in my car. I have cooked many meals. I am growing tomatoes at home.
As mentioned before, no matter what happens to the human condition in the coming months, our ecosystem will continue to operate as an independent entity. In Nature, we can find solace. As farmers first, our team is constantly looking to Mother Nature for provisions. Another positive in our current climate is that we have started the growing season in good stride. Right now, Paso Robles is abound with Spring Beauty. I am writing this from our tasting room and there is a wash of green morning light pouring in through the doors. Miracle rains in March (and the first half of April) left us with some much needed moisture and postponed what likely would have been an early budbreak following the warm start to 2020. Despite crisis, we finished pruning and mowing throughout the estate. Also, after many frigid Fall and Winter mornings, we haven't seen any worrisome sub-freezing temperatures since budbreak. Although you never know how the season will unfold, as of now, it looks sublime.
It is an old cliche that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. It has certainly felt like that here at Caliza. In the last month and a half, our small team has rallied to think of new and innovating ways to keep the ball rolling. My last bit of optimism surrounding COVID-19 is that humanity always pulls through. For all of you out there reading this, above all, stay safe. When the chaos of crisis dissipates, rest assured we will once again meet face to face and raise a glass!