The Dozen Vol. 25 No. 11

The Dozen – Going Coastal

Winemakers-by-the-sea in San Luis Obispo await approval of their new region.


One of California’s most beautiful regions is waiting for its Christmas present – although it will happily accept it whenever it comes.  A little more than 30 wineries located between the city of San Luis Obispo and the Pacific Ocean will soon be making wine in the state’s newest region – San Luis Obispo Coast – which is awaiting final governmental approval by the TTB.

Veteran wine man Dan Fredman, who is working with publicity for SLO Coast, describes it this way: “Although the AVA’s boundaries run some 60 miles along the length of the county, the vineyard sites lie between the mountains and the sea, meaning vines are planted from about 1.5 miles from the ocean to about 12 miles. The fog comes in nearly every night (even this time of year), and the vines remain cool, the grapes retain their fruit and acidity, and the wines are excellent.”

This ‘The Dozen’ features a random six of these wines mixed in with some very nice wines from Meyer Family, Ramey, and Ram’s Gate.

2019 Croma Vera Edna Valley Albarino ($27).  Mild fruitiness blended with a cheese-like whey flavor; a little short in the finish.

2017 Cutruzzola “Riven Rock” San Luis Obispo Riesling ($30). Very perfumed, nicely done with some spritzy juiciness and a dryish finish.

2018 Meyer Family “Donnelly Creek” Anderson Valley Chardonnay ($32). Pleasant buttery aromas with very good structure, mature apple and pear fruitiness, modest tannins, and good acidity.

2018 Ramey “Ritchie” Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($68). There is a sprightly tanginess to the wine, although it has mature fruit and some ginger spiciness at the finish – delicious.

2017 Meyer Family Mendocino Highlands Syrah ($26). Enjoyable dark raspberry flavors that, with a bit of airing, develop rich, savory characteristics.

2017 Verdad “Sawyer Linquist” Edna Valley Tempranillo ($35). Very satisfying and very nicely crafted with lively cherry flavors, light spiciness, and dusty tannins.

2019 Coen Uco Valley Malbec Reserve ($45). A big wine – nice, tart-berry flavors with prickly tannins, a touch of spiciness, and a pleasant hint of savory green.

2018 Timbre “The Jam” Edna Valley Grenache ($45). Good, lightly jammy raspberry and blackberry fruit with a savory underlay.

2018 Ram’s Gate “Bush-Crispo” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($50). Excellent – lean, yet very fruity with great length and depth of flavor, mainly dark cherry and savory tannins.

2018 Meyer Family “Fluffy Billows” Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($54). A lovely wine with lots of personality – just-ripe varietal flavors of red berries and garrigue.

2018 Stephen Ross “Stone Corral” Edna Valley Pinot Noir ($64). Smooth with slightly piquant and tangy fruit, moderate body, moderate tannins.

2018 Saucelito Canyon “1880” Arroyo Grande Valley Zinfandel ($75). Lively red fruit aromas and flavors, almost juicy, with some prickly savory notes.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.

Feature photo: SLO Coast

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