Most of my readers know that I have a fond place in my heart for the wines from Carmel Valley, CA. Beth and I have made numerous trips to the Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel Valley region over the years, as evidenced by the travel post I wrote earlier this year. We’ve tasted some great wines over the years from wineries such as Heller Estate, Bernardus, Galante Vineyards and BoÃ«tÃ©. I only get truly excited, however, by the wines from Georis Winery and Parsonage Village Vineyard (PVV). Last weekend, Frank Melicia, Bill Parsons and the entire rest of the combined clan threw their very first party, their 1st Annual Wine Club Party, to be exact…and I was fired up!
I met up with my tasting partner for the day in the City, my good friend Daniel and we headed out around 11am down 280 to make the trek to the winery just outside of the Village in Carmel Valley. We were a bit worried about the trip down due to the huge number of fires that were (and still are) hitting NorCal, particularly the Big Sur fire that was currently combining from 3 smaller fires into 1 major blaze. A few weeks back in fact, Beth and I had a terrible time getting down 101 with the Walker fire taking out a lot of the Santa Cruz Mountain area and the fire teams using the Morgan Hill airport as a base of operations. Fortunately, Daniel and I cruised down just fine and made it from SF in just under two hours.
Once we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the winemaker/enologist/viticuturist of the winery (the Super(wine)man, if you will) Frank Melicia. A former horticulturist with a native species bent (he actually populated the company campus of my day job, Genentech), Frank is married to Ali, one of the daughters of the Parsons’ patriarch and matriarch, Bill and his wife Mary Ellen. Mary has an incredible skill of creating fine works of art with her quilts and tapestries. The long-in-the-making brand new tasting room and art gallery in the Village features much of her transcendent work, as do the highly unique labels for each of the Estate wines. I particularly like her labels for each of the “grandson estate reserve wines,” so named for each of the current four grandsons in the family.
After a little bit of stretching and proactive hydration, we trekked over to the waiting tent and winery below the Parsons’ homestead to indulge ourselves with the food and, of course…the wine! In one of the greatest ideas I’ve ever seen at a wine club event, the wine was self-serve…I couldn’t have thought of a better method of service myself! Daniel and I started with the white, actually the very first white that PVV has ever produced, the 2007 Snosrap single vineyard Chard. It is highly complex and touching on some of the finer Burgundian characteristics of silky mouthfeel with a hint of cream, yet still infused with a depths of crisp white and tropical fruit…fantastic. We then made our way through the rest of the reds that were open, split between the 2005 Estate bottlings and Snosrap, their brilliant second label wine composed of fruit from the Carmel Valley estate and various Monterey County appellations.
As Bill presided over the festivities with an air of calm casualness and Frank bounced around with some form of child on hip like the mad man he is, Daniel and I leisurely enjoyed our lunch and chatted with various members of the family and other patrons.
Once lunch was finished, Frank blew me away with the very gracious offer for me to lead our own barrel tasting of the slumbering lineup of 2007 Estate and Estate Reserve reds. I, of course, jumped at the chance after overcoming some initial shock. 2007 was a very challenging vintage for PVV, as drought conditions forced the essentially dry-farming winery to truck in water in order to try and salvage some of the fruit from raisining temperatures of +110 degrees. The resulting wines are a study of how natural calamities can create stunningly complex and deeply concentrated wines. All were showing quite well, despite having been racked only a couple days prior. Unfortunately, they only were able to produce about 25% of their normal production, so jump on these next year when Bill sends out the yearly Futures flyer!
Despite all of the fun and great wines, events like these have to end at some point…and Daniel and I had three more parties to head to that day! We thanked everyone for a phenomenal time that was right up there with the best wine events that I’ve ever been fortunate to attend and headed back up the coast.
I’ve uploaded and/or listed below all the wines that Daniel and tried that day. I’ve split them up by bottles that were open to drink and wines that we tasted when I ran the barrel tasting. If you’d like to list all of these wines in your own WineLog, I’ve tagged all of them with “2008PVV1WCP“. If you were there last weekend, leave a comment and tell me how you felt about the event. Enjoy!
Bottled wine that was open for the event:
Wines tasted from the barrel: