With us both being familiar with Julian, we pretty much knew where the tasting room was, but for those not familiar, the tasting room is kind of tucked away a full story above the street. As we made our way in, we saw this sign on the tasting room door, "the Witch is In" pretty funny! A interesting way to let us know they are open and tastings were in
Witch Creek offers Chardonnay and a delightful blush wine but it really emphasizes red wines. It has quite an array of varietals not found in many wineries such as Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Tempranillo and Cabernet Franc.
Many (locals) folks are familiar with Witch Creek and they have also received some recognition from San Francisco Wine Chronicle, where they were awarded "best of class in the 2009" for the wine I am reviewing today. The WitchCreek Winery - 2006 Nebbiolo - Best of Class. This wine is very limited and we were told they were down to their last couple cases.
It is not sold in stores and there is no bar-code on the label, but you can visit them at either the
Upon first Swirl: In the glass this wine has a beautiful light ruby core and fading to an watery cerise colored rim and generous viscosity shown in the legs. Because of the wines age it's missing is the characteristic brick orange colors on the rim.
Upon first Sniff: What you get is a sense of the coming attractions. It is a gorgeous effort, in the nose are bountiful aromas redolent of crushed flowers, spices, sweet fruit and a just a kiss of menthol.
Upon first Sip: It is light-to-medium bodied with a nice mouth feel. Its starts off with floral nuances, bacon fat, clove and full red fruit. It is balanced by nice acidity on the palate, and finishes with a marriage of gripping tannins and oak.
The Vineyards: The majority to 100% of the fruit is harvested from the Baja California Viticulture Area of Valle De Guadalupe. (There is some doubt about validity of this VA).
Composition: This wine is 100% Nebbiolo, as far as I am able to ascertain. It is most likely aged at least 18 month in oak barrels. Fewer than 300 cases were made.
Alcohol: 14.0 %
Price Considerations: It's a little higher priced than where I think it should be @ the $ 35.00 retail price, a little better at the $ 29.75 club member price. But not the QPR champion it could be at $24.99, which is my suggested price.
My Recommendations: I would try to secure a couple of bottles of this wine while you can and try many of the other wines they have on the menu. We really liked quite a few of their other wine, but this one was definitely a favorite. My wife and I also really like the 2006 Tempranillo which fell in the more reasonable price range for a very well made wine. Stop and see them in the tasting room, because like I said this not available in store and or restaurants.
Other Facts: Nebbiolo is the most prized red grape variety in Northern Italy but is still relatively rare in the United States, but not so in Mexico our neighbor to the south. Nebbiolo is Old Italian dialect for “Noble.” In