Mount Palomar 2004 Cloudbreak Gold Medal Winner

We are living in the era of change, and like it or not there are many changes afoot in our American culture. Some have embraced it, while others are coming kicking and screaming. Speaking of change, specifically in Southern California which seems to accommodate both restless individualism and personal obstinacy whose two features are not equal, but the culture of wine has a place for both features. It is in this vein, I bring to you the Mount Palomar Winery in the heart of what I call the, "Temecula Wine Scene".

The change I speak of has nothing to do with political will or class struggle but instead it is a change in direction from merely producing quaffable wines and instead making strides toward producing wines which I will hardily recommend to friends, family and to you my readers. The second thing is the willingness to embrace varietals which are best suited for this area. This is the kind of change I can believe in!

I am very glad we stopped there, and for me it was my first time, although my wife insisted I've been there before. I told her that was BB (or before Bill). But I digress, the change in direction at Mount Palomar Winery is solidified in the following statement from the wineries web site:

"Recognitions our wine has earned include four Best of Show awards at major wine competitions and numerous Best of Class and Gold Medal distinctions. A Mount Palomar wine has been named "Best Wine of the Southern California Region" by the California State Fair five separate times, most recently in 2008. Mount Palomar has also been recognized for sustainable environmental practices in viticulture"

But let me be honest I did not like every wine I tasted here, to me that would be disingenuous! But I did bring home a few bottles from Mount Palomar Winery. The one I am reviewing today is the Mount Palomar 2004 Cloudbreak Gold Medal Winner. When tasting I knew nothing of the award, but upon first swirl there was an indication of the coming attraction.

Upon first Swirl: This wine has a deep garnet core, fading away to pale ruby rim and that's what I call extraction!

Upon first Sniff: You find in the nose it's a touch high toned with lots of cherry and plum fruit caressed by lithe notes of sandalwood. (fragrant yellowish heartwood)

Upon first Sip: A solid core ripe, blackberry and black currant fruit, with some sweet spices bringing it all together effortlessly upon my palate, melding into a delightfully long and persistent finish!

Weighing in: Alcohol: 14.4% and resting upon 20 months in newer French and American Oak Barrel imparting smoothe tannins.

Composition: 61% Cab Sauvignon, 27% Merlot; 5% Cab Franc, 5% Carmenere, 2% Petite Verdot

Other wines of note: Castelletto 2005 Sangiovese and the Castelletto 2005 Trovato

My Recommendation: Drink or hold, Price is a factor at $50.00 each, it drops from favorable QPR status which kept my purchase of this wine to just one. A little pricey considering it's contemporaries in the meritage class of similar quality selling for half this price. Exclusivity is factor, but still does not merit this price point. That's is it for now until next time, Cheers everyone!


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