The Witch is In! 2006 Witch Creek Nebbiolo, Guadlupe Valley

A couple weekends ago, my wife finally has a free weekend day off and I plan a trip to Julian for the both of us. My wife who is a big fan of wolves, has been wondering Where have the wolves gone ? Not really, but I thought it would be a great way to sneak the link into my post here. She has wanted visit the Wolf Center in Julian for the longest time, they give talks about Wolves, including the little known Mexican Grey Wolf, where we are allowed to visit them in person. It was a truly unique opportunity. But of course I also wanted to take the opportunity to visit the Witch Creek Winery tasting room in Julian, Ca and sample some of the beautiful red wines they are making from the fruit of the Baja California Viticulture Area of Valle De Guadalupe.
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
progress! It was a beautiful spring day in Julian and the place was filling up fast.
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 Carlsbad tasting room, where the wine is actually made or you stop by and see the ladies in the Julian tasting room. But if you go to Julian make sure you stop by "Mom's" for some apple pie! Hard to beat!
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).
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 Italy, Nebbiolo is called the “Wine of Kings.” Most likely because of it is connection to the great Barolos and Barbarescos of the Piedmont region.


Juliet Grossman said…
Hi! I wanted to let you know I put up your piece about Temecula wineries on my blog about Temecula here.

I am enjoying reading all about wine on your blog!

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