Turning into the Koehler Winery off of Foxen Canyon Road, you are transported into a beautiful peaceful landscape surrounded by a vineyard punctuated with large gnarled oak trees framed by beautiful rolling hills. From the first time I visited this winery many years ago, it’s always held a special place for me. The wines are fantastic and it’s always a pleasure to walk into the tasting room that overlooks the vineyard to be greeted by Dan. He knows his wines. I love watching him work with his customers giving each of them a similar shpiel about the wines yet making each person feel at home and welcomed.
On our latest trip, we walked into the tasting room at the right time, it was empty. We had Dan all to ourselves. He’s a hard worker and always greets us by name and asks how things are. What would you like to taste? Everything we answered. That’s one of the nice things about Koehler, everything is good. It’s always nice to taste new blends that pop-up yearly. Their Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are always a treat.
Some of the new things they are offering are a couple of Syrahs. The 2011 Estate Syrah with its layers of dark plum and rich oaky finish needs some time in the cellar. The 2009 Reserve Syrah is more complex with dark fruit and berries, leather, and light oak and is ready to drink now.
They also have a couple of new noteworthy blends the Accomplice which is 66% Syrah, 34% Grenache and the Rebel 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah. The 2009 Accomplice is mildly dark fruit and oak on the palate with rich tannic structure. A wine that you can drink now or better yet put it in your cellar for a few years to get all the best out of it. The 2009 Rebel has hints of chocolate and dark fruit with softer tannins.
Good to drink now but also a wine that will only get better with age.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their whites. A Chardonnay that has wonderful notes of tropical fruit with a very slight amount of oak that doesn’t detract in any way. A Viognier that is refreshing and floral, a Sauvignon Blanc, light citrus, and all-around great drinking wine. As Dan would say “chill it and kill it”. Their Riesling with its 1% residual sugar is fairly dry and goes perfectly with a nice fruit and cheese platter.
Last but not least their white blend the Quartette 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Viognier, 30% Grenache Blanc with its tropical notes and slight sweetness makes it a perfect accompaniment to lightly smoked fish.
For me going to Koehler is like visiting family. Always inviting, has great wines and is a good time to be had by all.