Full on delicious bites from SolBar at Solage next door, a quick drive to Brian Arden Winery was next. We pulled into the gravel lot after we passed early vine plantings, dogs playing in a grassy area and a modern building with large windows. A gnome is sitting in the gravel at the start of the pathway from the parking lot to the building. “This way” he says to me.
Upon entering, a private tasting room with a small bar is to your immediate right with floor to ceiling windows and glass door dividers. Further down the hallway, more tables and chairs are set up, with a few in front of a gas fireplaces. To the right is the main tasting bar. There, we meet Angel, a lovely brunette in a light colored padded vest. We are offered tasting menus – the Thanksgiving edition.
We both have our own tastings which consists of five wines per the menu.
The 2017 Riesling was bright on the tongue. The 2012 B.A. Red was tannic, earthy and made with sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. Angel invited to show us another private tasting area with a kitchen. The room had a table for six, a love seat, a table made out of a barrel and another fireplace. We were introduced to Chef Ben, a NorCal local. The winery is offering a 5-course meal with wine pairing for under $100 per person. What a steal! I would love to be able to enjoy that experience.
Continuing onto the wine, the 2013 Zinfandel seemed more drinkable than the 21012 red we just had. The grapes came from Kelseyville, about 50 miles north. Along with this, the Chef sent out two Kewpie Deviled Eggs (valued at $2 each) with a bacon jam on top. The eggs were raised on the property. The chickens occupied the same space at the garden just beyond the parking lot. It was delicious.
The 2014 B.A. Red was had a deep, garnet color and a bit softer. Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and 2014s were poured side-by-side. The 2014 was not on the tasting menu but Angel allowed us to try it to compare. There was sediment along the base of the neck of the bottle caught my eye. Angel said they never fine filter the wine. It’s part of the wine. Sediment or not, it was tart. The 2014 was drier.
Cali, the golden retriever, was let into the tasting room and she got lots of love from the guests. Kim came back from the restroom and of course took a selfie with her. Also lightly colored was the dessert brought out by Chef Ben. It was like a lemon ‘muffie,’ the top of a muffin, topped with whipped cream and a few nut shavings. Thank you, Chef! We were getting stuffed. Happily stuffed.
“Do you like rose?” Oh yes, yes, we do. Angel was very generous with the extra tastings. What was poured for us was the Kay. Brian’s mother, Kay, passed away due to a rare form of ovarian cancer. Kim tried not to cry. Her mother passed away due to ovarian cancer as well. A percentage of proceeds goes to cancer research. Kim bought a bottle.
Thank you to Angel, Chef Ben and Cali for the hospitality. The winery is owned by Brian, Arden the father and Brian’s wife. They purchased the land in 2010 so it’s a rather young winery. Check them out!