You really can’t get more family-run than Conway Family Wines…Chris and Ann Conway along with their 5 children Gareth (President), John, Sally, Tom (VP Business Development), Gillian (VP Communications) all share ownership in the winery producing a tasty trio of Deep Sea varietals. Being small scale and tight knit allows them to use sustainable agricultural and vineyard practices not only to produce great tasting grapes but to effectively preserve their historic Rancho Arroyo Grande property. This approach shapes their wine making philosophy of protecting the grapes’ integrity maximizing terroir perception. In the case of their Deep Sea Wines, grapes are grown in the moderate climate along California’s Central Coast, from Santa Barbara to Monterey counties. Vineyards in this region are uniquely cooled by fog and ocean breezes. Winemaker Jonathan Medard showcases these distinctions drawing on his upbringing in the Champagne region of France and a master’s degree in oenology from Universite´ de Reims. Here’s what I tasted:
Deep Sea Chardonnay Central Coast 2009
A rough and tumble bouquet…faint and non-refined. But don’t let that deter you from this wine’s lurching flavor profile punctuated with sharp minerality. Dusky spicy peach…sweet nectar lingers on the palate but to the back of the throat, more sophisticated flavor interplays reign.
Kind of like a fireball bursting with spice, fruit, and fresh brewed tea. If served extra-chilled, chalkiness pervades so I recommend serving slightly
warmer than frig. temps. if you don’t have a wine cooler. It might not be as refreshing but the full flavor profile will be revealed.
Deep Sea Central Coast Red 2008
Closer to a bracing Merlot than a flowering Grenache, this wide ranging blend (Syrah 74%, Petite Sirah 13.5%, Lagrein 5.8%, Merlot 3.7%, Mourvedre 2.6%) doesn’t have much of a bouquet but a big explosion of jammy spiciness all across the mouth. Full-bodied but respectfully retreats after swallowing which only invites another sip…another flavor flash. Has an acidity that yields stellar pairings with a wide range of chocolates.
Deep Sea Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2009
Classic Pinot on the nose…currant and ripe cherry burst forth from sip to swallow. Tobacco and dark cacao right at the sip and then rapidly dissolves into a lingering peppery kick on the palate.
Photo courtesy of Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored tasting.