The title of my post is the name of the wine I just tried this evening at Vinoteca Wine Bar in downtown Paso Robles. For those who don't know me, I was born in Buffalo, New York. My dad comes from a very large Italian family whose name happens to be Falcone. When my family moved to Paso Robles in 1987 we never in a million years thought we would find people with that last name so far from "home." About a decade and a half later my parents found out that there was a family in the area with the name Falcone who made wine. The Falcone's first vintage was a 2002 Syrah, which my parents bought me a bottle and presented it as a gift when they were visiting me. At the time I lived in southern California and didn't have a huge appreciation for wine. Skip ahead another decade almost to tonight...
I just happened to see Vinoteca's posting for the winemaker pouring of Falcone this afternoon. I called up my friend Sandy and we agreed to meet. Two things I love...first the immediacy of Facebook with the up to the minute information on what's happening near me, and second and most importantly, good friends...need I say more!? Vinoteca had a good crowd tonight, but it wasn't too loud to talk to my friend while, embarrassingly (for me) I was taking notes and smelling my wine and taking way too long to eat the food pairings that were plated in front of me. Sandy is such a good friend because she patiently waited while I scribbled my notes about the now infamous Falcone wine that I know you are all dying to hear about!!
Since tonight was Vinoteca's weekly meet and greet with the winemaker, John & Helen Falcone were there. Both very sweet people, they made their rounds and joined us at our table a few times to introduce themselves and then talk a bit about the history and passion behind their winemaking. The Falcone's are so nice, very genuine and were a delight to talk to. I was gushing over the Falcone name at first, but when it really came down to it, I was gushing over their wine. These people know what they are doing...this is some serious wine!
2008 Falcone Family Vineyards Chardonnay - I found the Chardonnay to be very crisp and well balanced. Lots of fresh pineapple and green apple on the nose, and the pallet had an interesting addition of ripe kiwi fruit. High acid and a chalky minerality brought this fruity Chardonnay together with a refreshing finish.
2007 Falcone Family Vineyards Syrah - Super interesting nose on this Syrah...dark and rich concentrated ripe berries such as boysenberry, blueberry and raspberry. Then a cherry cola, twizzler sweetness wafting up from the glass. On the pallet though, a huge contrast of flavors and new aromas of sweet tobacco leaves, dense tar and cedar chips melting with huge tannins and tart blackberry.
2008 Falcone Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon - I was so impressed with this wine and food pairing that I almost forgot to write my notes down! First off the wine.... sweet vine ripened tomato, raspberry, currant and cranberry on the nose with a hint of mossy forest coupled with a dense oaky characteristic of toasted caramel almond. I was delighted when the pallet matched the nose, with sweet bursts of red fruit and berries. This Cabernet was paired with sliced angus beef rib eye over mashed red potatoes, crumbled blue cheese and cabernet red wine sauce. There was a sweetness that was brought out in the wine by the richness of the beef in this dish.
2008 Falcone Family Vineyard Syrah- This was an extra pouring brought to the table by the Falcone's. It was a pleasant surprise because, just when I thought this wines couldn't get better, the Syrah was saying "hello!!" Dark and concentrated dried and baked berries with an addition of caramel and nutmeg. Obvious fruit and oak peaking out from under the nose, but the pallet was smooth and fruit forward, very balanced with well integrated tannins and acid.
Loved, loved, loved the Falcone's and their wine tonight! I hope you all have a chance to purchase these wines in a store near you. To learn more about Falcone Family Vineyards please visit their website: http://www.falconefamilyvineyards.com/about.html