Fresh talent trumps tradition at Clos Pegase

click to enlarge Fresh talent trumps tradition at Clos Pegase - Clos Pegase Winery
Clos Pegase Winery
Fresh talent trumps tradition at Clos Pegase

  • Clos Pegase Winery

Most wineries pride themselves on tradition. Wine makers come and go, but the house's approach to wine making changes little.

Thank god Napa Valley's Clos Pegase doesn't stand on some traditions. You see, up until more than a year ago, most of their wines I tasted were not bad, but not exactly good. In a word: meh.

Then they hired Richard Sowalsky as their winemaker.

A former medical scientist turned winemaker (what can I say, he's an interesting guy), Richard has worked with some fine wineries, including Robert Mondavi Winery and Truchard Vineyards. And judging from a couple wines produced under his watch that he graciously shared with me recently during dinner in Tampa, I'm, well, really hoping he'll invite me to taste his wines again.

The Clos Pegase 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Mitsuko’s Vineyard, Carneros ($20) was surprisingly juicy and fruity. I'm not usually much of a Sauvignon Blanc fan, but this really won me over.

Richard's Clos Pegase 2009 Chardonnay, Mitsuko’s Vineyard, Carneros ($24) was also very nice. Just a hint of new oak and the rest was just pure expression of the fruit.

In other words, expect great things from Clos Pegase. Oh, and never turn down an invitation to drink with Richard.

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