November 2015 Wine of the Month Club Newsletter - page 12

The Winery:
Phantom Rivers is in Arroyo Grande, just north of the
Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. Its name comes from the eerie fog
that rolls through the vineyards in the evenings.
The fog keeps the vineyards cool throughout the night and into the early
morning. By ameliorating the heat, the fog keeps the grapes on the vine
longer so they can continue to extract nutrients from the soil. This
condition, along with the unique soils, contribute to how and why Arroyo
Grande produces many of the great wines of California.
John Thunen is a physicist who also happens to be the winemaker. In the
last 30 years, John has been recognized as an exceptional winemaker in
much the same way he was as a physicist. His scientific training combined
with his creativity seem to have reconciled into a whole that is greater
than the sum of its parts.
The Region:
Arroyo Grande means
“wide riverbed” in Spanish, which may
not be the most romantic name in wine
lore, but if you study where the great
wines are made, you’ll see that many of them come from
grapes planted in former riverbeds. That’s because over the
thousands of years it took for those rivers to dry up, the
collection of sea matter, shells and the like created a terroir
that grapes seem to love.
Technically, Arroyo Grande is in San Luis Obispo County, but is only a few miles from the
Santa Barbara County line and their climate is much more like Santa Barbara than it is further
inland, like that of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles.
The Wine:
Our selection is labeled Paso del Sol, which translates to passage of the
sun. It’s an apt name for this wine as the grape varieties that make it up love the sun. It’s
a blend of 60% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre which came
from the Larner Vineyard in Santa Ynez and 30% Cabernet
from Still Waters Vineyard in Paso Robles.
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WOMC Rating
Serve with red meats,
game and tomato sauces.
Deep magenta
Bramble, earth and
Rich, extracted berry
Concentrated berry
and earth
Cellaring Suggestions:
5-8 years
ITEM #: L1115R2DC
Retail Price:
Member Price $20.98/each
Reorder Price $14.99/each
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