Blue Door Winery is known as an “urban” winery with locations in San Diego and Julian, California. The “urban” designation means that they buy grapes, rather than have a vineyard on the property. Their grapes come from Santa Barbara County and areas in and around San Diego County. If you love well-structured red wines, you need to give their vintages, including an enticing sangria, a taste.
We could see the tempting Blue Door Winery from the living room of the Honeymoon House at the Julian Hotel. We had earned ourselves a well-deserved mid-afternoon writing break, so we decided to enjoy a bit of wine and a bit of pie (in that order). We walked across the side street and joined in the fun.
The Julian wine tasting room was run by Gabby, who was utterly charming and wildly knowledgeable. We opted for the five wines tasting (which ended up being free because we bought wine), with a surprise sample of the sangria at the end of it all. The space has a lovely outdoor patio and an open interior room that would be great for events.
We went at about 2:30, which meant that there was only one other couple in the tasting room at the time. Perfect! I love not feeling rushed when sampling new wines, and you can’t beat getting the chance to really talk to people who enjoy learning and talking about wine.
We tasted a Nebbiolo, Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. There wasn’t a bad wine in the bunch, but we had three favorites. Andy and I aren’t pros by any means, but if you are curious about our notes on our three favorite wines, keep reading.
2017 Blue Door Nebbiolo
Andy and I both fell a little in love with this Nebbiolo. It was light, but still complex. I got cherry and maybe raspberries on the front end. We both felt like there was a bit of floral/rose petals to it, but it wasn’t as “rose” forward as a lot of Nebbiolo wines can be – which is a good thing because I tend to run away from wines that are too heavily floral. This ended up being one of the two wines we purchased. Not going to lie – we’ve already had this bottle since coming home. It was as delicious sipping it on our couch as it was in Julian (which you guys know isn’t always the case when the glow of the tasting and the trip wears off).
2016 Blue Door Petite Sirah
This Petite Sirah was the other one of my favorites, and it was our second purchase. With a bit of pepper and a bit of spice, this is a rich wine that we loved. I got some chocolate from it (but when don’t I think about chocolate), and Andy thought that maybe there was some sort of berry/blueberry quality. I believe this is an “old vine” Petite Sirah, but I was so focused on the sips that I may have misheard that. This one is still in our wine refrigerator. It’s still too hot here in LA to really enjoy this kind of rich red wine, but those days are coming soon to Southern California.
2017 Blue Door Cabernet Sauvignon
I was worried about this one. For me, California Cabs can be real face-huggers. They have been bred big and bold, and they can overwhelm me. But we were thrilled from the first sip with the 2017 Blue Door Cabernet Sauvignon. It was much more mellow than I anticipated. It was just released in June, and it was a treat. The grapes came from Fallbrook – east of San Diego. The alcohol content is 14.5%, so you will feel it. Tastes of black currants on the nose, and Andy got hints of mocha. I think I tasted some vanilla, but your palate may lead you in a different direction. As an aside, when we asked Gabby which wine would go best with an apple pie tasting, she picked this one. If we had the budget to buy three wines, we would have brought this one home, too. Next time!
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