It’s good to be a Firestone. On one hand, you own Curtis Winery, producing Rhone style wines since 1995. On the other hand, you got to appear on The Bachelor (Season 3 for those who are counting), propose to a lovely girl, break up, then date and marry a model who was Naomi in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (that’s “I Moan” backwards…write that down) and as well as one of Vince Vaughn’s victims in Wedding Crashers – Rule #32: Don’t commit to a relative unless you’re absolutely sure they have a pulse.
While the Firestones may own Curtis Winery, it’s winemaker Chuck “Calypso” Carlson that deserves the attention. He’s been making Rhone wine for more than 20 years. The Curtis wine collection definitely goes deep on the Rhone varietals, but we didn’t walk away too impressed.
It’s possible that our 7 sip voyage at Zaca Mesa may have tired us out, but we carried on through 6 or 7 Curtis wines (I think Viogner, Roussane, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and two Syrahs). The 2007 Grenache rocked a 93 from Wine & Spirits Magazine and was a favorite in our crowd as well. As we proceeded to the darker, leathery reds (ie Syrah), our host offered (encouraged) us to sample the wine with some of the available chocolate truffles. Linda never says to no to chocolate, so we ended up sharing a chocolate caramel square. Great choice. The chocolate gave us a needed sugar boost, but also helped the peppery, earthy Syrah shine as we finished our glass.
The tasting room was pretty crowded when we arrived but opened up after a while. A little too many souvenirs for my taste, but the staff was great and the grounds were very scenic with the buds of spring. There also were some nice picnics tables under a large tree, solid setting to enjoy some wine, bites, and maybe, perhaps some truffles – Rule #63: Always save room for cake.