Three Wines from Santa Lucia Highlands

I just received another shipment from my wine club “A Taste of Monterey.”  This shipment from the “Private Reserve Club” had three bottles of wine all from the Santa Lucia Highlands which is an AVA in the Monterey area.  This is a great club to belong to, especially the membership that we have, as they send us the best featured wines, and wines that I would probably not see here because of the limited production and the vagaries of the wine industry.  The brochure that was packed with the wines had an article about terroir, which seems to be a popular topic these days.  There was also a recipe for Dungeness Crab Cakes, which always make me smile when a restaurant has them on their menu.

 Pelerin Pelio Pinot Noir 2009

The first wine is Pelerin Pelio Pinot Noir 2009.  I have had a Pelerin Chardonnay that I have written about in the past, so I am looking forward to trying this wine as well.  The grapes are from the Pelio Vineyard and they only produced 122 cases of this wine.  That is what I mean about not seeing this wine available where I live, and I get a chance to try it.  I have found that the Monterey area is a fine producer of not only Chardonnay, but of Pinot Noir as well.  The notes on this wine suggest short to medium term cellaring to bring out all the best of the wine.  I hope I can be strong and hold out on this wine.

 Cima Collina Tondre Chardonnay 2012

The second bottle of wine is Cima Collina Tondre Chardonnay 2012.  This is a new winery to me, though I have had wine from other wineries that avail themselves of the harvest from the Tondre Grapefield.  I was surprised to read that they suggest an aging potential of 5-7 years for this wine, and there was 191 cases produced.  What I find interesting is that all of the wine that I have had from the Tondre Reserve has been Pinot Noir, so it is just the opposite of what I have had from the Pelerin Winery.

 Travieso Amaranta Syrah 2008

The third bottle in the shipment is Travieso Amaranta Syrah 2008.  This is also a new winery for me, but I have had one other bottle of Syrah from the Santa Lucia Highlands, but normally I have found this varietal as part of a blend in other wines from the area.  According to the notes, all the attention was in the initial growing of the plants and that there was minimal of “UC-Davisized” techniques at the final end of production.  There were 300 cases of this wine produced and the aging potential is for 6-10 years.

If you have a desire to check out the wines offered by this club go to  If you do join, you may mention my name John, as that is how the wines arrive to me, as they do not know me as The Wine Raconteur.  I do believe that you will find the club to be as good as I have written about in several prior articles.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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4 Responses to Three Wines from Santa Lucia Highlands

  1. I received the Pelerin Pinot in that drunken secret Santa that the Drunken Cyclist organized. It was a nice wine. They showed some good restraint on the fruit for a Cali Pinot.

  2. TheSybarite says:

    Great Post! I live in the Monterey area and actually am a member of a winery here by the name of Figge Cellars. The owner/winemaker of Figge Cellars is also the vineyard manager for the Pelio Vineyard/family. Because of this, he also produces a Pinot and a Chardonnay from the Pelio Vineyard and they are FANTASTIC. His stuff is available online.

    I really enjoy your blog. Looking forward to more!

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