We discovered Monte De Oro on our recent road trip to Temecula wine country. The winery offers 180-degree panoramic views, in addition to an expansive tasting room with a large glass floor overlooking the barrel cellar. We shared small pours of nine standout wines. Consequently, we found it difficult to choose which bottles to bring home. Read on for more details about this impressive12-year-old winery.
Monte De Oro
In 2002, a group of wine enthusiasts from the US, South Africa and the UK invested in Monte De Oro winery with a motto “Vines, Wine, People.” They started construction in 2007, and subsequently, in 2010, officially opened the Tuscan-inspired winery.
Meanwhile, they planted vineyards in 2002-2003, with more grape varieties added in 2008.
Monte De Oro prides itself in careful attention to vineyard practices, such as canopy management and controlling yields, as well as delicate handling of the fruit. As a result, Monte De Oro’s signature wines are approachable in their youth but have a structure to age.
The winery’s tasting room spans 2,500 square feet, and features cathedral ceilings, two tasting bars, six alabaster chandeliers and a glass floor that looks down at the barrel cellar. An outside patio showcases a 180-degree panoramic view of vineyards and mountain ranges.
Monte De Oro Wine
Monte De Oro’s wines are typically elegant, well-balanced, structured and integrated. Their large portfolio includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Malbec, Tempranillo, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Further, they use Petite Sirah in blending, and now a 100% Petite Sirah Reserve is in its second bottling. We are impressed with the entire lineup, but we took home Estate Cuvée De Oro 2017 and two bottles of 2016 Zinfandel.
Synergy 65 Rosé 2019 ($24) and Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ($20)
The winery’s “poolside” rosé features white nectarine and peach flavors with hints of lemons and strawberries. Of note, Synergy 65 honors the 65 original family owners who broke ground to build Monte De Oro. Meanwhile, the Sauvignon Blanc is light-bodied with crisp acidity and layers of citrus, peaches and cherries. Of the two, we preferred the rosé but both paired very nicely with a warm day on the patio.
Cuvée De Oro 2017 ($35), Simplexity 2017 ($43), Synergy 65 Owners’ Blend 2017 ($44) and Zinfandel 2016 ($40)
First, Cuvée de Oro is a spicy Rhône GSM blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 39% Syrah and 21% Grenache. Aromas of roasted cashews, vanilla, spices, pepper and dried strawberries mirror the palate. We brought home a bottle of this distinctive wine.
Simplexity is a Bordeaux-style blend of 41% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 18% Petit Verdot and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. Think blackberries, blueberries, chocolate, hazelnut raisin bread and cinnamon. Delicious! According to the winery, Simplexity reflects a combination of “simply balanced and complex” and is integrated with many layers of flavors.
Next up, Synergy 65 Owners’ Blend also pays tribute to the 65 original family owners. Likewise, this is a synergetic blend of the first five grapes grown by the winery: 35% Merlot, 23% Cab Sauv, 16% Syrah, 14% Cab Franc and 12% Zinfandel. This medium-bodied red offers both aromas and flavors of black olives, figs, peaches, orange jam and lots of juicy fruit.
Further, we brought home two bottles of Zinfandel 2016, which is topped with 15% Petite Sirah. Somehow, it’s both lively and mellow at the same time. We tasted raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, spice and everything nice.
2016 Reserves ($90 each): Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
This second release of 100% Petite Sirah Reserve provides flavors of boysenberries, licorice and fig jam. Winemaker David Allbright blends many of his wines with Petite Sirah, so a limited edition of this standalone wine is perfect.
For example, 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon includes 8% Petite Sirah. This is not a big, bold Cab. Rather, refined flavors of plums, figs, cola and chocolate comprise this medium-bodied wine. We found it approachable and appealing.
As well, 9% Petite Sirah tops the 2016 Reserve Syrah. This is a full-bodied wine with typical Syrah characteristics of olive tapenade, bacon and pepper, along with cherries, blackberries and raspberries.
Summary: Monte De Oro
In conclusion, one of our favorite wineries in Temecula is now Monte De Oro. We enjoyed their entire lineup. Similarly, we recommend stopping by for a visit to their gorgeous tasting room. You won’t regret it.
Margot and Dave