Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wine Tasting in Temecula #6 - Mr Hip and Cool - David Raffaele

This post will conclude our day of wine tasting with the Vine Flamers! We had such a great day, and our last stop was such a great way to cap of this part of our weekend...
Patrick and David
David Raffaele is one of Temecula's newest winemakers and a rising star for SURE! He represents a new hip winemaker upswing and is the winemaker for Keyways Winery. David is passionate about wines that come from the Mediterranean climates like Temecula. His focus is on Spanish and Rhone style wines. He is another of the winemakers I've written about for Inland Empire Magazine, I'll include the copy of that article at the end of this post so you can get to know him better.... trust me, you'll want to taste his wines once you do!

And now about this grand FINALE...

First off, I'd like to thank this mystery person for having such nicely pedicured feet for the weekend... he set an example for all of us...
Perfect Pedi
Hmmm, I wonder if you can guess from this next pic who's feet those were?...
Flamers waiting for our last tasting
It was hard corralling everyone for a picture, but thanks to David Lahti we got one... 
L-R, Front - David, Robert, Brian, Phil, Middle - Tom, Mike, Patrick, Jim, Back - Casey, Jake, Dan
And right on cue... DAVID in a cool hat... make me a little jealous!...
"OK Boys, you ready to taste my barrel magic?"
Before heading into the barrel room David gave us a quick overview of his wine passions, and what new stuff he's doing to enhance the wine tasting experience at Keyways. The winery is BEAUTIFUL, and so are the wines!
Introductions
Once we were all in the barrel room, David explained his new high tech machine that carefully aerates the wine to create softer tannins and a smoother mouth feel in the final product... it was very cool and the wines he had us sample from this process were so soft... 
David and his Machine
Next he took us over to his barrels and started pulling samples... Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah... 
He's reaching for something fun, that's for sure!
And like Nick Palumbo, David has mad thieving skills...
David and his Thief!
And so our day of wine tasting was coming to an end... we could have stayed longer, but the monster limo was on the clock and we had 10 minutes before our chariot became a VERY expensive pumpkin...
Hope you've enjoyed the tours I've taken you on with the four amazing wineries we visited on our day of wine tasting:
  1. Palumbo
  2. Vitagliano
  3. Baily
  4. Keyways
Oh, and if you want to get to Know David Raffaele better...


David Raffaele – Keyways Winery’s Fresh New Face…

Keyways winery is on the move to bigger and better things; taking their wines to the next level; keeping it real, yet appealing to developed palates. David Raffaele is the fresh new winemaker hired for the task. David Joined Keyways as winemaker in 2009 after working as an apprentice winemaker in Temecula for two years. David is young, passionate about wine, and excited to be making wine for this popular De Portola Trail winery. 

Wine hasn’t always been David’s passion. His earlier career was in the Navy as a photojournalist. He spent most of his 20’s in Italy. While living in Italy, he was self-admittedly, very impressionable. Italy introduced him to wine, food, and the culture of both. He likes to say his passions are art and science, “wine bridges my two passions, winemaking is multidimensional; it satisfies both sides of my personality”, and finally “It all came together for me in Italy”. With a growing desire to make wine, David finished his Navy tour in San Diego, and discovered Temecula. Temecula, with it’s terrain, and Mediterranean climate reminded him of Sicily.

He discovered his love for wine in Italy, but Spanish wines rank high amongst his favorites.  David says “Spain has a culture that is open to change, not locked in traditions, willing to evolve”.  This Spanish interest fits well at Keyways; Tempranillo and Garnacha are two of the four varieties that comprise the estate grown vines.

David’s first crush of Tempranillo is in barrels. Tasting this 2010 wine with him was insightful. The wine, although young, shows rich dark fruit, blackberries, plums, and spice. For such a young wine, the tannins are present, but not too tough, the finish lingers with a nice mouth feel.  Given time, this wine will age into a rich, complex, structured wine.

You will have to wait awhile before tasting his 2010 reds, but his 2010 whites are available in the Keyways tasting room: Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesling, and Sherry. One great example is the 2010 estate grown Viognier. This wine took platinum and best Viognier at the 2011 San Diego International Wine Competition. It is crisp and lively, with classic Viognier characteristics: peaches, apricots, Jasmine, and a smooth finish.

If you haven’t been to Keyways lately, it’s time to make a return visit. You’ll discover the wines David is crafting, and thanks to his wine training sessions, a more knowledgeable tasting room staff. www.keywayswine.com


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