A few short weeks later, his Los Pilares label went from relative obscurity to the commercial limelight when Jon Rimmerman of the Garagiste asked very loudly: “Is this the future of California wine? … This is the most exciting wine I’ve tasted from the Golden State in many years. It is actually alive… with a fire that I simply cannot (and have not) found in anything from California in so long.”
By the end of the year, Jon Bonné included Los Pilares in The San Francisco Chronicle “top 100 wines in the west” list.
Michael and I have stayed in touch over the last year as his star has risen to heights that I don’t think he imagined when he first sent a sample of his wine to Alice.
On Friday evening last week, he stopped by Jaynes Gastropub where I was pouring wine and playing music. Conversation ranged from Montaigne to Pasolini to the immense success of his wines and the way that they have resonated among California wine enthusiasts.
The celebrity and attention certainly haven’t gone to his head as he’s continued on his quest to make food-friendly, wholesome, and delicious wine in San Diego (the most unlikely of appellations). The problem is that, these days, you can’t find his wine because it’s all snatched up on release.
He tasted us on his “personal-consumption” Mourvèdre (bright and fresh, meaty but not too heavy in the mouth) and told us about a new project for a carbonic-macerated Syrah.
Check out this interview that he did with Alice about a year ago. His attitudes and approach to winemaking haven’t changed a bit. And the wines have only gotten better and better.
I’m very excited to see (and taste) what he’ll do next. And you should be, too…