A Cellar Full of Noise

It's getting hot in here!How’s that for a catchy title? While we were both drawn to the name, I gravitated to the image on the label. It reminded me of Anne Taintor’s humor, which left me wondering what this vintage Archie and Edith Bunker might be singing. “Those Were The Days?” Or perhaps it was something more appropriate like, “The Days of Wine and Roses?” Which, by the way, I have played and sung (not well, mind you) with my late grandmother. I still have the sheet music in my piano bench. Perhaps I should tinkle those ivories and take it out for a spin … or not, out of respect for the innocent victims in my home and the neighbor’s dog.Those really were the days. *smile* Whatever the tune, the label is meant to remind wine drinkers of happiness and good times shared between friends over a great bottle of vino. Now, I’m quite certain there are a few of us out there who have downed a bottle or two during some not-so-happy times, in which case the noise in the cellar might be the screams of whomever did us wrong. Which reminds me, I need to pick up another roll of duct tape and some baling twine.

No matter the reason for consumption, the vintner of our latest wine find believes purchasing and drinking wine should be enjoyable, unpretentious and never intimidating. A Cellar Full of Noise winery is located in the Paso Robles appellation halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, near California’s Central Coast. The 40-acre Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is in San Miguel, just 25 miles from the ocean. The vineyard is on a mostly flat piece of land with gentle rolling hills to the east which block most of the morning sunlight. More often that not, this vineyard and the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards surrounding it are covered by the coastal fog. It is because of these conditions, the region is said to be the premier location for growing this type of grape.

Like a few other vineyards we have researched, A Cellar Full of Noise grows its grapes in blocks or sections. This helps maximize individualized maintenance of the vines through pruning, irrigation and harvesting. Who knew grapes could be such attention whores? The vineyard keeps about 15 to 20% of its grapes to produce its own brand of lush wines and sells the rest to other vineyards, who want to keep fruit local, but don’t have the patience or the means to grow certain types of demanding varietals.

The winemakers, James B. Judd and Eric R. Alvaraz founded the winery in 2002. James Judd isn’t new to the wine biz. He also partnered with this father back in the mid-70s on their  their sister vineyard, James Judd and Son Vineyard, which is still going strong. James and Eric share their philosophy about wine at every opportunity. Eric Álvarez: “When I tell people I’m in the wine business, they almost invariably say, ‘I don’t know anything about wine.’ I always say to those people, ‘You already know everything you’ll ever need to know about wine. If you like it, it’s good. If you don’t like it, it’s not good. Your opinion is the only opinion that matters. Wine should be a fun experience,” insists Álvarez. “There is no right or wrong. Just keep tasting until you find what you like.” Indeed!

And hopefully our little blog continues to encourage readers to experience and explore various wines until you too find something you like that won’t break the budget. We found this clever bottle of 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon at our local Grocery Outlet for less than $7, and I have to say, it was worth it. If you like intense tart cherry with a hint of chocolate and a relatively mild peppery feel, this definitely is a wine you should check out! This particular vintage was harvested in 2005 and bottled in 2008 after spending 29 months aging in American, French and Hungarian oak barrels. The winemaker suggests the best time to partake of this bottle is between 2009 and 2015. Finally, I’m on time for something!

I want to add a little fun fact if I may with regard to the name. During my research, I found an autobiography titled, “A Cellarful of Noise” by Brian Epstein. Did you know he discovered and managed the Beatles until his death from a drug overdose in 1967? It seems Epstein was a child no school would consent to having, a would-be aspiring dress-maker, and a record store clerk with a bleak future prior to managing the most famous group in music history. How’s that for a long and winding road? If you are a Beatles fan and haven’t had the opportunity to read his personal account it sounds quite interesting! Cheers!

Aromatique: Intense Cherry, with a hint of chocolate and mint

SipQuips: Fairly tart on the tongue, gives way to a mild peppery but smooth finish. Not overpowering.

Kitchen Couplings: Would be great with savory meats; pork roast, juicy cuts of meat like prime rib, a hearty beef stew, or hamburgers smothered in blue cheese!

3 Responses to “A Cellar Full of Noise”

  1. Chris West says:

    I just discovered your blog – it’s awesome! I have made some of my greatest wine discoveries at Grocery and Outlet (and some of my most disappointing). I’ll have to check out my local GO and see of they’ve got “Cellar Full of Noise.” Isn’t the phrase from Petula Clark’s “Downtown?”

    • Eric Alvarez says:

      Hi Chris!

      “A Cellar Full of Noise” are indeed lyrics from a Petula Clark song, but the song is not “Down Town”, but “I Know a Place.”. I hope you had a chance to tastevourbwine and liked it. Cheers!

  2. Chris West says:

    I just discovered your blog – it’s awesome! I have made some of my greatest wine discoveries at Grocery Outlet (and some of my most disappointing). I’ll have to check out my local GO and see of they’ve got “Cellar Full of Noise.” Isn’t the phrase from Petula Clark’s “Downtown?”


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