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Mark West Pinot Noir is the Pinot for the People: a value California Pinot Noir that actually tastes like pinot.
This is a very drinkable value wine. It is a light bodied Pinot with low acidity and tannins.  The nose is very pleasant. Best news, it is affordable.  Click here to read a full review.
pour recommends...
2008 Twelve Clones Pinot Noir
89 Points, California Grapevine, October 2010
 Medium-light to medium ruby; attractive, forward, rich, spicy, ripe cherry fruit aroma with overtones of vanilla; medium-full body; forward, rich, plush, ripe red cherry fruit flavors with good depth and some elegance.
pour recommends       On the trail.......................
Past "On the Trail" reviews....
Wine Vault of the Desert
Palm Springs premier wine storage facility.  Interested in free corkage at some of the desert's best restaurants?  Visit their website to see how to get free corkage
Hahn Winery GSM Red Wine Blend Central Coast 2010
Flavors of black cherry cola, blackberry, fig and pepper are supported by refreshing acidity and a well-framed tannic structure. ($12)

Bogle Essential Red
A compelling blend of California’s finest plantings of Old Vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, this wine surpasses all expectation for pure enjoyment and approachability.
Malibu Wines

Can we let you in on a secret?  There is a new place for wine tasting in Sunland- Tujunga!

A few years ago we ventured to Malibu Wines, in (where else?) Malibu for a Saturday picnic.  The picnic and music were foremost in our plans and the wine filled in the blanks. I don't remember the wines being memorable but we had a great time.  The winery on Mulholland really brings in the crowd. They even have a remote lot and shuttle bus to bring all of the happy picnickers to the winery. Malibu Wines also has a tasting room at the Malibu Golf Course, in downtown Los Olivos and most recently, at the Angeles National Golf Course in Sunland (San Fernando Valley).

We recently took advantage of a Groupon deal for the tasting room at the Angeles National Golf Course. It included a tasting for two plus our choice of a bottle of wine for $35. We redeemed our Groupon  on a recent Sunday.  The tasting room is located inside the golf course restaurant. It's a little hard to find but the host was gracious enough to guide us to the place.  Our first impression was of an accommodating tasting room with a friendly staff.  The tasting room manager is Margeaux from Moorpark who loves Merlot!

We enjoyed the Semler tasting which is their premium flight.  All of the grapes are Estate grown.  We enjoyed them all; In fact, our impression of the wines was better than the last time we tasted.

We were very impressed with the space and the entertainment.  They have a nice tasting room and an adjacent patio. Every Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm they feature live music on the patio.  The Sunday we visited, they featured Mike West, a talented singer and guitar player. What a great way to spend the afternoon!  We ordered a delicious cheese plate and bruschetta from the restaurant, sat on the patio, and listened to the entertainment.

We will be back! The service, food, wine, entertainment and view were great!

PALI Winery

PALI is one of our favorite Santa Barbara wine tasting rooms. Their  2012 “Huntington” Pinot Noir received a score of 90 points from wine critic James Laube. It was also included in the article “12 Alluring California Values”. Wine Spectator’s Augustus Weed wrote, “It’s harder to find solid, widely available pinot noirs at down-to-earth prices. Pali Wine Co.’s Huntington pinot from Santa Barbara hits the sweet spot.” Retail price: $22.50. We also recommend Pali’s Riviera, Sonoma County Pinot Noir and it retails for $21.00.

Another thing that we love about Pali is their growler program. Who says kegs are strictly for beer? Not anymore. Pali fills kegs directly from barrels in their winery where there is no filtering involved at all. This results in younger and fresher wines. The downtown Santa Barbara tasting room has four wines on tap and typically carries two reds and two whites at a time. Growlers are available for purchase for $25 including the wine. Once they’re empty, you can refill your growler for just $15. An added bonus- the 1 liter glass growler is 33% bigger than the average bottle of wine. You can reuse your growler over and over. Truly a great deal and perfect to take to a picnic, outdoor concert, or a party. For those of you in the wine trade, they offer a full 30% discount. We recently got our growler refilled and with our trade discount, it cost us $10.50 for a full liter of wine. Currently on tap, they have a Bordeaux red blend and a Pinot Noir. There are so many wine tasting rooms popping up in downtown Santa Barbara but this is the one we always visit.