Grapelive Picks Fun and Local Wines For Ol’ Factory Cafe

Ol’ Factory CafeOl’ Factory Cafe is now the hottest place in Monterey for cool Beer & Wine selections

Grapelive hand-picked a few wines for their by the glass list including: Martin Alfaro Chardonnay, Pasonage Snosrap Cyrano Red, Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon, and then also picked a couple of worldly selections as well. The spicy and juicy Minervois and a New Zealand Pinot by Dashwood rounded out my picks and fills out a great selection of Beer and Wine at this very cool cafe. Morgan Christopher has made this “Green” built urban bistro into a local favorite with a light and focused menu and the best coffee by far in the Monterey area. It is my local and I’m there almost everyday. In fact I hope to have a tasting group of wine lovers there soon! Then there is the other drink of choice, Beer and they have that nailed with some great brews on tap, my unholy weakness is the wonderful and hoppy Green Flash IPA, but they have some German and Belgian brews that you won’t find on tap many places. Even the famed Beer Geeks of “A Year in Beer”and thebeergeek.com  are considering putting their picks on tap there! So if you get a chance you must check this place out. For more details go to: www.olfactorycafe.com

Besides Florence this is the best place for cappuccino I have found, well in this town anyway.

Grapelive Reviews Sept. 2007

Alfaro Pinot Noir

2005 Alfaro Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Lindsay-Page Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains

Wildly ripe on the nose with fresh flowers and boysenberry syrup leading to a refined and creamy palate, with classic cherry fruit and lovely depth and body. This wine is intense, but is lush and smooth and should develop nicely for the next 2-3 years if you can wait that long. I’d drink it up now for sure. The sweet fruits and smoky mocha oak notes give plenty of enjoyment and again I must say I really admire the efforts of Richard Alfaro as a stylish and natural winemaker. 92 Points, ($40 est) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Zin

2005 Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel (Field Blend) Estaste, Sonoma Valley

This is pure dry-farmed classic old style Zinfandel that is everything we always loved about Zin and old vine fruit! Will Bucklin has crafted a special wine that is both clean and rich, but pays homage to the classic wines that made Zin the wine that maybe defined California uniqueness. This wine has pop and zesty acidity that gives life and edgy energy, that holds together lush and spicy fruit. This isn’t your pancake or ice cream topping, this is serious red wine with lots of soul and hearty flavors. Big raspberry and black plum fruit lead the way, with touches of pepper, lavender and vanilla adding support. This is very tasty and it should age well too. 94 Points, ($35) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

Palmina Pinot Grigio

2006 Palmina Pinot Grigio Santa Barbara County

Steve Clifton of Brewer Clifton famed, know considered by those in the know to be one of the best winemakers around recently launched this almost all Italian inspired line of wines. This Pinot Grigio is a wonderful and true wine, it is everything you liked about the classic Italian wines, but almost better is all ways! Lovely and light on the palate, but full in flavors and length, it is nothing short of enjoyment. Fresh citrus, green apple, spicy pear and tangy refreshment, this is a wine that can just be fun, but serious too. Great value for what you get, thanks to Mr. Clifton, bravo. 90 Points, ($16) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

Cliff Lede Claret

2004 Cliff Lede Claret Napa Valley (Cabernet Blend, Bordeaux-Style Red)

This is great wine and a steal, I must say it kicks butt over lots of over $100 Meritage wines and that just makes me like it even more! At around $35 a bottle and flavors that taste like Insignia, I say power to the people! Lovely nose and pure mouth feel right away tell you this is the real deal, giving way to blackberry, cassis, currants, cherry pie, mocha and creamy sweet oak all layered to perfection. Good depth and smooth tannins make it all work and ready to drink now. Lede has the talents of David Abreu and Michel Rolland in the background, though clearly present. Get it and get it now… 93 Points, ($35) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

DEux Montille Burgundy

2005 DEux Montille Chambolle-Musigny “Les Babilleres” Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir)

This is what Burgundy can be and is, from a wonderful vintage, a true classic and clean, bright and lovely. These guys do it right and in turn do us right with an affordable gem that delivers all the best and rewards you with being very fairly priced even with the total crap exchange rate. Violets, rose petals, earthy minerals and spice lead to a solid core of bright red cherry fruit and plum jam. The wine remains fresh and tangy though to the long finish and the deft use of oak adds to the balance and complexity. I should think a little cellar time would deepen the enjoyment and thicken it all up as well, maybe 3-5 wait is deserved. 93-94 Points, ($69) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

Martin Alfaro Pinot Deer Park

2005 Martin Alfaro Pinot Noir Deer Park Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains *Re-Tasting

This wine has surpassed my predictions and continues to develop and grows with each passing month. I tried it as a barrel sample and loved it and now it is all grown up and even better! Lush and thick with ripe earthy fruits this Pinot is firmly hitting the sweet spot and delivers high quality enjoyment. Dark colored fro long hang-time and firm stucture give backbone and plum and cherry fruits give loads of flavor. Hints of blueberry, cranberry and smoky coffee bean all wrapped in a polished and focused way. 93+ Points, ($35) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

Andrew Murray Syrah Tous les Jours

2005 Andrew Murray Syrah “Tous les Jours” (Central Coast)

Just buy it, you’ll see… This is a rich and easy drinking Syrah and come on it is less than $20! Andrew can really make wine and this screw-capped little beauty is a great bottle for any and all occasions. Lusty blueberry, cherry and plum fruits leading the way and stay all the way to the fresh lengthy end. There is some nice espresso, pepper and mineral notes and a lack of overt oak that add up to a zesty Syrah that that is easy and pure. I’d say this with be a party favorite and with its clean flavors should go with most menus. Enjoy now and often. 91 Points, ($18-20) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

Cave De Chante Perdrix Saint-Joseph Syrah, Rhone Valley, France

2005 Cave de Chante-Perdrix Saint-Joseph (Syrah) Nothern Rhone, France (Red Wine)

This pretty and earthy Syrah really gives a lot for a really nice price, like a baby Hemitage. I like the floral and blueberry compote notes, as well as the smooth cherry and plum fruits. There are subtle complexities that come with some air, like lavender, dried flowers, white pepper, mineral and grilled meat. This a round wine with good vigor and ripeness that shines with quality. 92 Points, ($25-30) grapelive

Bouchee Wines

Snosrap Cyrano Red

2005 Snosrap Cyrano Red Table Wine, Arroyo Seca, Monterey

Here is a lush, chocolaty red that shows some sage, cedar and cranberry on the nose with smooth cherry mocha on the palate. There is some green pepper notes that add a Cabernet Franc like characte, but the rich mouth-feel and long finish will surprise you. The dusty ripe tannins are there, but never harsh and overall this is a solid wine and is really pleasing, much better now then when I barrel tasted it. This vintage has Merlot, Cabernet & Syrah and I think the Syrah really adds to the whole and makes it much more interesting. 90 Points, ($20-25 Est) grapelive

Pasonage Village Vineyard Direct

Snosrap Cyrano Pinot Noir

2005 Snosrap Cyrano Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco, Monterey

Wow, again this wine has really gained a lot of everything good since the barrel, it has come together nicely. Bright and medium weighted now this Pinot has more traditional flavors and a long finish than when I first tried it, I’m glad I got a chance to correct a small slight, I will drink up the rest happily no doubt! Fresh strawberry, cherry and raspberry come forward now and there is a nice spicy plum and tartness that add depth. The length is impressive and the acidity keeps everything in place with the sweet toasty wood coming in at just the right time. 90 Points, ($20-25 Est) grapelive

Pasonage Village Vineyard Direct