Derby Wine – no almonds here anymore, 8/24/22

At DERBY WINE ESTATES is family owned and we met with the ​Winemaker on 8/24/22. Sean Geoghean started in 2019,. Derby sells around 3500 cases. A large grower for other wineries, they decided to make their own wine from the best of it.  Currently makes less than a 10th of the grapes they grow and they are ready to grow with new outlets for sales.

​Winemaker Sean Geoghean 

Two vineyards, 

  1. Paso Robles.  Was owned by Eberle – now Derby the Laura Vineyard. Farming 300 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Focus Derby Rhone varietals.  Templeton Gap, hilly.  
  2. Derby Shire, ​formerly ​part of the Hearst cattle ranch​ produces​ Chard, Pinot Noir,

 DERBY is housed in a historical converted almond processing facility.  They renovated it for a wine processing and tasting room.  Very cool repurposed building.  See pictures.

Derby Converted Almond Factory
Derby Outside tasting room

THE WINES were all good.  Those tried:

​1.  ​Pinot Gris, very ​nice. ​​A​​ging on ​l​e​e​s​ (see next), created a ripe, racy, bright but lovely and smoothness texture and not too zippy. Aromatic. Green pear and apple in tropical flavors.  It’s the winemaker’s favorite wine. $22 bottle retail.

It’s always good to do a blog lesson.  What is “aging on the lees?” — glad you asked!  A process called yeast autolysis occurs, leads to the release of various cellular changes in the wine. These yeast materials will enrichthe wine with a greater stability and modification of sensorial profile.​

​2. ​​”1510​”​ white​, a ​2021​.  While intially confusing numbers, the 1510 ​is their ​historical​ly significant ​​address​ for the Almond factory​. ​This blend of whites includ​es Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Picpoul. ​ It is rich and complex lemon lime and honey. Residual sweetness on the end. Very nice flavor balances, popping ​with lingering aftertaste. Because it’s quite young will smooth out in about 6 more months. Won’t be released for 3 months. Great food wine.  $26, worth more.

1510 wine label

​3. ​Chardonnay, 8 months in French oak​​. Lovely full​-​malolactic acid weight. Bright and crisp with a rich lemon zest and creme brulee ​hints​.  Very nice crisp acidity for coastal vineyard, racked on the ​lees (see above) and stainless steel barrel​led​ to finish off the fermentation. Round​ed​ out acidity ​and ​smooth ​layers, Can stand up to some hardy flavors with food. $30.

4. Pinot Noir 2019, 100 cases.  Beautiful light garnet color.  Has a little bit of sediment because it wasn’t filtered. Sean felt that a Pinot Noir is so delicate and usually doesn’t need to be filtered, but this vintage does have unutual sediment.  As long as the customer doesn’t think it’s ‘bad’ because it has ‘floaters’ then the wine is awesome..  Lovely light and bright fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry. Very very nice wine. Easy sipping, balanced acidity and tannin. It was Sean’s first year making that wine for Derby, so going forward he has a lot of ideas.

​5. ​​The”1510″ Derby Red blend​ 2​018​ — this is​ a GSM​ + C = Cinsault.  Jammy, S​outhern French  Châteauneuf-du-Pape​ model​ with 14.6% alcohol. Lovely jammy fruits with lot​s​ of balanced flavors. ​Weight and texture. Light to medium tanni​n.  With food, this will be extra lovely. Very easy drinking. $32

​6.  ​Derby Cabernet Select from Laura’s Vineyard, 2018​. Will be retiring the current gold label​ for consistent branding of the white label next year. ​ ​Beautiful aromas fresh ​whole berr​ies, herbal spice​.  V​​ery integrated ​without overpowerring tannin​,​ not a powerhouse​ with astringent or bitter tannins​ we’ve had in Paso Robles.  It has good structure. Very approachable and lovely. I like this for sipping.  A crowd pleaser in general easy palette.  Tremendous value price at 32 a bottle. ​  An easy sipping nice Cabernet​ that is a g​reat alternative in ​Paso Robles ​California. ​

​Overall the Derby Wines we tried were lovely jammy, easy drinking crowd-pleasing wines, delivering a balance of fruit – acid – tannin without overpowering or issues.  Liked all of them.   Get them thru the winery by calling at this time.  Possibly watch for them coming to Ohio.


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