Wine Talk

Snooth User: napagirl68

Southern Lattitudes Wine, Carmel, CA

Posted by napagirl68, Jan 30, 2010.

Hi all,

A poster recently inquired about this wine shop that sells/ ships via an online website as well. I said I would ck this place out, and I did today.

I have only wonderful words to write about Southern Lattitudes Wines. The two women who run/own this wine shop are the most awesome, down to earth ladies... and they know their southerly wines. Have been in Carmel, CA for ~6yrs. They are a wealth of knowledge, and very friendly and accommodating. I, personally, am a California wine girl.. so I was prepared to just get a flavor/history of the shop and probably not purchase... WRONG!!! I did the tasting of 6 wines, and found several very impressive. I will note the wines I tasted, and my impressions of each:

1. 2009 Crios De Susan Balbo Torrontes, Mendoza Argentina- I had never tasted this varietal, but I loved this specific wine... big notes of honey and a very floral nose.. reminded me of a CA Viognier, but with a dry, but complex finish. LOVED IT, BOUGHT IT!! $11.99/bottle

2. 2008 Craggy Range Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand- This was a very nice chard.. citrus-like, dominated by lime IMO. Yet still balanced.. I thought this was a great wine, but tend toward sonoma/russian river chards more so. So BECAUSE of my personal palate, I did not buy this wine. But it was a great wine of a style that I am not just partial to, so I would highly recommend it to those who gravitate to this style. $18.99/bottle

3. 2006 Punto Final Malbec Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina- I loved this wine... spice, lavendar, earth... yum. This was one I bought. $18.99/bottle

4. 2007 Bodegas Caro Amancaya, Mendoza, Argentina (50% Cab sauv/ 50% Malbec)- currant, cedar, plum notes... good wine, very good, but not to my personal tasting. Liked the above Malbec better. $17.99/bottle

5. 2007 Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz, Clare Valley, South Australia- My tasting partner liked this.. said it was great... I did not like it and will not review what I tasted because my palate is adverse to most Aussie wines! I talked to the the proprietors about this, and they had a really great explanation... that some people's palates are just sensitive to the terroir of certain regions. I told them I had decided that I just can't drink aussie wines....$17.99/bottle

6. 2006 Domus Aurea Cabernet Sauv, Maipo Valley, Chile- Again, this wine is rated highly, my tasting partner loved it, but it did not do well with me. Chile is another area I have issue with for some reason (my palate) ? $49.99/bottle

So you see my picks and why.. at the end of our tasting, I was brought a tawny port- I was told it was a tawny port and that is all. It was WONDERFUL... my first taste/impression was burnt caramel (think- creme brulee). On further tasting, I tasted toasted hazelnuts. This was an AWESOME tawny port!!!! I asked what it was, and she told me I had finally found an aussie that I liked!!! It was the Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny Port. Yum Yum! Bought it.

I just have to say I really enjoyed my visit here. This has been a definite highlight of my trip! The gals that own/run the place are just fabulous, and they really have a knack for guessing what you would like based on your input. It is a friendly, upbeat place that I truely wish all of you could visit. They do mail order (the website is And they also have a "wine club" type of membership. It looks really cool and different to me cause they try to personalize the selections to YOUR palate. I would definitely enquire into the SoLa Tasting Group if you are partial to these wines. I discovered that I am partial to Argentinian wines, and some New Zealand wines. Visit if you can, if not go to and try some out!!!


Reply by dmcker, Jan 30, 2010.

Thanks for the report, napagirl. And good for the Southern Lattitudes wineshop and the women running it.

Glad to see that you found a wine from Oz you like, even if a fortified one. Personally I question an explanation that says your palate is "just sensitive to the terroir of (a) certain region" when that 'island' is continent-sized with winemaking spread thousands of miles from west to east to south, not to mention another island called Tasmania. There are certainly popular styles of Aussie wine you obviously don't like (others including me, too), but keep searching for those winemakers who dance to the beat of a different drummer, and check out the dozens of 'terroir' around the place...

Reply by napagirl68, Jan 31, 2010.

Good point, dmcker. A VERY large area.. and hopefully, will find something I like, tho not looking too hard since I have lots others from different regions I do enjoy.

What about Chile for you? I have yet to find a Chilean wine I enjoy as well. My child's nanny was Chilean, and contstatly giving me chilean wine to drink... disliked them all...

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