If you don’t feel like driving to one of those far out wineries, the best place to taste in downtown Templeton is Clavo Cellars. It is on your way to or from lunch or dinner at the classy and delicious McPhee’s Grill and the evening live music at AJ Spurs Saloon and Dining Hall. But, really, the reason to go is their delightfully balanced and refined wines.
The first wine in the line up really knocks your socks off. If you are tired of Viogniers tasting like perfume or making you smell that overwhelming floral fragrance, try Apparition. Its time in cement and neutral oak barrels gives it a creamy texture and thickness rarely found elsewhere. Yet, its fresh acidic banana and tropical fruit flavors shine with a smooth silky texture. Their Grenache Blanc is not sweet like most. This one has tart lemon zest and refreshing banana that make it a great pairing for rich dishes. Actually, all their wines are a little on the acidic side, making them age better and a great pairing for your favorite dishes.
Their Grenache sparkling wine is one you don’t see often but should really try. It is dry with plenty of sumptuous green apple, rich lemon curd, and no sugar aftertaste. If you enjoy a Petite Sirah, make sure you give theirs a try. Its tannins are silky and blueberry flavors are more tart than jammy, allowing the deeper dark cocoa black currant flavors to emerge. This is a bright round wine for just about any meaty meal.