Paso Robles AVA
PharaohMoans Winery might be the most adventurously name winery in California but its record speaks for itself.
If the name of this winery seems a bit strange, maybe an explanation is in order.
PharaohMoans Winery honors the birthplace of wine in ancient Egypt (Armenians actually were credited with making the first wines, but Egypt became the center of the wine world around 1500 BC) and involves an interesting series of side stories.
It seems that in ancient Egypt, when the Pharaohs enjoyed their wine, they would often let out a moan of joy. Alos, PharaohMoans plays with the term ‘pheromones,’ the hormonal influence behind a variety of sensory patterns that includes the consumption of wine. The company that owns PharaohMoans Winery also uses the adage, Nunc Est Bibendum! that is loosely translated to ‘Now We Drink!’
One final factoid - the label used on the PharaohMoans Winery bottles closely resembles the shape of the famed Rosetta Stone discovered in 1822 that unlocked the written secrets of culture of the ancient civilization.
That being said, it’s time to turn to the winery and its wines. PharaohMoans Winery has been in existence for almost two decades and involves a partnership between Napa Valley vintner John Schwartz and noted restaurateur Chef Bryan Ogden (son of multi award winning Chef Bradley Ogden) who shared the James Beard Award with his father.
The key ingredients to PharaohMoans Winery’s success are the company’s French-born winemaker Guillaume Fabre and the incredible fruit the company enjoys from the hillside vineyards of the Central Coast’s Paso Robles AVA, located on the eastern side of the Santa Lucia Highlands mountain range.
These vineyards enjoy a diversity of soils as well as a long growing season with optimal growing conditions that provide the Syrah grape a fabulous setting in which to evolve. Soil diversity is the norm in the area and a vineyard block may contain several different soil types. An adventurous factor for Paso Robles fruit is the fact that highly desirable limestone and calcareous-rich soils are present throughout the area that provides a benefit for the vines. Additionally, the region benefits from the largest swing between high daytime and low nighttime temperatures (as much as 40 degrees) of any grape growing region in the state thanks to the cool marine air that flows through the Templeton Gap and south along the Salinas River Valley from Monterey Bay. It is considered by many as the finest growing area in the entire State of California.
Fabre himself possesses an incredible resume as a winemaker. A graduate of the Lycee Charlemagne in Carcassonne, France, he managed the Estate Domaine Sicard in the Minervois AOC for two years. Next, he returned to Bordeaux and worked at his parents’ property, Château Guionne in Bourg. He also worked closely with Michel Roland and the Laboratory Cousinie to develop his skills.
In 2006, Fabre tired of the classic French winemaking system and its many regulations. Along with his brother Arnaud, the pair ventured to California and Guillaume became assistant winemaker for the top-rated L’Aventure Winery in Paso Robles after only three months. The Paso area had become California’s fastest growing wine region and was attracting major attention by producing a number of world-class wines during the period.
In Paso Robles, Guillaume Fabre embraced the chance to apply his skills, experience, and “savoir-faire” along with the freedom to create world-class wines that bear his distinctive signature. Fabre also acts as winemaker for his own winery, Clos Solene, that began in 2007 and is named after his wife.
PharaohMoans Winery might be the most adventurously name winery in California but its record speaks for itself. It has always been counted on to bring expressive wines to consumers that stand up to high-caliber competition.
The fact that wines such as the PharaohMoans Winery 2018 Red Wine (Syrah) are even available to our Platinum members is a feat in itself. Only 350 cases of this remarkable wine were made, a figure that is in keeping with the company’s desire to produce limited Rhône-style varietals.
It is a pleasure to introduce this notable red to our Platinum Wine Club members. We trust you will find it rewarding to your taste as well as a valuable addition to your cellar. Enjoy!
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
We are honored to share with you our PharaohMoans 2018 Rhône-style blend from the Paso Robles AVA.
Our vineyards are located on the westside of the appellation and benefit from the cooler ocean climate and fog it brings in the morning and evening hours. The ten-acre site is rich in limestone deposits, allowing us to produce Syrah much in the vein of the finest wines from the northern Hermitage region in France. The 2018 blend is 100% Syrah and exudes flavors of smoked meats, black licorice, olive tapenade and dark fruits. We aged the wine for 20 months in 60% new French oak. The 2018 vintage yielded just shy of 500 cases.
The genesis of the name PharaohMoans is derived from the notion that wine was first discovered in Egypt some 6,500 years ago, and when the Pharaohs enjoyed a jug of wine, they often would let out a moan of joy. The label is a replica of the Rosetta stone which first deciphered hieroglyphics in 1822.
We were thrilled when PharaohMoans’ 2018 Red Wine garnered the highest rating (98 Points) for California Rhône-style blends from Jeb Dunnuck.
Nunc Est Bibendum! (‘Now, therefore drink!’)
CEO - PharaohMoans Winery