Buscador Wines

I never know where the next wine blog subject is going to come from. Sometimes, an event during the week sparks and idea, and other times it is questions from followers of this blog. I am always searching for ideas and subjects. This week, the "searcher" came to me, in the form of Buscador Wine. What? You haven't heard of them? Well, that's no surprise, as they only make about 400 cases total. But, if you are like me, you are always looking for one of those "up and coming" winemakers. The ones you can say, "I knew them way back when....".

Matt & Stephanie
I was at the Lake Arrowhead Country Club at the outdoor pub, and they happened to be having a wine tasting. Behind the table were Matt Kowalczyk and his wife Stephanie. They had driven up that day from Santa Ynez, and were heading back that night. After talking a bit, I learned that they were the owners and winemaker for Buscador Wines (Spanish for a person dedicated to seeking out new experiences...a searcher).

Matt and Stephanie are outgoing and friendly. As I talked with them, I learned that we had numerous winemaker friends and contacts in common. Their path to winemaking was interesting. After spending time in Switzerland, France, Spain and New Zealand, Matt ended up in the Central Coast, and has been making wine for the past seven years along side winemaker Mike Brown at Kalyra Winery (remember the movie Sideways?). Stephanie is a Biologist, who spent time working in New Zealand, at Cloudy Bay (home of the world renowned Sauvignon Blanc).

At the Buscador tasting table, they were offering five wines. The first wine was the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. On my first sip it reassured my belief that the best Sauvignon Blancs in California, are coming from the Santa Ynez region. Good, crisp acidity with citrus and herbal aromas. The second wine was the 2009 Chardonnay. All barrel fermented with a slight bit of oak on the nose, and that yeasty character you get from sur lie aging.

Matt Kowalczyk
Next we moved on to the red wines. First up was the Buscador 2010 Pinot Noir. 100% of the grapes came from the Rancho Camp Alamos vineyards in Los Alamos. This didn't taste like your typical California Pinot Noir. It was much more Burgundian in flavor and aroma. Only one barrel (or about 20 cases) were made of this wine. I picked up a few bottles to store away for a few years (along with an allocation of Sauvignon Blanc). While it is very pleasant now, I think three to five years of aging will make for a beautiful wine. The second red was the 2008 Petite Sirah. This is one of those rare 100% Petite Sirahs. All the grapes were sourced from the Solana Farms Vineyard on the warmer east side of Paso Robles. Matt was really proud of this wine, and it was obvious that this is the style of wine he drinks himself. The last wine at the tasting was the 2009 WaveSlider, the only blend in the mix. The grapes were organically grown, and a mix of 65% Syrah and 35% Petite Sirah. Very Southern Rhone in style.

What I found amazing was the price points. Buscador wines range from only $14.50 to $32.00 (and up to 30% off that if you are one of their wine club members). Speaking of the wine club, in talking with Matt, he tells me that membership in their wine club is free. Right now the wine club is so small, you will even get a call from Matt himself asking you which wines you would like to purchase, and he'll create the shipment mix you want. The wine club may be the only way to get some of his wines too. His last vintage of Malbec is already gone, and he is talking about trying some Roses, which I'm sure will disappear just as quickly. With such small production, and growing acknowledgement of their quality wines, now is the time to get in on the "ground floor" with Buscador Wines.

For more information on Buscador wines, check out their website at: www.buscadorwine.com
or, you can also follow them on Facebook .

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