Black Stallion Estate Winery

We first encountered Black Stallion ( about a decade ago.  All that stuck in our minds since then was the large statue of a horse and the fact that they were emphasizing the food they served then more than the wine.  We are happy to report that the statue is still there; the facility has been greatly expanded and improved and that we will now remember the wines they serve.

Before discussing the wine tasting experience at Black Stallion, it’s worthwhile explaining a bit of the back story.  The winery is owned by the Indelicato family, now in its fourth generation in America.  Gaspare Indelicato arrived in 1924, planted a vineyard and expanded his holdings so that the company named for him today owns many wineries, the best known of which is Coppola.  Now, about that horse: The land on which the winery sits was previously an equestrian academy.  Situated in the Oak Knoll AVA, the land is better used today for wine than horses, so we believe.  All that’s left is the statue, which they call Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great.  Great horse, great wines – get it?

We did not realize, on our previous visit, that the winery had just been erected and wasn’t yet finished.  The tasting room was long and narrow, had a bar and some outdoor seating.  The bar is still there, but is no longer used in this era of seated tastings.  The tasting area is in a large, canopied patio furnished with low tables and comfortable chairs, from which you can see vineyards and olive trees.  It’s the patio you wished you had, times thirty.  That’s the impression that Black Stallion wants to give, that you are at home, relaxing with some fine wines.  We felt welcome the moment we sat down.

We were offered a choice of four tasting flights, running from $40 to $80 for the Prestige Tasting of their better wines.  In the latter flight, two wines were a mini-vertical of the 2014 and 2018 Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons.  There were also a Cabernet Sauvignon called Gaspare, named for Grandpa, and a Bordeaux blend that they call Transcendent.  We expressed interest in the Tempranillo and the Pinot Noir from other lists, and so were given tastes of these as well.  Power Tasting does not review wines, but suffice it to say that these wines pleased us much more than those we can (barely) remember from a decade ago.

The educational vineyard at Black Stallion.

Alongside the tasting patio, Black Stallion has planted a micro-vineyard with vines of all the grapes they use in their wines.  It’s there for educational purposes and adds a serious vibe to the comfortable setting.  We can’t resist relating the comments of one patron who clearly needs some wine education.  “Oh, Malbec is a grape, too.  I thought it was a brand.  And the grapes all come from France!”  There is another garden which they call the “insectory”, where they raise plants that attract birds and bugs that are beneficial to grape vines.  This is further evidence of Black Stallion’s commitment to informative wine tasting.

One of the pleasures of wine tasting travels is the opportunity to discover new experiences.  In the case of Black Stallion, the revisit was just such a discovery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *