Our Introduction to ONX Wines

by Randy Smith
(Covington, LA)

As we planned this year's Paso Robles visit, I inquired of a CellarTracker friend about any new wineries that might pique our interest. He suggested I make an appointment at ONX.


ONX is owned by Los Angeles real estate maven Steve Olson, who purchased an estate in the Templeton Gap in the mid-2000s. Thirteen different varietals have been planted there. All the ONX wines are blends, and there is no strict adherence to convention in their composition. The goal with each wine is to spotlight one varietal, and use others to flesh out the bottle.

Brian Brown of Round Pond in Napa is the consulting winemaker. Jeff Strekas is the winemaker on location, and made time to visit with our group. We found him passionate about his calling, and for everything the future holds for ONX.

Here were the wines we tasted, with my impressions:

2011 Field Day: 75% Sauvignon Blanc/25% Viognier. Crisp, tropical fruit. Good acidity. Nice summer wine.

2010 Mad Crush: 50% Grenache, 19% Tempranillo, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon & 12% Syrah. Bright fruit, almost candied. Nose a bit more reticent than expected. Good acidity.

2010 Moxie: 50% Zinfandel, 29% Syrah, 11% Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Nice, peppery Zin blend with additional structure added by the other varietals.

2010 Reckoning: 79% Syrah, 12% Tempranillo, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. Really dark fruit on the nose and palate. Savory. Layers of powerful flavor. My wife's favorite.

2010 Crux: 43% Tempranillo, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Grenache. Dark fruit on the nose. Lots of Cab character, with a bit of a pleasant green streak.

2010 Praetorian: 42% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Syrah, 4% Grenache. Smoother on the palate than Reckoning, this was my favorite.

Our group enjoyed the wines, enough to join the wine club. We're big Rhone Ranger fans, and ONX adds a twist to that theme with some unconventional blends. We're interested to follow their journey. If you would like a tasting, email Jeff or Director of Marketing Jennifer Freck at info@onxwines.com to make an appointment.

Read more at: http://www.thewinewrite.com/

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