Lake Breeze's Garron Elmes is now an old-timer
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“The philosophy when we started out with Paul Moser was well-priced wines that over-delivered for what you paid for them,” Garron says. “That has always been my philosophy.” Along with assistant winemaker Victor Costa, he has been taken the opportunity to expand the portfolio with premium and ultra-premium wines, without taking away from the quality of the “regular” wines. In 2016, the winery crowned its portfolio with a $90 Merlot and a $60 Chardonnay under the MacIntyre Heritage Reserve label. At the same time, the winery expanded its Cellar Series of wines, inserting a more affordable premium tier between its regular range, priced between $19 and $24, and the MacIntyre Heritage wines. “This is our third or fourth vintage making the Cellar Series,” Garron says. “We just wanted to do something, when we had a tier of wines that was small production, that it was what we thought was best of the best. We would put those under the Cellar Series label. All of the wines are named after different winds.” For example, Alizé, French for trade wine, is 100% Roussanne. This is a varietal rarely seen on its own because it is usually blended with Marsanne and Viognier into what the industry calls a Rhône blend. “We first made Roussanne in 2016,” Garron says. “I got some fruit and decided to make something different for our wine club. The wine turned out so well that, when that block of fruit became available the next year, we snapped it up. Of all the wines we make right now, this is probably my favorite out of the whites.”