Mystery Label

But don't believe the lack of hype. "It's continued to improve in the bottle," says winemaker Williams. "It's one of my favorite wines. It's old-world style — very dry, a little bit of an earthy, peppery streak. The tannins are just right, and it's got a balance of that bottle bouquet versus young fruit character."

"It's on the list at the newly redesigned restaurant at the Hotel Del," adds Gourvitz. As are the Fallbrook Sauvignon Blanc and Special Selection Cabernet (the name confusion has been cleared up). Things have changed a bit since the private-label days. "It was sort of a natural progression. I had a winery, I had equipment, I had a winemaker. I said, 'Now we need to flip this over, do 30 percent private and 70 percent of our own label.' I went into the accounts and said, 'If you're happy with the house wine we've been selling you, just give us two wines on your list.' How could they turn us down?" Finally, about two and a half years ago, Gourvitz felt confident enough to go in and up the ante. "I'd say, 'We've been doing this for a long time — let's pour Fallbrook. '" It would be more expensive, but "your house wine will be better, and you'll be building a local brand."

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