Cougar Vineyard & Winery Review
Address: 39870 De Portola Road Temecula,California 92592.
Phone Number: 951-491-0825
Tasting Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:00-6:00, Friday 11:00-8:00, Saturday 11:00-7:00
Region: South Coast and S. California, Temecula Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Review Date: 7/8/2013
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Cougar Vineyard & Winery provides good service, nice wines and gorgeous views. Cougar’s onsite deli also makes it a cost effective lunchtime stop.
The Place:  Cougar Winery benefits from the natural beauty that exists along the De Portola Wine Trail. Sitting at the top of a ridge, the winery provides visitors spectacular views of the vineyards below. The tasting room was recently built with Spanish and Italian influences, and while the tasting room was architecturally tasteful, it felt unfinished due to the sparse décor. One of my favorite aspects of Cougar Winery was Sangios Deli. After several wine tasting trips, one of my biggest complaints is the inability to find a quick and affordable bite to eat while visiting wineries in the Temecula Valley. Cougar solves that problem with Boars Head Deli. Tables are situated inside the tasting room and outside on the patio. Unfortunately, the trees at the edge of the patio block some of the spectacular views.
The Experience:  The short drive to the modest tasting room was a pleasant one. The new tasting room suited the naturally gorgeous surroundings, but it did feel a bit unfinished. The fountain at the entrance needed cleaning and didnt appear to be operational. We entered the tasting room and only had to take a couple of steps to reach the bar and the welcoming attendant. The service throughout was friendly and helpful. Our glasses were never empty long, and each wine was accurately described. The people that were pouring that day were obviously professionals and not just reading off a script.
The Wines:  Unusual for my tastes in Temecula wines, I found my favorite Cougar wines were the white wines and the blush. Perhaps because it was so hot the day I visited, I found the 2012 Pink Cougar to be my favorite. The 2012 Estate Vermentino was also refreshing with its green apple flavors. My favorite of the reds was the 2010 Estate Bella Rosso, which was a Gold Medal winner in the 2013 Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition. Wine tasting costs $12 for six tastes every day of the week, no weekend markups here. For an extra $5 you can keep the cougar logo glass.
Insiders Tip:  Cougar Vineyard and Winery wine club members enjoy discounts on wine and complimentary wine tasting for up to three guests. Cougar Winery will ship your wine bottles to you if the shipping laws will allow it. Cougar offers weddings at their vineyard, and also hosts live music on Saturdays. Wines may be ordered online.