2004 SANTA BARBARA WINE FUTURES - Nippers

doctorlanguidInternet και Εφαρμογές Web

8 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

250 εμφανίσεις



2004 SANTA BARBARA WINE REPORT

by Douglas Margerum



I spend the first two months of every year traveling and tasting with Santa Barbara’s
finest wine makers. I am pleased to present another fine line
-
up of wines from the best
producers in the Santa Bar
bara County. In fact, I have included a few more wineries but
fewer wines per producer. The quality bar continues to be raised as new vineyards are
constantly coming on line, new growing areas emerge, and new producers begin
production. Overall the qual
ity and consistency continues to increase dramatically.

I do want to mention that my notes are for both bottled wines and barrel samples, which
can be very different. Most 2003 red and white wines notes are for barrel and/or tank
samples. Please take int
o account when reading the notes.


I note approximate release dates for each wine and many of these wines will be limited
for purchase and some wines may well be already sold out by the end of the year.


I hope you enjoy the tasting notes and observati
ons and that you take advantage of the
opportunity to secure some of these great wines.


This is my15th report and I could not do this program without the loyal support of Wine
Cask customers and the participating wineries.

.


THE WINES


WINE CASK

I have

always searched out and found small lots of special wines to label as Wine Cask
wines and have presented special “one of a kind” lots. This year’s Wine Cask
Chardonnay is an extraordinary wine and it represents a great value.


2003 Chardonnay “Special
Reserve”, Santa Barbara County

$14.95

100 cases produced

This year’s blend for Wine Cask Chardonnay is 50% from Fred’s Brander’s estate
vineyard Los Olivos Vineyard, and 50% from the Carriaga Vineyard in Los Alamos. It is
this combination of cool climate
and cold climate fruit that shapes itself in the mouth
with a burst of crisp acidity and mouthful of richness and tropical fruits. In making this
blend Fred and I are looking for a wine that will age for 3


5 years while still being
drinkable and will be

a real food wine right off the bat as we serve it by the glass at the
Wine Cask. Again the Wine Cask Chardonnay is the same price as the last several years.

Release date 7/1/4




AU BON CLIMAT

What do you say about Jim Clendenen? As I arrived to taste t
he wines for futures he is
being interviewed by a German wine publication (der güd wien?) as he has been
nominated for Wine Maker of the World!?! In visiting Au Bon Climat you can see that
Jim has rededicated himself to the small batch production within t
he now larger context
of the production. Jim’s wines are actually getting better as his vineyards are hitting their
maturity level in the 7 to 12 year age. In addition, Jim’s 2002 red wines are powerful
wines, atypically dark and concentrated for ABC due

to the vintage.


2002 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Estate “Nuits Blanches au Bouge”, Santa Maria Valley

$34.95

2000 cases produced

A blend of Bien Nacido K block and Jim’s new vineyard in Santa Maria called Le Bon
Climat. Riper and richer than ever and I like
it. In fact I love it. More new oak and one
of the biggest wines Jim has made with that Bien Nacido redeeming acidity. This is a
very reconciled wine and my notes simply say: wonderful.

Release date 8/15/04


2002 Chardonnay “Sanford & Benedict”, Santa R
ita Hills

$24.95

600 cases produced

The 2002 S&B has a nice clean mineral quality to it; lean, tight, and dry that means it will
do well for ageing. This S&B Chardonnay is very Chabisian, although you don’t find
many Chablis that are allowed to taste this

good. Let’s call this an un
-
emasculated
Chablisian styled wine. 1/3 new wood and produced from a very low yield crop of less
than two tons per acre. Picked less ripe than normal. Jim feels that along with his
’99,’95, ’89, and ’87 this is the greatest

Chardonnay made in California in this style.
Distinctive.

Release date 8/15/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Le Bon Climat”, Santa Maria Valley

$29.95

2000 cases produced

Jim has literally put his heart and soul into this vineyard. Organically farmed with yields
i
n the 1 ¾ ton per acre range. All the groovy clones are present here 115, 667, 777,
Mount Eden and 2A. The resulting wine is leaner and it reminds me of some of the first
great wines from ABC in the days of old. This is a very structured wine and will b
e well
suited for aging.

Release date 4/1/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Sanford & Benedict”, Santa Rita Hills

$34.95

500 cases produced

Like the 2002 Chardonnay from S&B this year’s S&B Pinot Noir is comparable to the
great wines from vintages ’87, ‘89’, ’95, and ’
99 that Jim has produced. I am lucky
enough to have these wines in my own cellar and I am richly rewarded every time
reluctantly pull a cork on one of these. My only wish is that there was more. The wine,
aromatically, is more in the spice spectrum, lea
ner appearing in the nose yet full and rich
in the mouth with round tannins and a long finish. This is one serious wine. One note: In
1998 S&B planted new clones 667 and 777 for SouthCorp for the “Grange” Pinot Noir
program they had planned. Jim now get
s a majority of the fruit.

Release 4/1/04



2002 Pinot Noir Estate “Knox Alexander” Santa Maria Valley

$44.95

1000 cases produced

From Block 11 on the hill of Bien Nacido planted in 1996 with the Swan, Jackson, 667
and 777 clones on 6 acres. This vineyard

faces north and yielded 1 ½ tons per acre. It is
one of the darkest and richest Knox yet and is consistently one of my favorites. My
notes: outrageous, grapey, ripe, yummy, and wild.

Release date 8/15/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Isabelle Morgan”, California


$
49.95

375 cases produced

The Isabelle Pinot Noir is simply the best barrels of the best vineyards that Jim works
with. Included are Talley Vineyards, Le Bon Climat, Mendocino fruit and various barrels
from various sections of Bien Nacido. The wine is alw
ays complete but the 2002 is
fruitier and leaner with smooth integrated round earthy flavors all buoyed with a
persistent almost glycerin mouth feel. Isabelle a winery directed blend, as all of his other
Pinot Noirs are vineyard specific.

Release date 8
/15/04


2001 Pinot Noir Mt. Carmel Vineyard “Larmes de Grappe”, Santa Rita Hills

$149.95

68 cases produced

This is a once in a lifetime achievement. I challenge anyone to find a better wine


okay
maybe the 1962 La Tache. Larmes de Grappe translates to
“tears of the whole cluster”


apparently Jim Clendenen has his melancholy moments. A departure from his current
wine style as it is kept 24 months in all new Francoise Freres barrels and yet a return to
the past as it is 100% stems retained. At ¾ ton pe
r acre yield in the vineyard (yields that
are rarely even seen in Burgundy these days) the resulting wine is ethereal dark and
brooding while still bearing a core fruit that can only be Pinot Noir. My first impression
is that it reminds me of a Grand Cru
from the likes of Dujac but represents a better value.
Interestingly there would have been 75 cases of this wine but Jim has “drunk” it

as we
“drunk” it all dem dat der day.

Release date 8/15/04


BABCOCK

Brian does a stellar job and continues to be dedic
ated to his craft. Brian is sourcing more
and more of his grapes from parts North and thus many of the wines being produced are
not labeled with any of the appellations of Santa Barbara County. For those of you smart
enough to have bought last year’s 200
1 Vogelzang Cabernet Sauvignon sold on futures
there will not be a 2002 due to the limited crop size.


2003 Pinot Noir “Cargasacchi”, Santa Rita Hills

$39.95

200 cases produced

Bryan has a 5
-
acre section at Cargasacchi and this year’s wine is a selection o
f eight
barrels. Peter Cargasacchi’s vineyard is located at the extreme western end of the new
Santa Rita Hills appellation and is one of the coolest in the county. Not as dark as last
year but it certainly has more layers of complexity. Brian calls it a

more complete wine.
Very layer on the palate with a weight that is not just ripe fruit weight but a wine that
shows it soil.

Release date 10/1/03


BECKMEN VINEYARDS

The wines from Beckman continue to improve. The Beckmen’s Purisima Mountain
Vineyard has
certainly become one of the most important vineyards in Santa Barbara
County. Steve Beckmen’s commitment to his vineyard and his wines has never been
stronger. There are the most intense wines that have been made from this property. The
2003 wines are d
eeper in color and have a bit more tannin.


2003 Grenache “Purisima Mountain Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley


$29.95

250 cases produced

The Tablas clone Grenache on Purisima Mountain yielded a crop of less than one ton per
acre. The end result is a brightly c
olored wine, with complex aromas of earth, violets,
roasted eggplant, and pomegranates. Slightly reserved cranberry flavors give way to an
expansive mid pallet filled with smoked meats, dried cherries, and baker’s spice. The
core is rich in minerals finish
ing long with chewy tannins that coat every inch of your
mouth.

Release date 12/1/04


2003 Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard “Clone 1”, Santa Ynez Valley

$34.95

500 cases produced

Since its inception in 2001, the Syrah that Steve produces from this clone
has been one of
my favorites. This huge Syrah delivers “in your face” port like Aussie aromatics, along
with aromas of blackberry, plum, sandalwood, and chocolate. Clone 1 has beautiful depth
in the mouth with flavors of plum and chocolate, a viscous, gly
cerin packed texture that
gives way to freshly cracked pepper and smoke. Plush tannins fill out a long juicy finish.

Release date 12/1/04



2003 Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard “Block Six”, Santa Ynez Valley


$34.95

500 cases produced

Steve pushes the en
velope on the steep hillsides of Purisima Mountain by applying
biodynamic vineyard practices. Block Six refers to the top block situated at the highest
elevation averaging 1,175 feet. It is a blend of two clonal sections (Estrella and 383) that
yielded a m
ere 1.25 tons per acre. This dense syrah reminds me of Cote Rôtie, with
complex aromas of white flowers, smoke, kirsch liqueur, dark chocolate, game, and black
pepper. Block Six delivers big upfront flavors of blueberry, black cherry, mineral, white
pepper
, and chocolate. The finish is big and lush with plum and amazing tannin
complexity.

Release date 12/1/04


2002 Cabernet Sauvignon “Purisima Mountain Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley


$49.95

100 cases produced

This wine has definitely filled out since last yea
r. It is hard to believe that this is the
same wine as last year. The wine has concentrated aromas of black cherries, pencil lead,
violets, and red licorice. A big upfront cherry fruit
-
filled mouthful, moving toward
peppermint paddy, and powering through
the long finish with youthful tannin and sweet
oak. Sheer proof that Cabernet Sauvignon is alive and well in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Release date 12/1/04


THE BRANDER VINEYARD

Fred Brander is the Sauvignon Blanc king (with no less than three different offer
ings) and
he has been the driving force behind the exploration and quality production of Cabernet
Sauvignon in this county. Fred’s 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve has to rate as one of
the best Cabernet based wines ever made in Santa Barbara County. All
is well in
Branderland.


2003 Sauvignon “Au Naturel”, Santa Ynez Valley

$29.95

250 cases produced

A mere 6 tons of Sauvignon from 9 acres of vines, these are unheard of tiny yields and
we can not expect this kind of concentration to be a normal condition u
nless we are
prepared to pay $90.00 a bottle for this wine. The resultant wine is perhaps the finest
example of Sauvignon Blanc that we will ever see. Tight and elegant, lees infused and
packed with stuffing in a very tight package. It is a true testame
nt to the quality approach
Fred Brander takes with his estate wines.

Release date 10/1/04


2002 Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve”, Santa Ynez Valley

$39.95

250 cases produced

The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon is a super elegant, luxurious, mouth coating, and rich
exp
ression of Cabernet Sauvignon. Fred uses only free run juice and does very little
processing of the fruit as he carefully barrels it down. Fred directs to wine to bottle with
careful
élevage

and practiced blending to craft some of the best Bordeaux varie
tal red
wines made in Santa Barbara county. The 2002 is a darker and more intense wine than
the legendary 2000 reserve and I think it will require a bit more aging to reach its peak.

Release date 7/1/04



CARHARTT CELLARS

Carhartt Cellars is a family own
ed vineyard and winery located in the heart of the Santa
Ynez Valley. The ten
-
acre vineyard site is positioned high on a mesa with maximum
sunlight exposure and a soil structure that lends itself to the production of outstanding
fruit. Four acres of Syrah
and six acres of Merlot are farmed with meticulous care. The
focus is on minimizing crop yields and maximizing fruit quality. Mike and Brooke
Carhartt are dedicated, hands
-
on grower/producers in the tradition of the “old
-
world”
vignerons
.


2002 Merlot “Est
ate”, Santa Ynez Valley

$33.95


300 cases produced


Black cherries dipped in dark, velvety chocolate

this Merlot is all about hedonistic
pleasure with no sharp edges. In the vineyard, the focus is achieving complete ripeness

no green, herbal notes here! In

the winery, minimal manipulation, 20 months in barrel
(100% French

50% new), no fining and no filtering. The wine offers sumptuous texture
and plush fruit without going over the top.

Release date 6/1/04


2002 Syrah “Estate”, Santa Ynez Valley

$33.95

200
cases produced

This is big, earthy Syrah. Two clones are involved

clone 877 lends power, structure,
and brooding plum notes; clone 6 adds Rhone
-
like spice

and the whole reveals a
delicious synergy between the parts. The fruit was picked fully ripe (~ 26 br
ix) carefully
pressed, aged for 20 months in French oak (50% new) and handled minimally. The result
is very user friendly. Open and inviting, it brims with juicy black fruits accented with
warm spice and sweet vanilla over fine, dusty tannins. Easy to like
. Easy to drink.

Release date 6/1/04


CARLSON

Chuck Carlson, wine maker for Curtis, has a little side production of high quality Pinot
Noir as well. I always feel that wines reflect their wine maker. Chuck is caring, loyal,
and dedicated to his craft wh
ile enjoying life immensely. He is consistently optimistic.
Now I know these are not qualities you often find in wines but in Chuck’s wine they are
very apparent.


2003 Pinot Noir “Ashley's Vineyard
-

Top of the Hill”, Santa Rita Hills

$27.49

90 cases pr
oduced

Aromas of dried black cherries and raspberries with an underlying hint of cinnamon spice
show initially. As the wine opens, strawberries and red fruits fill the glass. The entry is
sweet and flavorful with a hint of raspberry and cranberry. The w
ine is of medium
weight with really nice balance.

Release date 12/1/04



CARINA

Carina has moved to nice new digs in Buellton. It is a great space complete with a new
press, a real bathroom, a sink or two, and room to move. Joey Tensley and David Hardee
have a vast array of single vineyard wines from which to work with and choose from. I
tasted through quite a few and I have selected the best. The revered Smith and Wolensky
chain (calling the Carina wines “steak in a glass”) are pouring Carina Syrah in
many of
their restaurants and David Hardee, the proud owner of it all, is feeling good. I was
feeling good as well after this early morning taste
-
a
-
thon. These wines are emerging as
some of the finest that are being produced in the county.


2003 Syrah, Sa
nta Ynez Valley

$29.95

50 cases produced

A beautiful wine that is perfumed and fragrant. The Viognier notes are backed with dark
plum and exotic purple sweet and complex structured tannins. The addition of Viognier
is a classic Côte
-
Rôtie

program and it
really gives the wine lift. It is a big ripe mouthful
of dark dense Syrah with firm tannins. The Syrah comes from a variety of the top Syrah
vineyards in Santa Barbara County: Stolpman, Rothberg, and Parker.

Release date 10/15/04



2003 Syrah “Westerly”,

Santa Ynez Valley

$29.95

125 cases produced

This is a tremendous wine from some of the first Syrah to come from the new plantings at
Westerly Vineyards. Quite an attack on the entry as the wine explodes with very rich
fruit across the palate and finishes

with a length and an “I want more” brain response. I
love the very persistent coating of the mouth and the finish that does not quit. This wine
has esters, esters, and esters.

Release date 10/15/04



CLENDENEN FAMILY VINEYARDS

Yet another label from J
im and Morgan Clendenen you ask? Well, in fact, yes. These are
going to be some special wines. Jim wants people to age his wines and we don’t…. so
now that he has the ability (money) and his own vineyard he is taking this advantage to
focus on making lon
ger aging better balanced wine. After twenty years of making wine
he doesn’t need to bottle early and sell the day after bottling for cash flow reasons as thus
CFV is born.


2001 Chardonnay “Le Bon Climat”, Santa Maria Valley

$49.95

150 cases produced

Man
y people claim that their wines taste
Burgundian
. My guess is that only a few of
these wine makers have actually been to Burgundy once or twice and that they
occasionally drink wine from Burgundy. Well Jim has been to Burgundy (a lot), Jim has
made wine
in Burgundy, Jim has a cellar full of Burgundy and Jim has one insanely great
palate. So the argument (yes, we argue) we had was not whether the wine was
Burgundian but rather was it more like a Ramonet or Niellon. Made from the only
complete planting of

Dijon clones 76 and 96 in Santa Barbara County. Sensational wine.

Release date 8/15/04



COLD HEAVEN

Morgan Clendenen offers Wine Cask individual barrels from her exemplarily production
and therefore these wines are only available at Wine Cask. It was i
nteresting tasting with
Morgan this year as I had invited a friend of mine to join me for the day long tasting at
ABC, Qupe, Cold Heaven et al. As a novice taster he exclaimed on the drive home (he
neglected to spit) “dose Cold Heaven wines wherd de best
wines we tasted alladay.”

Morgan is a Viognier specialist and, as I said last year, she is considered by the
cognoscenti wine folk to be the top producer of Viognier in California. Her joint project
with Condrieu producer Yves Cuilleron, Deux C, has made
her known worldwide.


2003 Viognier “Le Bon Climat
-

Barrel Selection”, Santa Maria Valley

$24.95

25 cases produced

I found this to be another stellar wine from the most consistent producer of this varietal in
California. I like that Morgan emphasizes the

flavors of the grape and it’s vineyard rather
than fermentation flavors and oak flavors which can distract from the very pretty varietal
that Viognier can be. The fruit is ripe but not over ripe and the resulting wine is clean and
delicious to drink. I p
icked the leanest barrel. It has richer fruit aromas than the Sanford
& Benedict


more apricot, sweet butter, and earth.

Release date 8/15/04


2003 Viognier “Sanford & Benedict Old Vines
-

Barrel Selection”, Santa Rita Hills

$29.95

25 cases produced

I ta
sted through six barrels and again I this was the leanest one of the bunch. I loved the
aromatics of the first barrel I tasted and even though it was a hotter, riper year the wine is
not a fruity as last year. Beautiful aromas of pear and spring orchards

blooming give way
to an intense deeper voluminous mouth that finishes with the classic mineral earth that
seems to be in every Sanford & Benedict wine. The finish is long and sweet with a
playful acidity.

Release date 8/15/04



2002 Pinot Noir “Le Bon Cl
imat”, Santa Maria Valley


$24.95

140 cases produced

Less than half of what was produced last year owing to the miniscule yields the vineyard
had. As painful as it financially to have such low yields the wines from these vintages are
always superior. The
wine was fermented using indigenous yeasts strains and this like a
good sour dough yeast that give a bread
-
maker a house style also gives the wine a unique
flavor and style. It is a very dark wine with a
brûlée

nose and a fleshy masculine
mouthful of dark

muscular sinuous connectors of wild fruit and tannins. This is a real
statement wine and it is proof that the vineyard is already one of the best in the county.

Release date 8/15/04


CORDON

Etienne Terlinden got on my radar map when I tasted his Great Oa
ks Ranch Vineyard
Syrah and thought it to be quite good. He is currently the wine maker for the Central
Coast Wine Services operation in Santa Maria. He oversees a staff 6 people during
harvest and processes over 4000 tons of fruit while making sure the
dozens of winery
owners who operate out of the facility are kept happy. For him he produces about 500
cases of handcrafted finely tuned wines, which are quite good.


2003 Sauvignon Blanc “Royal Oaks”, Santa Ynez Valley $14.95

135 cases produced

Fermente
d in all stainless steel and aged (?) three months prior to bottling. Etienne has
captured a beautiful expression of Sauvignon Blanc full of fresh aromas of pineapple and
tropical fruits with a crisp citrus and fruit filled package in the mouth. The wine

finishes
dry. It’s a perfect summer wine for quaffing and for those alfresco for patio lunches. A
steal for the price.

Release date 4/1/04

Must purchase by 4/30/04


2002 Syrah “Lafond”, Santa Rita Hills $24.95

300 cases produced

Etienne has made a very
reserved wine that was hiding a bit in the glass when I tasted it
this Spring. It opened up in the glass as it warmed to reveal an almost olive and bark
depth of aroma with nice bright structure in the mouth, lively acidity and broad tannins
that wrap the

wine up in a package that is very Rhône in style. A wine that would pair
well with braised meats. It is no wonder that Santa Barbara’s exotic meats restaurant
Cold Springs Tavern is one of Etienne’s best customers.

Release date 4/1/04


CORE WINE

David C
orey has quietly entered the wine community but he is already garnering interest
from wine insiders. Andy Abramson, the ultimate wine knowledgeable insider, writes
about David’s wine extensively and likens him to a young Tom Petty. As Petty exploded
on t
o the music scene David is about to explode on the wine scene.


2002 Hardcore, Santa Barbara County $27.50

120 cases produced

I am very keen on these Core wines. This is a blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache,
and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and David Core wan
ts it to be an homage to the wines he
loves from Spain and Southern France. Before I knew this had Cabernet Sauvignon in it
I would have guessed it was from Bandol as the Mourvèdre is so dominate. I kept
looking at the wine


I can’t wait to see what thi
s wine will do with some age and
understanding. The Cabernet Sauvignon is what this wine is all about. David is not
kidding about the hardcore


real wine lovers will dig this wine, as it is a serious product
-

big and thick. Grown at high altitudes in
a warm climate at the most eastern and
northern vineyard in the Santa Barbara County appellation. Become a fan of these wines


I am.

Release date 10/1/04



2002 Elevation Sensation “Alta Vista”, Santa Barbara County $38.95

96 cases produced

This is a mel
lower version than the Hardcore and it presents itself as a warmer softer
story. A blend of 65% Mourvèdre and 35% Grenache it is all about being a more
approachable beast and it is clearly a
Rhône

style wine. Will be perfect for fall drinking,
with holid
ay meals, braised meats, and roasted birds. A slightly sluttish wine, as you are
initially attracted to it for its obvious pleasures even those it is a little coarse. Once you
have it a bit in the glass you realized it is more of a Julia Roberts type of
wine and quite
attractive really.

Release date 7/1/04


COSTA DE ORO

Costa de Oro is a collaboration between the Burk and Espinola families dedicated to
making cold climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Gold Coast Vineyard in the
Santa Maria Valley und
er the able stewardship of winemaker Gary Burk. These wines
are not “big”; they are, however, very correct. Year after year Gary’s Pinot Noirs rate as
some of my and the staff of the Wine Cask’s favorite wines. Suffice to say, we have
these wines in our

restaurant with world
-
class cuisine and they work really well for us.
So even though Gary’s wines are not going to “blow you away” with gobs of fruit and
extraction, they are the wines you will likely enjoy the most at meals in the coming
decade.


2002 P
inot Noir “Reserva Oro Rojo”, Santa Maria Valley

$34.95

200 cases produced

A complex and textured wine that is layered with elegant fruit that expands as the wine
literally caresses the palate. I am guessing this layered effect has something to do with
th
e painstaking way the grapes are harvested at Gold Coast as they go through the
vineyard no less than five times over a period of two weeks. Aged in 100% new François
Frères
oak

barrels
and

racked

once

prior to being bottled in February. I encourage wine

lovers to seek out and buy this wine for two reasons: #1 I am never wrong and #2 this is a
wine where the last glass is the most interesting of the bottle.

Release date 8/1/04



CURRAN

Kris Curran, wine maker for Sea Smoke, girlfriend of Bruno, owner of f
our or five large
German Shepard’s, is a passionate wine maker and is one of the most gifted and
innovative winemakers in the County. To know her is to love her. Know her wines and
you’ll love them too.


2003 Grenache Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley


$19.95

200

cases produced

This was one of favorite and one of the most memorable white wines I have tasted in the
last two months. I love Grenache Blanc and I really loved this one. It is so clean and
bright with aromas of fresh peas, spring, orchids, Fiji, and sp
ring water. So refreshing in
the mouth I could drink it every day. A world
-
class picnic wine if there ever was one.
We have a very limited amount of this to sell.

Release date 6/1/04


2002 Syrah “Reeves”, Santa Ynez Valley

$21.95

400 cases produced

Kris

has here a big brute of a wine that is similar to last year’s version but is
exponentially expanded. There is three times the fruit, four times the color, and five
times the impact. Loads of everything with the trophy elements of last years wine thrown
in. I think we have discovered one of Santa Barbara’s great new vineyards.
Blackberries, violets, pepper marry well with the dark fruit, roasted meat and chewy
sinuous mouthful of a wine that this is.

Release date 10/1/04


CURTIS

Chuck Carlson feels that

these are the best wines we he has ever made. Normally a
modest man and soft
-
spoken he just won’t shut
-
up about these wines. And I agree


the
combination of a great vintage and serious attention to the wines has yielded tremendous
results across the bo
ard at Curtis. Luckily we are able to offer the two best wines
currently available from Curtis at prices that will never be this low again.


2003 Roussanne “Estate”, Santa Ynez Valley

$17.95

450 cases produced

The Roussanne has aromas of floral peaches w
ith a hint of spice. Light honeycomb
nuances with an underlying nuttiness from a bit of malolactic fermentation. On the
palate, this wine shows a full array of flavors from floral to fruity to mineral. This full
-
bodied wine has a very creamy mid palate

with an almost oily/glycerin feel. A real steal
at this price!

Release date 8/1/04


2002 The Crossroad, Santa Ynez Valley

$15.95

500 cases produced

A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah this wine is shockingly good. Fresh vibrant
flavors of strawberries

and spice dominate the initial aromas from this wine. As the wine
opens up, hints of vanilla unfold, marrying all of the aromas into a single seamless wine.
On the palate the fruit carries through with great intensity. The mid palate is brought
fourth
with the addition Syrah to the blend yielding a long lingering finish. This
Grenache is one of the best produced from this winery to date. The richness and
complexity from the estate fruit really shows. This is such a good deal that I will
personally ad
monish anyone who does not buy this wine.

Release date 9/1/04


DI BRUNO

Bruno just keeps getting these Italian varietals wines right. He makes a perfect Pinot
Grigio as well as this textbook Sangiovese. It is always a pleasure to visit with Bruno to
see
and hear his unique perspective on the wine and the wine business. No shortage of
tales, new plans, wine news, and innuendo from him.


2002 Sangiovese “Stolpman Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley

$19.95

900 cases produced

The single best selling wine in last ye
ar’s futures program was the Di Bruno Sangiovese.
This year it is even a better wine. The wine exhibits bright red cherry aromas with strong
core fruit flavors and has a long persistent lingering sweet finish in the mouth. The
textural complexity could be

due to the addition of a bit of Nebbiolo that seems to
lengthen the wine. This is a definite candidate for improvement with time in the bottle.

Release date 9/1/04


DREW FAMILY CELLARS

Jason and Molly Drew began Drew Family Cellars in the fall of 2000. I
n 2003, Jason’s
brother Mark joined the family business bringing with him over ten years of experience
in economic development and farming systems research and is now playing a central role
in all aspects of the business. The focus is to produce vineyard
designated Pinot Noir and
Syrah from Santa Barbara County. They also make a small amount of Cabernet Franc and
Grenache, from hand
-
selected vineyards (including the Volgelzang vineyard noted
below) that have developed their own individual followings.


20
03 Pinot Noir “Arita Hills
-

667 Clone”, Santa Rita Hills

$34.95

100 cases produced

This small 10
-
acre vineyard on the Southeast side of the Santa Rita Hills is planted on a
Northwest exposure and meticulously farmed. The vineyard block chosen (100% clone

667) combined with the vintage provided very low yields producing great intensity and
focus of fruit. Black cherry taffy on the nose with intriguing plum spice and rose petals.
The soft round, expansive tannins and gracious acidity coat the palate, whic
h lends itself
to a long consistent finish.

Release date 12/1/04


2003 Syrah “Rodney’s and Larner”, Santa Barbara County

$31.95

150 cases produced

A great dual vineyard designate with three clones of Syrah (887, Estrella, and
Shanandoa). Sixty five perce
nt Larner and thirty five percent Rodney’s. The Fruit form
both of these vineyard lots are balanced and complex, combining to give the blend an
even greater feel of breadth. This wine is very dark in color with magenta hues around
the edges. The nose is
intense and seductive with multi
-
layered aromas of toffee, wild
berry, blueberry, blood red plum, dark cherries, chocolate and cracked pepper with hints
meat. On the palate, it doesn’t disappoint and has consistent fruit weight that cascades
with expansiv
e tannins with a long lingering finish.

Release date 12/1/04


2003 Syrah “Alisos Vineyard
-

Old Westy”, Santa Barbara County $35.95

75 cases produced


This wine is the biggest Syrah from the 2003 vintage that I tasted. As the name implies,
this wine c
onsists primarily (75%) from an older vineyard (12 years old and Estrella
clone) planted on its own roots, the remaining on newer vines planted in 1998 (also
Estrella clone) that are from the part of the old vineyard that was planted on its own roots,
henc
e ‘old westy’. The wine is as massive as it is dark and the color is inky dark with
purple hues on the edges! The nose is very expressive with intense blueberry cobbler,
boysenberry, and blackberry with hints of herbs and beef. The wine is just as inten
se on
the palate with rich, dark wild berries that have big integrated tannins that keeps the focus
long and concentrated. This wine should age for at least 10 years.

Release date 12/1/04


2003 Cabernet Franc “Volgelzang Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley

$44.9
5

50 cases produced

Jason is part of a group of believers that believe that Happy Canyon is a very special
place in California for Bordeaux varieties. The Volgelzang vineyard is located on the
eastern end of Santa Ynez Valley where the climate is warm eno
ugh to elicit from the
fruit the full expression of ripeness, having impressive balance and complexity This wine
has a gorgeous nose of sweet black cherries, truffles, black raspberries, cocoa, lavender
and spice. There is a complex array of flavors with
integrated fleshy tannins and acidity
which keeps the wine focused to the very end.

Release date 12/1/04



DUENDE by Paul Lato

Paul Lato grew up in communist Poland and was living in Toronto when the wine bug
stuck Paul hard and it was the 1995 Au Bon Cli
mat Pinot Noir that did it. He had the
wine in a blind tasting he had an epiphany; he needed to know who made it and why was
he having those funny feelings as puberty was most certainly over. Lo and behold he met
Jim Clendenen the following year and afte
r peppering him with questions for a little too
long Jim just said why don’t you come to Santa Barbara and see for yourself how we do
it. He came, he saw, and he never left. Enjoy these wines.


2002 Pinot Noir “Dream


Gold Coast Vineyard”, Santa Maria V
alley $31.95

70 cases produced

A beautiful expression of Pinot Noir that has been lovingly cared for and raised by the
gentle hands of Paul Lato. Sensuous aromatics of candied fruit with vanillin wood tones
surrounding a fairly austere wine that yields it
s charms subtly. I really like this
expression of Pinot Noir


the wine reminds me of the northern Burgundy wines from
Fixin. Age this a bit please.

Release date 6/1/04


2002 Syrah “Longshot


Bien Nacido Hillside Block ZB”, Santa Maria Valley $31.95

70
cases produced

Paul has crafted a wine that is extremely dark in color, loaded with classic Hermitage like
aromatics and backed with a lean texture. Very European in style with good acidity and
nice savage aromas backed with a large dollop of sweet fruit.

This is a really nice wine.
All gravity fed.

Release date 6/1/04



FOXEN VINEYARDS

Foxen wines remain in the top tier of wines produced in California. It is always such a
pleasure to taste such well
-
crafted wines. Bill Wathen understands what his goal
s are and
he rarely fails to achieve them. I have tasted at Foxen for many years now and I go away
with the same thought


those wines are really good. Foxen has shifted gears a bit in the
past couple of years and now they are fully concentrating mostly
on vineyards that they
have total control of and they are making just vineyard specific wines.


2003 Chenin Blanc “Ernesto Wickenden Old Vines”, Santa Maria Valley

$17.95

950 cases produced

Bill just keeps making this wine more serious each year and it is

always one of my
favorite whites of the whole futures tasting. This year there were three lots and Bill used
different yeast for each lot and them blended them back. This raised the high notes and
added a dimension to the suppleness. We were both commen
ting how the Chenin Blanc
can age as well with it’s characteristic high acidity


give this three to four years and I
think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Release date 9/30/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Sea Smoke”, Santa Rita Hills



$59.95

240 cases produced

T
he good people at Sea Smoke


who don’t need to sell a single grape


allow Foxen to
have a little percentage of the grapes. In 2002 they got four tons. When I was a Foxen
the Sea Smoke gang had just been there tasting


I suppose to see how another wine

maker, especially on of Bill’s stature, expressed the wine. It is a little leaner and not
quite extracted as the Sea Smoke


gobs of blueberry and crème
brûlée

with hints of
vanilla and toast. A long rich palate with a finish that does not quit


we jus
t stood there
in the winter sun and went ummmmm.

Release date 5/1/04


2002 Syrah “Tinaquaic


Dry Farmed”, Santa Maria Valley

$29.95

150 cases produced

This is the most exciting Syrah made in Santa Barbara County


people will either hate it
or love it. I
’m in the love it camp as it is so blatantly expressive of subtle Syrah flavors I
find in other wines. It is full on grilled aged game meat fats dripping on oak charcoal and
packed with black pepper and big colholtyur (made up word) tannins. As John Dean
would say: AYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Release date 5/1/04


2002 Cabernet Franc “Tinaquaic


Dry Farmed”, Santa Maria Valley

$34.95

175 cases produced

Dark color stains the glass and thick legs drop casually down the glass as I swirl the wine


you can just tell t
hat it is going to be good. Aromas of cherries and plums and a soft
attack on the palate, it opens up as it warms in the mouth to make known more layers of
exotic spicy fruit. Nice wood tones keep the wine alive and lingering in the finish. Very
correct

and very special wine.

Release date 9/1/04



2002 Cabernet Sauvignon “Mamère”


There will be no Mamère in 2002 or 2003. There was no crop due to damage by deer.
The Foxen boys are thinking of setting up a fund to get some fencing


good idea.


2002 Caber
net Sauvignon “Vogelzang”, Santa Ynez Valley

$39.95

50 cases produced

I am really impressed with this wine as it got better and better as Bill has played with it a
bit. The addition of 10% Merlot really stretched it out. The wine has softened a bit and i
t
reminds me more of an Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine reminds me
more of a Château Latour as it is higher in acid has red fruits and has firm integrated
tannins. More virile, firm, and tannic; this is a wine that must be aged. It is dark
ruby in
color and behind the rich aromas of plumy grapes is bouquet of fresh walnuts, leather,
and currants.

Release date 9/1/04



HITCHING POST

Frank Ostini and his partner Gray Hartley have really hit their stride. I told them after the
tasting that I f
elt these were the best wines they have made since leaving the Au Bon
Climat facility. There is also a shift in emphasis going on with the boys as they are
sourcing more grapes from Santa Rita Hills and just plain sourcing better grapes from
some of the n
ewer clones being planted



2002 Pinot Noir “Fiddlestix”, Santa Rita Hills

$39.95

100 cases produced

This years Fiddlestix is such a brooding wine


there is a rich earthy scent to the wine it
is like drinking Pinot Noir on a forest floor after a rain. G
ray Hartley describes it as
spunk
-
water


the water that rests in the hollow of a tree. Apparently Grey has been
doing poetry as well as winemaking as he sites Longfellow as the source of this term. A
neat wine with a lot of stuffing and one of the most
interesting wines of the offering.

Release date 10/1/04



2002 Pinot Noir “Highliner”, Santa Barbara County

$39.95

350 cases produced

This is the Hitching Post crafted wine and is a constant work in progress for the partners
as they constantly work on the
blend. I tasted the approximate blend, which was Pinot
Noir from Bien Nacido (N and Q Blocks), Sanford & Benedict (clone 777), Fiddlestix
(clones 667 and 115) and Cargasacchi (clone 115). Aged in 75% new Francoise
Frères

oak. I found it extraordinarily
complex with plum and blueberry fruits and a background
of earth and a slight mineral finish. It is a more approachable wine than usual owing to
the opulence of the vintage. Delicious.

Release date 10/1/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Cargasacchi”, Santa Rita Hills

$39.95

100 cases produced

This vineyard property is a new source for these guys, on the cool west end of Santa Rita
Hills.


They look forward to a long future with Peter Cargasacchi, who Frank describes
as

a salt of the earth dirt farmer who is shooting f
or the highest quality in Pinot Noir
growing.


While not as forward and obvious as these other offerings, it is well structured
and positioned to develop nicely in bottle, as classic good Pinot should.


Racy and sleek
with a core of berry fruit and taste o
f that Botella clay earth that Peter is farming upon.

Release date 10/1/04



2002 Syrah “Purisima Mountain”, Santa Ynez Valley

$29.95

250 cases produced

Frank and Grey have made another big full yummy Syrah. They source this fruit from
clone 1 and 7 and i
t is located on one of the steepest parts of the Purisima Mountain
vineyard. Jam
-
packed of ripe fruit and every sort of berry

rasp, blue, straw, and boysen
and the group of peppers as well: pink, black, and green. Nice cocoa creaminess in the
mouth and
built well with just a touch of oak.

Release date 10/1/04


JAFFURS WINE CELLARS

Craig Jaffurs is on a roll. Working out of his small, efficient and immaculately kept
winery in the middle of Santa Barbara, he is producing some truly outstanding wines. The
f
ocus continues to be on Rhone varietals as it has been since he started making wine
under his own label in 1994 and the quality continues to rise. The wines are notable for
having excellent balance. No “extreme” winemaking tricks here, just hard work and
a
ttention to detail. Which means that, though he owns no vineyards, Craig works closely
with his growers and spends plenty of time in the fields to ensure the health and quality
of his fruit followed by long hours in the cellar attending to the transformati
on into wine.


2003 Petite Syrah “Thompson Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley

$27.95

75 cases produced

This small lot of Petite Syrah marks a delicious departure from Craig’s emphasis on more
classic Rhone varietals. And it is a “show dog” of a wine

a thick, ri
ch, inky, ripe, round,
velvety, extracted, luscious, teeth
-
staining hedonistic bowl of chocolate covered cherries.
It’s saved from being too much of a good thing by having plenty of structural integrity in
the form of bright acidity and ripe tannins. Thomp
son vineyard occupies sort of a middle
ground between cool or warm climates with characteristics of both captured in this
bottle

super
-
ripe fruit enlivened by exotic, high
-
toned aromatics. A full on wine, not for
the faint of heart.

Release date 9/1/04


20
03 Syrah “Larner Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley


$33.95

100 cases produced

Craig originally planned for this small lot to be blended as a component of his Santa
Barbara County Syrah, but the wine is too good not to be bottled as a vineyard designate!
In sens
ory contrast to his powerhouse “Melville” Syrah, the “Larner” offers a more
refined elegance

“pretty” was the word we kept coming back to. Inviting aromatics are
redolent of summer ripened blueberries and warm spice. The impression on the palate is
of succ
ulent fruit balanced beautifully with fine tannins and lifting acidity. Of note (to
wine geeks), the clones for this wine are relatively new to the Santa Barbara area and
further broaden the organoleptic possibilities of local Syrah. (French ENTAV clones 3
83
and 174). All in all, a wine of true class and one of the many great wines from the Larner
Vineyard produced in 2003.

Release date 12/1/04


2003 Syrah “Melville Vineyard”, Santa Rita Hills


$37.95

300 Cases produced

This is dense, powerful cool clima
te Syrah. This wine is a blend of three clones from the
meticulously farmed “Melville” vineyard, each adding a layer of complexity that meld
into the seamless whole. The Tablas clone brings brooding black fruit, seductive floral
notes and refined structure
; the Estrella component brims with bright raspberry fruit,
warm spice and mouthwatering acidity; Clone 1 adds thick, glycerin laden, sappy texture
and mouth
-
coating tannins. A blockbuster Syrah, the elements harmonize in a perfect
vinous chorus that hits
all the high notes without ever going over the top.

Release date 12/1/04



JELLY ROLL

Jim Knight has moved his (still miniscule) production to a new tricked out box in the
industrial park in Lompoc affectionately known as “the ghetto”. Sharing a temperat
ure
controlled space with two other hip young wine makers Sashi Morman and Chad
Melville these three have formed a wine production partnership where they will be
making their own wines and eventually releasing a joint project Syrah to be called
Holusbolus.


2003 Syrah “Larner & Stolpman”, Santa Ynez Valley

$31.95

50 cases produced

A situation where the sum of the parts equals a greater whole

Jim originally planned to
release two separate vineyard designate Syrahs, but after sampling a blend realized they
we
re better together. The Larner component is produced from perfectly balanced fruit full
of plums and soft tannins with a little burnt molasses and fruit roll. The Stolpman
contributes lovely aromas of smoke, dried peppers and spice with lush black fruits a
nd
nicely integrated barrel tannins. In the mouth the wine is very mellow, cool, good and a
pleasure to drink. I was absurdly hungry at the time and all I could think about was how
well this lovely wine cries out for grilled meats, sausages, ripe cheeses,
good company,
and cheer.

Release date 12/1/04


KENNETH
-
CRAWFORD

A very high quality production is going on here, a lot of attention to detail, and a sensible
straight forward ideas about wine production. Wine Cask sommelier and restaurant
manager Ted V
ance joined me to taste the Kenneth
-
Crawford wines. We were both
blown away with the Syrah coming from these guys. I think Ted walked out with a new
favorite winery and he promptly order up a bunch of cases of the 2001’s that were left
and put them on th
e list. “These guys” are the winemaking team of Kenneth Gummere
and Mark “Crawford” Horvath from Lafond Winery and formally of Babcock Vineyards
respectively.


2002 Syrah “Lafond”, Santa Rita Hills

$27.95

250 cases produced

Here we have a wine that is ver
y dark in color with aromas of cherry cola and
pomegranates and clear focused fruit in the mouth. A real youngster at this point in it’s
life but I would expect it to be a real beauty in three to five years.

Release date 11/1/04



2002 Syrah “Gainey Ranc
h”, Santa Rita Hills

$27.95

300 cases produced

As often happens with barrel tasting wines, the nose has not developed and the wines
from certain wineries are very cold. This wine was hiding in the nose but it literally
exploded in the mouth. The wine has

an incredible blackness in the color with a purple
robe giving up coffee, toast, mocha, white chocolate, cedar, and tobacco as it warmed on
the palate. This is simply a great wine and one of the best wines of the entire futures
offering.

Release date 11/
1/04


KUNIN WINES

Seth’s wines are very good in 2003. He feels it was a vintage extremes


a very hot
growing season followed, almost the next day, by one of the coldest winters we have had
in Santa Barbara County. This is Seth’s 6
th

year and he is produ
cing about 2500 cases
and plans to top out at 3500 cases. The production is 60% Rhone varietals, 40%
Zinfandel and he is sold in 14 states. Seth concentrates on making wine from small
vineyards from growers in cool climates. I am very keen on Seth’s new

SoRo red wine.


2003 Viognier “Stolpman Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley

$27.95

125 cases produced

This wine hits all the right notes for me. Seth is not looking to have fermentation flavors
in his Viognier. The wine is golden hued and there are classic o
range blossom and other
floral aromas on the nose with broad citrus flavors on palate, with peaches and some
mineral notes. A Viognier that is very rich, beautifully textured, with great mouth feel
and a long clean finish. The yield in the vineyard was ve
ry low as Seth has a mere five
barrels off of 1.85 acres

Release date 7/1/04


2003 SoRo “Larner Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley

$24.95

475 cases produced

Here is another (maybe the best) wine from this outstanding vineyard, a classic blend of
60% Grenache, 15
% Mourvèdre, and 25% Syrah. There is no new wood, so black cherry
and strawberry jam notes come through big on nose. Cooked fruits, dried berries,
lavender, and spice on palate. Good weight, medium
-
to
-
medium light tannins, but a nice
length. Believe me, I

love Chateauneuf
-
du
-
Pape and this is very reminiscent of
Chateauneuf
-
du
-
Pape. The energizer bunny of wines as it keep going and going. This
wine will be a big hit.

Release date 10/1/04



2002 Syrah/Viognier “Bien Nacido Z Block”, Santa Maria Valley

$49.
95

90 cases produced

The grapes were co
-
fermented and Seth feels that this make the wine brighter and more
vibrant. I found intensity in the bright purple sense rather than the blue
-
black sense. The
wine literally coats the glass. There is a very floral
/spicy nose, savage hints, bark, and
shale with dark fruits and some licorice in the mouth and it dances light in the mouth with
integrated tannins. The overall impression leaves more dark fruit as well as some white
pepper on palate, well
-
balanced and str
uctured tannins, with a long finish.

Release date 10/1/04



ETHAN LINDQUIST

Ethan is the son of Bob Lindquist who is the father of Rhone wine production in Santa
Barbara County. I guess growing up with Syrah in your bottle has helped, because Ethan
is mak
ing some really nice wines. Ethan is sharing a winemaking facility in Lompoc
affectionately known as “the Ghetto” with a few other producers quite a distance from
Dad although there must be the occasional phone call for a tip or two.


2002 Syrah “Purisima

Mountain”, Santa Ynez Valley $27.95

100 cases produced

Unfined and unfiltered, native yeasts, five day cold soak, whole berry fermentation in 1 ½
ton open top fermentors, punching down three to four time a day, soft press, only free
run, 25% new Francois
e
Frères

and Ramond barrels, natural Maloactic in barrels and
looking for the holy grail of Cote
-

Rôtie



who does this guy think he is Lindquist or
Jamet? A rich full wine full of blueberries, black cherry and cola notes


irrepressible.

Release date 12/
15/04



RICHARD LONGORIA WINES

Just as I was entering Rick’s winery there was a group of leaving who represent Rick’s
wine in Santa Barbara from Wine Warehouse. To a man they were beaming and had a
level of excitement you don’t often see with these seriou
s wine professionals. To a man
they told me I was about to see some of the finest wines they had/have ever seen from the
winery. I was the same way upon my departure


the best wines I have ever had from
Rick.


2002 Pinot Noir “Sanford & Benedict”, Santa

Rita Hills

$35.95

165 cases produced

Rick has not had access to the vineyard in ten years and he has always been one of the
top producers of the fruit from this vineyard. His return wine is remarkable


smooth and
elegant with that classic mineral finish

that is tell
-
tale Sanford & Benedict. Not quite as
dense as many of the Longoria Pinots. In fact Rick’s 2002’s are more pretty and
restrained than wines of the past


more reconciled. This wine is certainly more
approachable and it shows some of that o
lder vine harmony.

Release date 6/1/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Fe Ciego”, Santa Rita Hills

$35.95

440 cases produced

The Fe Ciego is a bigger and more edgy wine than the Sanford & Benedict. Very dense,
rich, concentrated with nice integrated tannins and a long
elegant finish. I ‘m seeing a
wine with lots of power and masculinity. A great follow
-
up to last years terrific wine and
even though it is a darker and “bigger” wine it is more approachable as the tannins and
acid are more restrained. Again there are th
ose background notes of earth and a solid
block of fruit that is almost chewy as it is so textural.

Release date 9/1/04


M W C

MWC is the negociant are for Margerum Wine Company. I blend selected barrels for
high quality producers to offer unique lots o
f top quality Santa Barbara County wines.


2003 Pinot Noir “ABC”, Santa Barbara County

$19.95

200 cases produced

An eight
-
barrel blend put together from four lots pulled from the vast array of Pinot Noir
lots produced by Jim Clendenen from the top vineyard
s in Santa Maria Valley and Santa
Rita Hills. This is a unique blend that is an expression of Pinot Noir that is my idea of
what good drinkable Pinot Noir should be. The result is a marvelously aromatic,
flavorful wine boasting a seductive perfume of str
awberry, raspberry, black cherry, tea,
mint, violets, and oriental spices, and silky, ethereal flavors The wine benefits from
judicious aging in high
-
quality Francoise
Frères

oak barrels. At this price you could
make this your house wine.

Release date 10/
15/04



MARGERUM WINE COMPANY

I am really happy with my 2003 wines. I think, and many of my colleagues feel, that the
2003 vintage, although variable, produced some pretty serious wines. The vintage was
more like two vintages as it was very hot in August

and then we had a two
-
week plus
cold spell and then a two
-
week heat wave that was followed by a “turn on the switch”
winter that never stopped. It has been the most consistent summer and coldest winter
without break I’ve even seen. The 2003 are slow to
come around since the cold winter
arrested their development but in allowing them to develop slowly there is an intricacy to
them.


2003 Sauvignon Blanc “Volgelzang”

$24.95

75 cases produced

This is my purest expression of the Sauvignon Blanc. Following m
y love of wines from
the Loire Valley (Sancerre and Pouilly
-
Fume) and the superb wines of New Zealand I am
just thrilled with this Vogelzang Sauvignon Blanc. The wine has a distinctive, penetrating
aroma, with scents of grapefruit, lime, honeydew melon, go
oseberry, passion fruit, and
high plains green grass. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel to accentuate
the wine’s crisp, zesty, bracing qualities and lees stirred to create a rich mouth feel.

Release date 5/1/04


2003 M5, Santa Ynez Valley

$
24.95

550 cases produced

M5 is a blend of five of the principal Rhone Valley grapes


Syrah, Grenache,
Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Counoise. The Syrah comes from a variety of the top vineyards
for Syrah in the Santa Ynez Valley


Vogelzang Vineyard, Great Oak
s Ranch Vineyard,
Black Oaks, Alisos Canyon, and Alondra de los Prados Vineyard. Alondra de los Prados
is planted with Viognier as well


about 5%. The total Syrah component is about 33%.
There is Grenache come from Crossroads Vineyard and Purisima Moun
tain Vineyard and
this grape contributes mightily both in the texture and aromatics. Grenache is 21% of the
blend. The Mourvèdre is from Zaca Mesa and Vogelzang Vineyard and brings to the
blend intensely dark and full flavors of black rose, tar, and pher
omones. Mourvèdre is
26% of the blend. The remaining 20% of the blend comes from Tablas Clone Cinsault
and Counoise that are grown right next to each other at Stolpman Vineyards. The
Cinsault was just a massive brooding dark wine and the Counoise was bl
atantly fruity


it
had watermelon galore. It was very fun to taste the wines separately out of barrel
however the blend I put together is the more beautiful and pleasing wine. A complex,
elegant expression of wine that is from a thought


an amalgamatio
n of memories of
Rhone wines I’ve tasted and loved the past thirty years. The wine is interesting and
complex and I simply love drinking it as it is constantly revealing new layers of flavor
combinations. Enjoy

Release date 10/15/04



2003 Syrah “Alondra

de los Prados Vineyard” $39.95

100 cases produced

Tom Krig is the owner and farmer of this impeccably farmed one
-
acre vineyard located
just south of Gainey Vineyards on Meadowlark Lane. I am not really sure how I am able
to get the entire production fro
m this vineyard; in fact I’m not sure how I even met Tom.
Like some figment of the imagination he just started coming by every once in while
(right when I’m plating up lunch) carrying some rare wine I’ve never had, pulling up a
chair and then one day aski
ng me if I wanted his grapes. So my top wine is also my
monopole. Luck, karma, divine intervention, yin yang? I’m not sure. Four barrels from
one acre


aged in 25% new barrels. High
-
toned aromatics of wild berry and blackberry
fruit, with touches of
light oak and the Chardonnay and Viognier provide additional
background floral aromatics. The wine is crammed with bright, rich, zesty, blackberry,
and strawberry fruit with a finish that is elegant and intellectual.

Release date 3/1/05


MELVILLE VINEYAR
DS AND WINERY

The philosophy at Melville is simple: the wine is made in the vineyard. Usually when I
visit wineries I mostly discuss with the wine maker what he or she has done with or done
to the wine. At Melville they talk about the vineyard, the clone
s, the microclimate, etc.
Wine maker Greg Brewer feels good about himself (there are no low self esteem issues
here) and he has every right to feel good about these wines, as there are excellent. This
year we are offering single barrel clonal selections
from the variety of clones the
Melville’s have planted. In addition we are offering the first wine from their newest
vineyard in Cat Canyon.


2002 Pinot Noir “Mount Eden Clone”, Santa Rita Hills


$35.95

25 cases produced

An elegant wine with lots of rise
rs, my notes: “hedonistic, luscious, soft textures, no
assertive tannins, nice acidity, cherries and strawberries with earthy and vanilla tones”.
Greg Brewer has a recipe: gently de
-
stem the fruit, ferment as whole clusters in small
(1.5 ton) open
-
top fer
menters. Have total skin and stem contact averaging 30 days (6
-
7
day cold soak, about two weeks fermentation and about one week extended maceration).
From the press, the hand
-
bucketed directly into barrel and keep it sur lie with no SO2
until the waning mo
on cycle of May, pressure
-
racked for the first time and returned to
barrel by gravity. A recipe for success and a super wine.

Release date 12/1/04


2003 Syrah “Verna’s
-

Clone 383”, Santa Barbara County

$29.95

25 cases produced

Verna’s Vineyard is an ext
ension of Melville Winery’s commitment to produce world
-
class Burgundian and Northern Rhone style wines from Santa Barbara County. Cat
Canyon, Verna’s home, is geographically well suited for cold
-
climate viticulture. Brent
Melville meticulously manages a
nd cultivates Verna’s 100 acres. There are 34 Syrah
acres planted in clones Durrell, Estrella, and Shiraz 1, Tablas 99, 877 and newer clones
174, 470 and 383. For the futures program we have selected a standout barrel of the 383
clone. The wine has a bit
terswett chocolate, licorice, sweet berry and infused dark
flavors and an intensity of flavor that lingers long after in the mouth. A lingering and
fond memory that is the mark of a world class wine.

Release date 5/1/04


ANDREW MURRAY VINEYARDS

Andrew Mu
rray Vineyards has earned quite a following over the years. The property
produces wines that rival those from the northern Rhone valley and founder/winemaker
Andrew Murray is completely committed to those traditional Rhone varietals. These are
wines packed

with dense fruit while still exhibiting a structural integrity that ensures
longevity. The estate wines come from a 200
-
acre site located about 1500 feet above
Foxen Canyon Rd. in the warm, inland portion of the Santa Ynez Valley where Andrew
has 48 hills
ide acres planted to Syrah, Viognier, Mourvedre, Grenache, and Roussanne.
In addition, Andrew has carefully added additional fruit sources to his program, which
represent some of the most exciting vineyards in the county.


2002 Syrah “Gainey Ranch”, Santa
Rita Hills


$29.95

150 cases produced

High toned aromatics and a neon
-
blackberry color immediately grab the attention
followed by tightly wound dark fruit flavors and firm structure that keep you coming
back for more. Andrew is using less and less new oak

in his winemaking

in this case all
1
-
2yr old French oak

and the results are impressive. The focus is on fruit and capturing
its essence

exotic flowers, a hint of white pepper and tongue staining blueberries. This
elixir comes from a new vineyard in the bu
rgeoning Santa Rita Hills AVA. An area that
Andrew feels produces “lovely Syrah

very Cote
Rôtie
-
like”

the proof is in the glass.
Release date 5/1/04


2002 Syrah “South Slope” Santa Ynez Valley

$29.95

150 cases produced

Plush, ripe and pleasingly rustic (in

that comfortable old farmhouse kind of way)

The
South Slope revels in its warm climate origins with generous, open
-
knit texture, juicy up
-
front black fruit and warm, earthy undertones. But there is real substance beneath all that
sappy succulence and thro
ugh the years that Andrew has been making it, the wine has
proven itself able to stand the test of time. This will be a real crowd pleaser with a well
earned following.

Release date 5/1/04



THE OJAI VINEYARD

Adam continues to be one of the top producers
in California. His wines are so focused
and correct and I always enjoy my yearly trek to Ojai to taste with Adam and his able
assistant Michael Meagher. I guess Adam realized I am making wine as well as he
suggested that I pay a consulting fee as I peppe
red him with questions about the wines.
Little does he know that he has been “consulting” for me for twenty
-
two years. Adam
works in a cold winery with barely any room to move and he is a non
-
interventionist
wine maker: the wines are made naturally. Ada
m feels the greatest quality increases he
can get, at this point, are from the vineyard and it’s management.


2003 Sauvignon Blanc “Westerly”, Santa Ynez Valley

$23.95

200 cases produced

Consistently one of the best Sauvignon Blancs made in California. We

have sold out of
this wine every year and for the 2003 it was a very short crop (1 ½ tons per acre) and the
production of this wine is down quite a bit


we have less than half of what we had last
year and last year we oversold the wine. This year we mus
t limit each customer to a
mere three bottles. The wine is a zesty slightly herbal, floral expressive wine with lees
filled cream on the palate and a mineral finish.

Release date 5/1/04


2002 Chardonnay “Talley
-
Rincon”, Arroyo Grande Valley

$27.50

180 cas
es produced

Beautiful big rich wine full of apricots and toasty vanilla oak hints very concentrated and
rich on tin the mouth yet it finishes very dry and clean. The trick here is to not pick this
fruit too ripe and lose the acid backbone that the wine ne
eds to balance the full
-
bodied
structure. This is a great Chardonnay.

Release date 9/1/04



2002 Pinot Noir “Melville”

$44.95

120 cases produced

Rich dark ruby red and black hues stain the wine glass as I swirl. There is a dense core
fruit of plum and p
lum pit with black cherry notes. Concentrated in the mouth with
restrained but apparent tannins that bode well for ageing. A very impressive wine and so
structured wine that has broad flavors, no gaps, and an overall feeling of wanting more.

Release date

9/1/04


2001 Vin Du Soleil “Purisima Mountain Vineyard”

$22.49

200 cases produced

Every year there is one wine that stands out as one of the best of the hundreds of wines
that I taste. This year this is THE wine. Vin Du Soleil is a blend of 72% Grenac
he, 14%
Mourvèdre, and 14% Syrah from Steve Beckmen’s Purisima Mountain vineyard. Just
before going to see Adam I was talking to Steve about how great the Grenache was in
2001 from his vineyard. I did not know that Adam had this in his line up. It was w
arm,
wide, feeling, and generous in the mouth with complex aromas of wild strawberries, tar,
leather, licorice and beets. In the finish it lasts and pleases as the wine warms. Yum,
yum, yum.

Release date 9/1/04



2002 Syrah “Vogelzang”, Santa Ynez Valley

$37.50

100 cases produced

We have a dramatic and beautiful wine here full of sweet fruit, blueberry pie along with
the burnt blueberry aromas that have spilled out of the pan. Nice spice and cherry in the
very lively mouth with some harder than expecte
d tannins. Overall I find this to be a
thriller red wine that I can’t wait to see after three to five years in the bottle.

Release date 9/1/04



2002 Syrah “Roll Ranch”

$35.95

500 cases produced

Roll Ranch is a unique microclimate and this is a wine tha
t puts Adam’s considerable
wine making and vineyard management skills to the test. As Adam says “life would be
boring if it was easy”. The wine is ripe with dark red tropical fruits, integrated tannins
and flavors of chocolate, licorice, blackberry and bl
ack pepper. It is opulent and plush.

Release date 9/1/04


2003 Viognier Ice Wine 375ML “Late Harvest Roll Ranch”


$24.95

50 cases produced

Adam feels that Viognier is ideally suited for a dessert wine. The process, as it has been
in the past, is to pic
k the grapes absurdly ripe (42 degrees brix) and then freeze them in a
commercial freezer. When the wine is pressed it yields ultra
-
concentrated nectar as the
water has been changed to ice crystals. The juice is then fermented until the residual
sugar is

around 25 to 27 percent yielding a very sweet wine that is low in alcohol that is
perfectly balanced. There are wild and attractive aromas of honey, peaches, and fig in the
aromas and the mouth is just a symphony of sweet peach, honey and poached pears.

Have it with a fruit dessert or as dessert itself.

Release date 9/1/04



PALMINA

As I tasted with Steve Clifton he was preparing to rush off, yet again, to Italy where he
was invited to speak at a conference on the Nebbiolo grape as the California
represe
ntative. I love the Palmina mission statement:
Palmina is a Californian
celebration of the rich, wonderful lifestyle and attitude toward food, wine, friends and
family that exists in Italy.

I love that they even have a mission statement. We present
her
e two wines that are very much statement wines as they are strong tannic wines that
are intended to age.


2002 Savoie, Santa Barbara County

$39.95

25 cases produced

This a well thought out blend of 50% Nebbiolo from Stolpman, 30% Barbera from Bien
Nacido,
and 20% Syrah from Alisos Canyon that, for Steve, is akin to a super
Piedmontese wine from the likes of Sandrone. Saoie is the name of the kingdom than
ruled the entire region from Rhone to Piedmont. The Nebbiolo adds the tannin, the
Barbera adds the aci
d, and the Syrah is the flesh. The wine is full of cigar box, leather,
campfire ash, grilled meats orange peel and tea. It has bracing acidity and strong firm
tannins. If you plan to drink it young I suggest richly sauced braised meats.

Release date 9/1
/04


2002 Barbera “Alisos Canyon Vineyard”, Santa Barbara County

$19.95

50 cases produced

Steve has made another statement wine and a dramatic expression of Barbera. Yummy
dark and intense with that is crisp and hard as hard as nails in the mouth


this w
ine has a
long way to go still. Musky and earthy with bright fruit it is the methamphetamine of
wine


jacked up on color, jacked up in body, and full of power and intensity. Way to go
Steve.

Release date 9/1/04


QUPÉ

The big news is that Theo is two. I
n addition, Bob and Louisa have moved to a new 40
-
acre parcel in the Edna Valley where they plan to plant a vineyard comprising of Syrah,
Grenache, Albarino, Temparnillo, and (hopefully) Riesling. Production at Qupe was
25,000 cases in 2002 but with the s
mallish crop in 2003 production decreased to 21,500
cases. Bob is the guy who started the Rhone revolution in Santa Barbara County and we
all owe him a debt of gratitude for his visionary production.


2002 Rousanne “Bien Nacido
-

Tablas Clone”, Santa Mar
ia Valley

$24.95

140 cases produced

Yahoo


Rousanne is back in the futures program and it is bcause this is a very
exceptional wine. This is a special vineyard that was planted exclusively for Qupe at
Bien Nacido. This is the first crop


there is a mer
e 6 barrels from 5 acres. It is
restrained but it is a big wine as it weighs in at over 14% alcohol. Opulent, honeyed,
hazelnut, and orange rind and elements of apricot, smoke, cream, white chocolate, pears
and pretty tropical fruit overtones. One of th
e great white wines of the vintage.

Release date 4/1/04


2002 Chardonnay “Bien Nacido Reserve
-

Block Eleven”, Santa Maria Valley

$24.95

1300 cases produced

Riper, softer, and bigger than any of the recent reserve Chardonnay’s produced in recent
years. Bo
b actually prefer his 2001 but I think the 2002 will be more attractive and
popular because it is a real crowd pleaser. Yummy stuff. Barrel fermented in 2/3 new
and 1/3 older French barrels and then racked and fined in August and returned to all
neutral
barrels. I like this method as the wine is finely oaked but not over
-
oaked but still
is allowed to gather the nuances of aging in barrel.

Release date 4/1/04


2002 Syrah “Purisima Mountain Vineyard”, Santa Ynez Valley

$34.95

95 cases produced

Each year
I get to taste through the entire single vineyard selections that Bob produces. I
choose the best for the futures program. Last year it was the Alisos Canyon Vineyard
and this year the standout wine was the Purisima Mountain. Both Bob and I love this
vi
neyard as the cool winds create balanced Syrah; in 2002 the grapes were perfect. All
Estrella clone aged in 25% new and 75% one year old French barrels. The wine is full of
fruit, smoky, dark with gobs of dark licorice.

Release date 4/1/04


2002 Syrah “
Bien Nacido Hillside Estate”, Santa Maria Valley

$39.95

1000 cases produced

Cold soaked for two days then ten to fifteen percent of the juice is Saignée to further
concentrate the remaining wine. Aged in two
-
thirds new French oak. The wine is dark
and el
egant an obviously cool climate with those classic hints of black pepper and spice
most often found in Hermitage wines. In the mouth I love the fine soft tannins, mocha,
coffee, bark, and rich challenging longer fruit aspects. It is wine that is fine now

and will
age gracefully. I have every vintage of Hillside in cellar and do not plan to open them
anytime soon.

Release date 9/1/04


RUSACK

Wow


what a story. I tasted at Rusack last year and knew these wines were coming so it
is with great excitement a
nd anticipation that we have added Rusack to the futures
program. I am talking a complete, well thought out, commitment to excellence, nothing
spared, full, and total transformation. There is the addition of the husband and wife wine
making team John and

Helen Falcone, a tricked out winery, sourcing fruit from the best
vineyards, tearing out and replanting the estate vineyard and new elegant and sexy label.
Pay attention to these wines and you will be pleasantly surprised.


2003 Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Yn
ez Valley

$14.95

430 cases produced

A blend of fruit from Westerly Vineyards and Valley View Vineyards that was fermented
entirely in stainless steel (just they way I like it) and allowed to rest on the clean lees.
Aromas of honey dew melon and freshly cu
t pineapple. A wine that is bright, clean, and
crisp and very persistent on the palate. A real value and further proof that Mr. Falcone
gets it when it comes to styling wine.

Release date 5/1/04


2002 Anacapa, Santa Ynez Valley

$34.95

250 cases produced

60% Cabernet Franc from Valley View Vineyards and 40% Merlot from Westerly
Vineyards aged in 50% new Silvan and Demptos French barrels. Deep aromas of plum,
bark, burnt wood, and slight vanillin in a concentrated carpet of berries on the palate.
The ove
rall impression is lengthy as the spicy Cabernet Franc is perfectly tuned and filled
with the weightier and softer Merlot. There is a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon as well. I love
the aromas of licorice and rose petals, with flavors of dark cherry, blackberry
, and lush,
velvety tannins. The finish leaves one wanting more. This wine is further proof that
Cabernet Franc might turn out to be the best of the red Bordeaux varietals from this area.

Release date 9/1/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Reserve”, Santa Rita Hills

$3
1.95

250 cases produced

This is a fabulous wine and it is even more intense than there very highly regarded 2001.
Most of the fruit comes from the “soon to be legendary” Fiddlestix Vineyards. The wine
has an unusual depth and concentration. Be warned: Th
is wine is already receiving rave
reviews even before its scheduled release


for those of you who take my advice and feel
like a genius because you have a wine in your cellar after it becomes impossible to get it


I highly recommend getting some of this
beauty. It has a velvety smooth texture and
rich flavors of dark cherry, cranberry and a hint of cola.

Release date 5/1/04




SANFORD

“I am a scientist and you are a cretin,” boasts Bruno d’Alfonso the always
-
jovial wine
maker at Sanford


a nice statemen
t and a great way to start out a tasting. This winery is
so damn cold you can’t feel your fingers and in the immortal words of Jethro Tull


there’s snot running down your nose.

But seriously, these wines are just getting better
and better. Bigger, more

structured, classic, right, and they will be legendary. These are
not the wines of old


those wines did not age but were hedonistically good right off the
bat. These wines require patience and wisdom


the wisdom of a cretin.


2002 Pinot Noir “Barrel S
elect, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard” Santa Rita Hills

$49.95

1300 cases produced

This is the oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. Crafted from a
combination of Dijon and Mt. Eden clones that add richness to this classic wine. Dark
ruby co
lor leads to aromas of cherry and raspberry that are rounded out with black cherry
and blackberry fruits as you explore deeper into the glass. In the mouth there are black
cherry and blackberry flavors that give way to a long, tight finish. A wonderful ba
lance
and integration, this wine will age beautifully. It’s good for the thyroid.

Release date 9/1/04



2002 Pinot Noir “Barrel Select, La Rinconada Vineyard”, Santa Rita Hills $59.95

1300 cases produced

This wine is the third blockbuster from this viney
ard and continues to set an impressive
standard for Pinot Noir. The deep, dark color is a prelude to a super rich beautiful wine
showing deep ruby / purple colors and aromatics of dark berry and cherry with
background spicy tar notes from the French oak ba
rrels with a trace of complex baking
chocolate.

Release date 9/1/04


SEA SMOKE

I told you so. The 2002 wines are even better. Act fast.


2002 Pinot Noir “Botella”, Santa Rita Hills

$24.95

XX cases produced

What a beauty, an eminently a fruit forward win
e that is eminently drinkable and
hedonistically pleasing. Deeply dark and velvety in color with ripe, almost blackberry
fruit aromas nuanced with caramel, maple syrup and raspberry crème
brûlée

touches.
This year’s Botella is a darker and more intense w
ine than the 2001 offering. She is a
real beauty


a dark skinned, loose, and open bloused vixen. Very limitied.

Release date 8/1/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Southing”, Santa Rita Hills

$44.95

XX cases produced

A fantastic and serious Pinot Noir that is in leag
ue with the world’s best. I really hope
buyers will properly cellar this wine for at least three years before drinking it. Again the
wine is even better than the 2001 offering a longer and more supple mouth feel. The
aromas are more in the spice and che
rry pit spectrum while the mouth is fruity with a hint
of the mineral earth from which it comes. Overall the wine is very persistent, has a rich
coating, and a long and luxurious finish.

Release date 8/1/04


2002 Pinot Noir “Ten”, Santa Rita Hills $64.95

XX cases produced

While the Southing and Botella are elegant the Ten is a different story altogether. It is
savage, full of girth, big, sexy and exuding pheromones. As Kris said “I like this wine
just like I like sex”. The wine is big (but not in the hi
gh alcohol and ripe fruit sense) and
dark and brooding and it has a mysterious aspect to it that is alluring but hard to describe.
Kris extracts more from the sections of the vineyard she chooses for the Ten and she does
a much longer maceration as well.

Limited.

Release date 8/1/04



STOLPMAN

Sashi Morman and Peter Hunken took things to the extreme in 2003 and there were
strutting about clearly happy with the results. They took risks waiting a long time for the
stars to align and to assure the grapes ac
hieved full ripeness. They spend the days before
harvest cluster sorting and then actually berry sorting two tons at a time once the grapes,
brought in 30
-
pound FY baskets, are in the winery. The berries are then fermented
without being crushed. All nat
ive yeasts are used and they still have Alberto Antonini on
board as a vineyard consultant.


2003 L’Avion “Estate”, Santa Ynez Valley

$19.95

450 cases produced

This new project, from the mind of Sashi, is an exciting blend of Rousanne, Sauvignon
Blanc, and

Viognier. We tasted the components separately and then did the final blend.
The very ripe Roussanne was fermented in brand new punchons and even though it was
picked ripe it does not appear ripe as the high pH and limestone soil de
-
vigorates the
vine.
These guys picked the Viognier four separate times looking for the higher acid
bunches. They co
-
fermented the Sauvignon Blanc and the Viognier. The result is a
highly aromatic wine full of honey, wood, apricots, and grapefruits with grip and verve in
the

mouth. Neat wine, which is sure to find many fans. L’Avion refers to the old airstrip
that was where the vineyard is now.

Release date 9/1/04



2003 La Croce “Estate”, Santa Ynez Valley



$39.95

275 cases produced

La Croce is a blend of 50% Sangiovese a
nd 50% Syrah that were co
-
fermented in 100%
new wood. Made from only the clusters selected from the selected parts of the vineyard


a quarter row here and a quarter row there and then the fruit is double sorted at the
winery. I agree with Sashi that thi
s blend really works and the blend even works better
now that the grapes are co
-
fermented. Perfumed, fresh and alive


a wonderful
expression of wine that is warm an elegant. The name La Croce comes from the hawk
stands that are throughout the Stolpman v
ineyard property. These stands, especially in
winter, when the vineyard is dormant, look like crosses in cemetery.

Release date 12/1/04




2003 Angeli “Estate”, Santa Ynez Valley

$49.95

300 cases produced

Basically Sashi has come to the conclusion that
the best wine that is to come off of this
vineyard will be, and is, Syrah. We tasted each component separately. Here are my
notes: clone 877


meaty gamy and full of spice; clone 174 dark color ham, sweet fruit
higher tannins and increased mouth feel; cl
one 99 fruiter with hard candy and Jolly
Rancher flavors; clone 383 darkest of the bunch savage wild and sexy with bittersweet
chocolate. The blend has it all. The wine’s name is taken from Tom Stolpman’s wife’s
maiden name, Angeli and the Stolpman team
feels that the Syrah grapes used in this
blend are “the Angels of the vineyard”. I could write another page about tasting only the
“heart” of each of the components that will be used in the final blend but that would take
a whole other page.

Release date
12/1/04



TAZ

Taz is the Beringer inspired project, which focuses on producing wine from the top
vineyards in Santa Barbara County. The teaming of Bob “Taz” Steinhauer, legendary
viticulturist and John Priest as winemaker has resulting in some stunning wi
nes being
produced. John, who was brought on in March 2003, crafted Pinot Noir for more than a
dozen years at Wild Horse and Adelaida Cellars has complete autonomy to focus on
making Taz one of the top producers in the county. He will.


2003 Pinot Noir “
Fiddlestix


Block 1,Clone 667”, Santa Rita Hills

$49.95

125 cases produced

From the oldest part of the vineyard this is five barrel selection is a unique wine. Clone
667 is a very thick
-
skinned clone and in 2003 some of the grapes split during verasion
l
eading to growth of aspergillum, which in turn acted as an enzymatic extraction agent
during fermentation


I’m not making this up. The resulting wine is dark in color, full of
smoke and earth, very structured with good acidity and a long fruit filled fin
ish. Yum.

Release date 12/1/4



2003 Pinot Noir “North Canyon
-

Clone 877”, Santa Maria Valley

$49.95

125 cases produced

Aromas of cherry cola, white chocolate and wild berries explode in the nose and mouth
with earthiness and licorice background notes all

packed in a evolving bomb of fruit. The
first wine from Taz that will be made entirely by John Priest


if this is any indication he
needs to be anointed as one of the best winemakers in the area. Bravo!

Release date 12/1/4



TENSLEY

Joey Tensley was ju
st 12 years old when he visited a winery in the Bordeaux region of
France. It was his first exposure to the winemaking business, and the bug bit hard. Ten
years later, in 1993, he found his first job in the business, supervising the bottling line
and worki
ng in the cellar at Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara County. After only
three years, he became assistant winemaker at Babcock Vineyards. It's a philosophy to
which Tensley strictly adheres today. In 1998, Tensley moved on to become assistant
winemaker a
t Beckman Winery, where he found his passion for Rhone varietals,
particularly Syrah, which would become the basis of his signature wines. His wines have
received high praise, such as that of West Coast Wines, which writes, "Major kudos to
Joey Tensley. He

has steadfastly propelled himself into the upper echelon of Syrah
producers in California."


2003 Syrah “Purisima Clone 99”, Santa Ynez Valley

$29.95

200 cases produced

Dark and concentrated with burnt crust and reduced berry fruit, caramel, peppercor
n,
licorice, bacon fat, jam, and white chocolate. It is just packed with glycerine. Nice firm
tannins give an overall impression that is akin to last years but they have more layers to
it. I agree with Joey that his 2003’s are gonna be great. The textu
re of the wine is just
amazing.

Release date 10/15/04



2002 Syrah “Colson Canyon Vineyard”, Santa Maria Valley

$29.95

350 cases produced


Deep black in color, multi layered and loaded with animal fat, espresso, briar, and
peppermint candy. Warm, juicy

and ripe. Joeys says it will open up after a day or two in
the glass.

Release date 10/15/04



VERDAD

Interestingly the majority of the Verdad wines are sold in the Bay Area. I contend the
restaurateurs in that market embrace new wines and new wine sty
les before others. Thet
have certainly embraced Verdad wines, encourage people to want to try them and
support the wine with appropriate cuisine. The production of Verdad in 2002 was less
than 600 cases.


2003 Albarino “Ibarra Young Vineyard”, Santa Yne
z Valley


$15.95

250 cases produced

Bob and Louisa find this wine so challenging because it is white wine production is so
different than normal Qupe production techniques. 90% Stainless steel fermented and 10
% fermented in neutral barrel and allowed to
go through Malolatic fermentation. A real
pretty piece of work with aromas that are clean, with hints of a green tea and mineral
nose not really floral. Tasting it blind I would guess it to be a blend of Sauvignon Blanc,
Riesling, and Viognier. A surpris
ingly light wine low alcohol, low pH and high in acid


just the way I like it.

Release date 4/1/04



2002 Tempranillo Blend, Santa Barbara County

$19.95

280 cases produced

A blend of 67% Tempranillo from the Ibarra Young Vineyard, 17% Syrah from Bien
Na
cido, and 16% Grenache from Purisima Mountain. Louisa made the Tempranillo and
it was all about tannin management as this varietal can express massive tannins. They
decided to heat up the must to hurry up the fermentation. Bob made the Grenache and
the
Syrah. The wine is full of leather and spice with a core fruit of plums and dense
earthy aromas. Well structured in the mouth with soft tannins, the Syrah really fills the
middle, and the Grenache (which was great from Purisima in 2002) makes it all righ
t.

Release date 9/1/04


VITA NOVA

The wines from Vita Nova were voted the best red wine in the air in Business Traveler
Magazine and rightly so


the wines are terrific and they age well


I should know I have
a slew of them in my cellar.


2002 Sangiovese
“Stolpman”, Santa Ynez Valley

$17.95

200 cases produced

Richer darker and meatier than last years Sangiovese from Jim Clendenen


which was
the best of the bunch in 2001. Humongous wine, I don’t think they make them like this
in Italy
-

packed with vanilla
, backed with earth, and black truffles wrapped with dried
floral and pit of the plum fruit. Good acid and structure. This is a very big wine with
good acidity and dark rich concentrated fruit.

Release date 8/15/04




WESTERLY

As I have in the past I can
not praise this vineyard enough


expertly managed and
perfectly situated. Many of the best wineries in the area get fruit from Westerly. It is a
200
-
acre ranch planted to 85 acres. The eventual plan is to build a winery as the
production grows. The wi
nes are expertly made by Seth Kunin


2003 Sauvignon Blanc “Estate”, Santa Ynez Valley

$17.95

500 cases produced

Fermented 1/3 in tank and 2/3 in barrel (all neutral) the wine is very showy and
expressive. The wine shows nuances of grapefruit, creamy lee
s, and limes on nose while
on the palate I saw more tropical fruits (guava), components with citrus background.
Very crisp acidity and racy without being sharp on the palate. Nice lean, and long finish
that left me salivating. Quite good.

Release date 7/1
/04



2002 W “Estate”, Santa Ynez Valley

$31.95

275 cases produced

Now this is one classic and classic wine. The W is a harmonious blend of 55% Cabernet
Franc and 45% Merlot from a textbook year in Santa Barbara. Once again showing how
well Cabernet Fran
c does in the Happy Canyon area. Aromatically filled with cherry and
cassis fruit and a touch oak spice in nose as well. Full bodied, but fruit forward on palate,
with moderate tannins. Will improve with air/age. Delicious.

Release date 10/1/04



ZACA MES
A

Wine maker Clay Brock has a whole new team on board with him at Zaca Mesa and there
is an energy and dedication in the air. They have bitten the proverbial bullet and many of
the old clone vines have simply been ripped out. There is an emphasis on qual
ity Rhone
wine production and they are focusing on making just five wine and the Lilliputian of
products that were made in the past. Finally we are seeing wines that Clay has made
from start to finish and he makes great some great wine.


2003 Roussanne,
Santa Maria Valley

$16.95

1000 cases produced

This is the 3rd vintage harvested off Zaca Mesa’s new Roussanne planting. The grapes
are harvested the first week in October and whole cluster pressed. After cold settling for
one day, they transfer the juice b
arrel of which 60% are new French oak barrels, after
primary barrel fermentation is completed, Clay leaves it “sur lie” and allows a partial

malolactic fermentation, in order to gain complexity. I found a slew of complex aromas;
honeycomb, honey bunches o
f oats cereal (my kids eat them), Bartlett pears, creamy
wood tones and a hint of roasted almonds. I love the acidity and minerality playing
against a background of the rich textures.

Release date 12/1/04



2002 Mourvèdre, Santa Maria Valley


$23.95

242 ca
ses produced

Clay has made a massive and correct Mourvèdre full of aromas of blueberries, white
pepper, leather, and smoked meats. It is almost imposingly dark in color but it is a feast
for the eyes as it is so saturated. In the mouth the wine explodes
and unleashes a
complex array of warm ripe fruit and impressive flavors of cassis, spice, blueberry,
earthy, and dark cream all wrapped in a package that leaves you wanting more. It
reminds me of some of the great Bandols I have had from Chateau de Pibarn
on. Very
much a wine I would love to have made. I took the rest of the bottle back to my winery
and had it for lunch with grilled Italian Sausages


I was a happy man.

Release date 7/1/04