SYRAH, GRENACHE, VIOGNIER, ETC
- Item #: i_209820Bottle Size: 750mlAfter graduating from Cal Poly SLO, winemaker Denise Shurtleff worked at a local winery as a lab tech during harvest, and was quickly introduced to the intensity and passion associated with fine winemaking. She worked all aspects at the winery, learning how each and every part of the winemaking process affects the final wine. The sustainably-farmed Tempusquet Vineyard in Santa Maria produces grapes of intense quality, and Denise knows just the methods needed to get the vineyard's best into the bottle.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Syrah Tepusquet Vineyard is the most impressive wine in the range today. Powerful, dense and explosive, the 2015 pulses with both energy. An exotic melange of inky dark fruit, creme de cassis, lavender, black pepper and spice builds as this striking wine shows off its pedigree."
- Item #: i_215890Bottle Size: 750mlDragonette's signature Syrah, named in honor of their wives Mitchi, Jen, and Michelle, this wine is a selection of their favorite barrels of Syrah, blended with small amounts of Grenache and Viognier, and then given extended barrel aging as dictated by the vintage character of the wine.
- Item #: i_215940Bottle Size: 750mlSeven is Dragonette's Syrah-based blend, originally named for the seven exceptional cool climate vineyard sites from which it was comprised. They have refined their vineyard sources for this wine over the years, selecting precise blocks and clones to increase aromatic and flavor complexity, rather than sheer fruit power. The 2016 Seven is comprised of 89% Syrah, 10% Grenache and 1% Viognier. The wine is sourced from John Sebastiano Vineyard, Stolpman Vineyard, Larner Vineyard, Kimsey, and Spear. The wine was aged in French oak barrels and puncheons (10% new) for 18 months before blending and bottling.
We are thrilled with the performance of this wine, as it is already beginning to show off explosive, complex aromatics (red, blue and black fruits, spices and meats), a rich, yet lifted palate, smooth texture and a scintillatingly long finish for such a young wine. We expect this wine to continue to develop over the coming years and to last for well over a decade.
- Item #: i_249245Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 90 POINTS - "Fess Parker's 2017 Syrah (Santa Barbara County) is powerful and bold, with expressive savory and peppery notes that add striking shades of complexity. This is an especially rich, racy style. A touch of sweetness from American oak is a lovely accent to ripe dark cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice and grilled herb flavors."
- Item #: i_227490Bottle Size: 750mlThis is an insane value from Curt Schalchlin; the owner and winemaker of SANS LIEGE. After several years learning from and working for some of the Central Coast's most sought-after producers, Curt decided to go his own way. The wines he puts under the Sans Liege label have received lofty praise from other winemakers and consumers, and his Groundwork label is on the way to becoming one of the better values in California's Central Coast!
For his Groundwork Syrah, Curt gets fruit from three phenomenal vineyards: White Hawk, Larner, Watch Hill, and Old Potrero. More often when you see single-vineyard wines from these properties, they will cost you $30-$45 per bottle. So you can already see what a value this wine is! Couple that with the fact that he ages the wine for 18 months in a mix of new and neutral French oak (again, something that you typically fine in pricier bottlings), and you will know why this is a knockout bargain!
The wine is redolent with grilled cherries, Swiss Tobacco, raspberry brambles, rare steak, grilled peaches, pumice, evergreen forest, strawberry hard candies, mocha, cherry cola, and hints of creosote (which Todd Johnston loves!).
- Item #: i_232300Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsOwned by Stanly Kroenke, the same gentleman that owns Screaming Eagle, Jonata has catapulted itself to the forefront of Santa Barbara County winemaking! Their vineyards are sustainably farmed, the wines routinely received high scores from the critics, and it was their "Todos" blend that really struck a chord with us this year! "Todos" translates to everything, and no, Jonata didn't just blend every single barrel of the leftovers. There were fantastic barrels of Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, etc., so winemaker Matt Dees did blending trials with specific quantities of each varietal, and for the past few years, Todos has been an incredible wine for the money! It has earned 93 points from Wine Advocate and is a great way for consumers to sample the "house style" at a fraction of the price of the top bottlings.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "Blended of 47% Syrah, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 3% Sangiovese and 2% Viognier, the 2014 Todos Proprietary Red Wine reveals a medium to deep garnet-purple color and a pronounced blackberries, blueberry pie and cassis-scented nose with an Indian spices and black pepper-laced undercurrent, plus a waft of lavender. Soft, medium-bodied, perfumed and elegant in the mouth, this finely crafted beauty offers great seamlessness and harmony, finishing long and spicy."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "It's always a fun tasting with winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and they continue to keep this estate at the top of the hierarchy in Santa Barbara County. Located in Ballard Canyon AVA, they pull only from their estate vineyard (planted on incredibly sandy soils) and make a wide range of cuvées, from a red and white Bordeaux blends, to a 100% Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and a number of terrific Rhône blends. The common thread is incredible quality."
"Graphite, pencil, lead, smoked earth, tobacco and assorted dark fruits emerge from the 2015 Todos, and it's its usual, crazy blend of just about every varietal. This beautifully pure, fresh, focused blend has fine tannin and a great finish, and is another stunner from this estate. The full blend is 56% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Sangiovese, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Viognier."
- Item #: i_263211Bottle Size: 750MLThe Stolpman winery has one of the most prized vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. Their warm days, cool nights and limestone-rich soils make this property similar to parts of France's Rhone Valley. Their dedication to high-quality fruit has been noticed and the fruit utilized by some of the best wineries in California, such as Sine Qua Non, Ojai, Jaffurs and Andrew Murray.
With 18 acres of Roussanne, Stolpman Vineyards accounts for over 5% of planted acreage of the grape in California. The notoriously late-ripening, sluggish varietal is perfectly suited to Stolpman's Ballard Canyon site. Low humidity and high afternoon winds blowing off the Pacific combine to prevent fungal issues that plague the grape in Europe and other wetter regions. Intense, late season, Southern Latitude Sun; the Roussanne tans to its beautiful namesake "Rousse" - or rust color. Stolpman's experienced crew, La Cuadrilla, hand plucks every leaf away from the fruit through the early summer and then rotates each cluster once one side turns golden – usually in early September. Only evenly tanned fruit is then visually selected during multiple hand-harvesting passes.
ANTONIO GALLONI 90 POINTS - "The 2017 Roussanne Estate is quite delicate in this vintage. In 2017, the Estate has 12% Chardonnay, which adds complexity and nuance, while also pushing some of the Roussanne character into the background. Even so, it is a very pretty wine. Drink it over the next few years."
- Item #: i_273320Bottle Size: 750mlRepresenting a portion of every Syrah block on the vineyard, Estate Syrah best represents Stolpman Vineyard’s soil, methodology, and the Ballard Canyon weather conditions in any given year.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Syrah Estate Grown is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh, floral and wonderfully perfumed, the Estate expresses all the best vintage had to offer. Sweet floral, spice and dried herbs are beautifully laced into a core of dark Syrah. Not only is the Estate a terrific example of the year, it also captures the interplay of rich fruit and more savory notes that is so typical of the best Ballard Canyon Syrahs. The 2017 is simply compelling. That's all there is to it. "
- Item #: i_273300Bottle Size: 750mlStolpman Vineyards lies on a rare outcropping of limestone in Santa Barbara's newly-established Ballard Canyon AVA. What makes Ballard Canyon so different from the rest of Santa Barbara is that most of the valleys within the county are in an east/west orientation. Ballard Canyon, however, is north/south, which means the region is moderately sheltered from fog and winds. Ballard Canyon is warmer than the surrounding areas, but combined with the soils, this maked for an ideal location for Rhone varietals, such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Viognier. The Stolpman Vineyard has established itself as one of the prized vineyards in this region.
La Cuadrilla is Spanish for "the crew", and the proceeds from this wine go back to the farming crew. The core of the wine is harvested from the crew’s Cuadra, a vineyard block that Vineyard Manager Ruben Solorzano gives the crew each year to encourage proactive farming and decision making. Winemaker Sashi Moorman then blends more of the estate’s wine into Cuadrilla, ensuring the wine accounts for at least 10% of Stolpman's production each year. La Cuadrilla symbolizes the dedication at Stolpman to sustainable year-round employment rather than reliance on migrant labor. This year, La Cuadrilla is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Grenache, and 15% Sangiovese
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2018 La Cuadrilla offers lovely freshness and vibrancy in a mid-weight style that is hugely appealing. Floral overtones give this Syrah/Grenache/Sangiovese blend gorgeous perfume. Although not especially complex, the 2018 is a real delight to taste."
- Item #: i_273720Bottle Size: 750mlZaca Mesa's wines are made from sustainably farmed grapes that are estate grown, produced, and bottled. With over 40 years of grape growing experience in the Santa Ynez Valley, their winemaking and vineyard teams meticulously farm the vineyard to focus on terroir-driven wines. Zaca Mesa began growing Rhone varieties in 1978 when they were the first to plant Syrah in Santa Barbara County. Since then, they have determined that grape varieties planted in the Rhone Valley of France are best suited to their estate.
A blend of 65% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre, and 16% Grenache, the 2016 Inceptive is a vibrant wine, showing aromas of vine picked blackberries, crushed rock, and graphite. Round silky tannins cascade along your palate, releasing concentrated flavors of mixed black fruits and violet. The long mineral finish has an energy and focus that can only be described as electric.