- Item #: i_214500Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Along with Richard Sanford, Steve Beckmen has been one of the leaders of organic and biodynamic grape farmers in the Santa Ynez Valley… and he has quite the bevy of high scores to show he’s doing things right! The Beckmen family have two properties in Santa Barbara County, but their Cabernet comes predominantly from the estate surrounding their winery. The gravelly, well-drained soil and warm climate is a perfect match for Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted on the hilltops and slopes of the property where there is the least amount of topsoil, the vineyard is planted with higher density to moderate the amount of fruit each vine has to ripen. Also, the vineyard is planted with three great Cabernet Sauvignon clones each adding to the complexity of the finished wine.
2018 has turned out to be one of the best vintages the Central Coast has seen in over a decade! Couple the quality of the vintage, along with this wine’s sub-$30 price point, and the 94-point score from Antonio Galloni, and you have a wine that is making wineries in Napa, Sonoma, and Paso take note to what the Beckmens (and Santa Ynez Valley) are doing right!
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Ynez Valley) is rich and explosive out of the glass. Inky dark fruit, grilled herbs, leather, licorice and a host of earthy notes flesh out in an expansive wine endowed with tremendous depth and complexity. This is such a gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon."
- Item #: i_213900Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Jeb Dunnuck: 94JEB DUNNUCK 94-96 POINTS - "Owner Roger Bower's Crown Point Vineyards, with help from the team of Philippe Melka and Maayan Koschitzky, are unquestionably fashioning some of the top Bordeaux blends coming out of Santa Barbara County today. The young Frenchman Simone Faury has replaced Adam Henkel as head winemaker, and unquestionably, the future is very bright for this address."
"Functioning as the second wine of the estate (meaning younger vines and blocks that didn't make the selection for the top cuvee), the 2018 Relevant checks in as 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in barrel. Beautifully pure cassis, violets, flowery incense, and spice notes all emerge from this beauty, which is soft, supple, layered, and just impossible to resist. It's an opulent, sexy wine that certainly doesn't taste like a second wine at this point."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94-96 POINTS - "The 2018 Relevant is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot from younger vines and blocks on the property, and it is still aging in barrel. Deep ruby, if offers classic cassis, cedar, graphite and crushed boysenberry aromas with hints of Chinese Five Spice and licorice. The palate is medium to full-bodied with concentrated but fresh fruit character, a finely pixelated frame and seamless freshness, finishing long and super classy. 900 cases are expected to be made."
- Item #: i_227390Bottle Size: 750mlLocated at the far East end of Santa Ynez Valley, the Happy Canyon vineyard is perhaps a bit like the fabled city of El Dorado when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon. But instead of a city of gold, we have rich soils of clay and loam, providing for smaller vines and more complex fruit-- making it a stellar location to grow warmth-loving grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon. The brilliance of the Cabs we’ve tried from Happy Canyon, in general, and this Ground Effect, in particular, make for an easy call when it comes to 'winning the gold' as our July Wine of the Month!
The scents are rife with classic Cabernet cherries, joined by notes of blueberries, strawberries and rhubarb. Add a touch of white pepper, incense and cedar, brightened by a waft of rose garden air, and it makes for quite the pleasurable palette for the nose. Pavlovian response noted.
In the mouth, the fruits are reiterated from the nose (more cherries, raspberries and cassis) while kept fresh and uplifted by excellent streaks of acidity and light tannins. The palate is wonderfully viscous and adds hints of fruit leather, black tea and cacao toward the mid-palate and finish. Dark chocolate, toffee and blackberries make for a lovely curtain call as the finish lasts and lasts. Drink now and enjoy for years to come.
Geek out note: Happy Canyon is a special and young AVA (2001). It sits at the collision of 2 ranges (Santa Ynez, San Rafael), protecting and regulating the climate.
Blend: 95% Cab Sauv, 3% Cab Franc, 2% Merlot.
- Item #: i_273300Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91Stolpman 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."