Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

Joughin Vineyard 2006 Negrette

Attention Joughin Vineyard Negrette fans and interested bystanders! This is the last vintage of Negrette to be produced as Mr. Joughin tired of seeing his labors not be rewarded by fruit.

Truth be told, we are also big fans of the delicious dark berry character found in this wine, but with misfortune ranging from extreme deer predation to frost susceptibly we could not fault the decision to yank these particular vines.

Negrette traces its origins to the warm climate area north of Toulouse in southwestern France where it is known for its dark color and fragrant berry aroma and flavor. The warmer climate around Los Olivos combined with a relatively long growing season yields a Negrette with interesting flavor and a touch more complexity than one usually finds with this grape.

Bruce made 12 barrels of this wine utilzing a mix of American and Hungarian oak of which 25% was new Hungarian barrels. The barrel aging added a little spice and body to further compliment food.

Another easy wine to pair with washed rind cheeses; it would also be a good choice for hearty Mexican cuisine or Bistro style fare. Paring with food is highly recommended to cut the firm acid, bottle aging will most likely be rewarded in 2011.
Suggested retail: 24.00/750ml
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Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2007 Santa Rita Hills Reserve Chardonnay

The Santa Rita Hills of the western Santa Ynez Valley is an area were local geography influences the climate to create conditions unusually well suited for growing world class Chardonnay.

We give this wine a “reserve” designation because these grapes are harvested from distinct soil types and Chardonnay clones that yield the greatest flavor concentration and fruit intensity.

The resulting wine is full-bodied and richly textured with complexity of flavor further enhanced by barrel fermentation. Three to five years of bottle aging allows the wine to open up and show off well-integrated flavors.

2007 was one of those years that Winemaker Bruce McGuire had an embarassment of riches as a smaller than normal crop yielded excellent fruit quality (small clusters and berries) through most of the Chardonnay blocks from our Lafond Vineyard, our neighbor Hill Top Ranch, and the old Sanford and Benedict Vineyard just down Santa Rosa Road. Over half of the fruit used was from vines aged 30 years and older.

The fruit intensity and depth of flavor makes this full-bodied style an ideal match with hearty, rich foods like salmon, pork roast, and of course, lobster.

Suggested Retail: 22.00/750ml
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Lafond Winery & Vineyards New Release

2006 Syrah / Grenache

After three decades of wine growing in the Santa Rita Hills of the western Santa Ynez Valley, Pierre Lafond and winemaker Bruce McGuire are still experimenting with unconventional grape varieties in our very cool climate growing region.

The knowledge gained since the first planting of six varieties in 1972 (one of the early vineyards in Santa Barbara County) has led to a focused approach in which varietals are sought out according to Bruce’s hypothesis on a grape’s potential to exhibit unique character when grown in our area. While this pioneering has led to short term trials like Cabernet Franc, it has also paid off with great success such as the introduction of Syrah to the Santa Rita Hills.

Grenache intrigued Bruce and Pierre for they thought it had the same potential as Syrah to show off spicy character expressed in a different way than the white pepper spice found in our cool climate Syrah.

The 2.25 acre planting has paid off in a distinctly bright Grenache exhibiting a hint of black pepper with cinnamon spice and dark red fruit flavors with a whisper of menthol. The blend of these two grapes yields a very pleasing full bodied wine that invites paring with a wide variety of foods. The wine should be fully integrated in 2010 to 2011.

Suggested retail: 38.00
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