Monthly Archive for March, 2009

New Release Santa Barbara Winery

2006 Lafond Vineyard Grenache

After three decades of wine growing in Santa Rita Hills, Pierre Lafond and winemaker Bruce McGuire are still experimenting with unconventional varieties in this very cool growing region.

Following their successful introduction of Syrah to Santa Rita Hills in the early 1990’s, they are now releasing their third Grenache from Lafond Vineyard.

Planted in loose conglomerate (sand and rocks to four inches) in the warmest section of the vineyard allows the fruit to ripen to its full potential throughout its lengthy hang time on the vines.

Historically, Grenache has been grown in the Southern Rhone Valley of France as well as large areas of Spain where it is known as Garnacha.

Often used for blending, recent years have seen more Grenache bottled by itself as growers limit yields to make more flavorful wines highlighting the plump, mid-palate flavors that make this multifaceted wine so versatile with food. Its characteristic mouth “grip” is tannic yet plush.

Simple, easy to prepare foods are at home with this wine, and the summer of 2009 should see the tannins integrate with fruit to make a most enjoyable quaff. We anticipate this wine aging nicely through 2011.

Suggested retail: 26.00

To order:

March in the Vineyard

These are photos taken last Saturday March 7. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are beginning to bud – just barely. The cover crop has grown, in spite of the very low rainfall, and needs to be cut. In some areas, where it is very sandy, it is cut and left to keep the soil in place, in others it will be cut and disked and turned into the soil so that it does not harbor harmful insects. The rows are narrow – 6 feet,  the tractor 4 feet and the ground is uneven. The driver in the photo is Enrique, our foreman. The last photo is a view form our upper vineyard looking south. The Lafond Winery is accross the river at the foot of the mountains.

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2005 Stolpman Vineyard Nebbiolo

Winemaker Bruce McGuire jumped at the chance to make his first Nebbiolo back in 1998 when a small amount became available from Ballard Canyon’s Stolpman Vineyard. Following the 2004’s second edition acclaim, Bruce again jumped at the availability of Stolpman fruit in 2005 to produce our third vintage of Nebbiolo.

 Nebbiolo is a true vintners’ challenge.Often described as the noblest grape of Italy, it is found in the northern Piedmont region and is most familiar when bottled as Barolo and Barbaresco. One of the most finicky grapes to grow, Nebbiolo will reward careful site selection with heady, beautiful wines.

Should the soil, exposure, or climate be less than ideal the vintner is handed truck loads of frustration in the form of under ripe grapes and thin, uninteresting wines. The naturally very high tannin and acid found in this grape meant a long time in the barrel (bottled in March of 2007) and then almost a year and a half of bottle aging before Bruce deemed the 2005 Nebbiolo ready for release.

The tannins will continue to resolve and flavors will further develop through 2012. Try this beauty with a steaming dish of white truffle pasta or experiment with a variety of artisan cheeses from the Piedmont region.
Suggested Retail 28.00/750ml
To Order: