Monthly Archive for April, 2009

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2007 Dry Riesling

Riesling’s allure over that of other white wines is the necessary precision and attention to detail that goes into making this wonderfully versatile noble grape maintain its racy acidity and interestingly complex flavor profile.

In Alsace and Austria, Riesling is traditionally made into a very dry wine. Winemaker Bruce McGuire has experimented over the years with different levels of sweetness, measured by residual sugar from dry to late harvest style Rieslings. This, our dry style, shows off the body and complex flavors highlighting peach and nectarine backed by a firm, mineral finish to make for a very food friendly wine.

Aging in two neutral French barrels sur lie adds to the fleshy and full weight of the wine. Bright and aromatic, this wine should age beautifully. Often described as a “sipping wine” we recommend trying this Riesling with Asian Cuisine or white meats such as glazed Pork and roasted Turkey. It is also in good company with a greater variety of cheeses than most wines are comfortable with.
Suggested retail: 20.00
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Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2006 Joughin Vineyard Lagrein

Lagrein is one of the indigenous grapes grown around the town of Bolzano in the Alto Adige; Italy’s northern most wine growing region. Locally known for its big, rich tannins and very dark color, this is a remarkable food wine.

The key is a richness of fruit character, instead of hard tannins that delights and surprises the mouth at the same time. “This grape yields the darkest, most saturated wine I’ve experienced”, remarked Winemaker Bruce McGuire. Mr. Andrew Joughin, who also happens to be the vineyard manager at our Lafond Vineyard, planted the Joughin Vineyard.

It was his idea to look for unusual grape varieties from around the world that would be suitable for his soils and Los Olivos climate. Of course Bruce was happy to offer some suggestions that would also add to the wide variety of wines he makes for Santa Barbara Winery.

We got Andrew to plant a couple more rows because we continue to be impressed by this varietal. The seven tons of fruit from this four acre section gave us a concentrated, lush, and fruit forward, wine.

Pair with polenta and stewed meats as well as pasta in light tomato garlic sauce. This is also a great wine to taste with cheeses such as Camembert, Fontina, semihard Gouda, or your own selection in the fresh goat’s milk catagory. This wine should age nicely through 2010.

Suggested Retail: 30.00/750ml

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Lafond Winery New Release

2006 Pinot Noir Clone 115 from the Lafond Vineyards

Nestled in the Santa Rita Hills of the western Santa Ynez Valley, Lafond Vineyard is ideally situated to produce Pinot Noir exhibiting the unique and exotic flavor profile one finds in only a few regions of the world.

Specific areas within our vineyard exhibit elevated concentration and complexity due to soil and exposure to the elements. We have also planted eight distinct clones of Pinot Noir, each with subtle differences in flavor and aroma.

After several years of working with the eight Pinot Noir clones planted in Lafond Vineyard, Bruce has become very familiar with the attributes of each particular clone and uses them accordingly in each of the Pinot Noirs he makes.

Bruce felt that the vines were now old enough for small batches of individual clones to be bottled, thus showing off their character and the flavor profile each brings to the blending regimen. Clone 115 was grown across the river from its’ sister bottling, Clone Martin Ray.

The soils are different but, farming and vinification are identical. The comparison of these two clones from the same vintage gives one the winemaker’s view of a rather new element in winemaking as the availability of many Pinot Noir clones is a viticultural story less than twenty years old in North America.

The complexity and depth of flavor make this Pinot Noir a great match with savory foods such as lamb, Copper River salmon, and hearty mushroom dishes.

Suggested Retail: 45.00/750ml
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New Release Lafond Winery

Lafond Winery 2007 SRH Chardonnay

Located in the western Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Rita Hills AVA is an ideal environment for growing intensely flavored full-bodied Chardonnay. This AVA is distinguished by a very cool and long growing season created by a convergence of unusual geography in this part of California.

During the summer, heat rising from the Mojave Desert 90 miles inland and the eastern boundary of our unique east-west system of mountains and valleys draws in cold air from the Pacific Ocean 15 miles to our West. This guarantees cool days and chilly nights during the long growing season of the nine-mile length of the Santa Rita Hills AVA.

A blend of three neighboring vineyards, the 2007 Chardonnay SRH is winemaker Bruce McGuire’s selection to showcase the ripe, concentrated Chardonnay for which the Santa Rita Hills is known.

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.

This wine is a good choice to pair with many cows’ milk cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, and as a nice surprise, the fantastic washed-rind triple-creme Cow Girl Creamery Red Hawk. Richer foods such as roast chicken or whole farm raised striped bass are also ideal pairings. This bottling will reward aging through 2013 and promises to be quite showy through 2016.

Suggested retail: 22.00/750ml
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Lafond Winery New Release

2006 Lafond Vinyard Syrah

The Santa Rita Hills located in the western Santa Ynez Valley imparts a distinct “cool-climate” character to Syrah grown in the region. This character expresses itself with complex floral notes reminiscent of lavender and a spicy component highlighted by distinct white pepper notes. Our Lafond Vineyard Syrah represents select vineyard areas where the grapes exhibit the most intensity of flavor.

This concentration allows the forward, dense floral character and dark fruit to complement the spicy component of the wine. The 2006 vintage is a selection of the best 10 barrels from the least vigorous sections of three seperate vineyard blocks.

This was a moderate crop year in terms of yield and Winemaker Bruce McGuire liked the balanced canopy in the vineyard. The wine was then aged for 15 months in French Burgundy oak barrels. Bruce really liked the “great intensity” of the finished wine.

A fine choice for rustic, hearty fare and your favorite “stinky” cheese such as Taleggio from Italy or aged Red Hawk from California.

Suggested retail: 40.00
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