What Santa Barbara County/South Coast Wine Are You Drinking?

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Michael Martin
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#1 Post by Michael Martin » January 13th, 2016, 4:08 pm

It's no secret that I like SBC wines. There are some good ones: Tercero, Tensley, Jaffurs, Ojai, Paul Lato, SQN, etc. I know others here enjoy them as much as I do. So post your most recent indulgence.
Tonight we popped a 2013 Tensley SBC Syrah. Great right from pop and pour. A tad sweet, but with juicy acidity and pepper to balance things. A drink me now wine that is hard to put down. Nice QPR.

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#2 Post by Drew Goin » January 13th, 2016, 5:29 pm

The Tensley SBC is a great Syrah for the price!

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#3 Post by John W Osgood » January 13th, 2016, 6:25 pm

Liquid Farm! - had a great visit with Jeff a few weeks ago and the wines were delicious. It was a treat to taste the soon to be released Pinot Noir - awesome stuff.
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#4 Post by J. Singleton » January 13th, 2016, 6:32 pm

For $17 it's hard to beat the ABC SB County Pinot noir
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#5 Post by Ron Erickson » January 13th, 2016, 7:07 pm

J. Singleton wrote:For $17 it's hard to beat the ABC SB County Pinot noir
They make a nice Chardonnay too.
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#6 Post by Roy Piper » January 13th, 2016, 7:16 pm

At the moment, Dragonette and Paul Lato.
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#7 Post by jnbrown » January 14th, 2016, 12:43 pm

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#8 Post by P Intag » January 14th, 2016, 1:34 pm

My wife and I were just up there for a quick weekend trip.
Lincourt:
Liked everything we tasted there. The unoaked 2013 "Steel" Chardonnay was interesting with a nice acidic edge. 2013 "Lindsay's" Pinot was very good and made in a less fruit forward style but with some noticeable oak - thought it should probably be laid down for a year or two. The most interesing wine was the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon which showed a lot of true Cab character without a facade of oak and overextraction. Good value across their lineup.

Tercero:
Love visiting Larry and trying his wines. He opened up the not-yet-released 2011 Camp 4 Grenache and it was fantastic. The other standouts were the 2010 Larner Syrah and the 2013 Roussanne. The only wine club that I belong to - enough said.

Succulent Cafe:
Ordered the 2013 Buttonwood Malbec with dinner. A beautiful wine - new world for sure with up front fruit, but varietal purity with no oak mask. Only $38 from the list - a great value at list price of $26 at the winery. I've tasted there previously and have always liked their wines and thought they presented very good value.

Ampelos (Lompoc Wine Ghetto):
Spacious and nice tasting room. Interesting lineup. 2013 Red Carpet Pinot was actually pretty good and we were informed that it would be poured the next day at the Golden Globe awards! The 2011 Lambda Pinot was very nice in a fairly restrained style. 2011 Rho Pinot was similar but with more noticeable French Oak. The 2011 Gamma Syrah and 2011 Syrache were both very good but it was the 2011 Delta Grenache that stole the show for me - a well-balanced and tasty wine with good varietal character.

Fiddlehead (Lompoc Wine Ghetto):
Tasting room is very cramped with fold up chairs and table. Loved the Sauv Blancs but the Pinots were unremarkable and the NV "Missing 7" was terrible. $15 for only 5 wines, three of which were low-end. A poor experience.

Arcadian/Bratcher (Lompoc Wine Ghetto):
Was very impressed with the 3 Bratcher wines that were poured. New producer for me and now on my radar. 2010 Mary Ellis Chardonnay was gorgeous as was the 2013 Sauv Blanc. I'm blanking on which Pinot was poured but I think it was the 2012 La Encantada which was also very good. The Arcadians were also fantastic wines. The 2007 Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay was fresh and vibrant. The 2008 Santa Lucia Pinot Noir was a well balanced, flavorful wine that reminded me of the (more recent vintage) Sandler versions. The most interesting wine was the 2007 Sleepy Hollow Syrah which had wild aromatics and ever changing flavors. A beautiful tasting room and a great chance to taste wines from a Central Coast legend. We were the only ones in the tasting room the entire time we were there on Sunday around 1pm for about 45 minutes. Only $12 for the tasting of the six stupendous wines.
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#9 Post by jnbrown » January 14th, 2016, 1:51 pm

P Intag wrote:My wife and I were just up there for a quick weekend trip.
Lincourt:
Liked everything we tasted there. The unoaked 2013 "Steel" Chardonnay was interesting with a nice acidic edge. 2013 "Lindsay's" Pinot was very good and made in a less fruit forward style but with some noticeable oak - thought it should probably be laid down for a year or two. The most interesing wine was the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon which showed a lot of true Cab character without a facade of oak and overextraction. Good value across their lineup.

Tercero:
Love visiting Larry and trying his wines. He opened up the not-yet-released 2011 Camp 4 Grenache and it was fantastic. The other standouts were the 2010 Larner Syrah and the 2013 Roussanne. The only wine club that I belong to - enough said.

Succulent Cafe:
Ordered the 2013 Buttonwood Malbec with dinner. A beautiful wine - new world for sure with up front fruit, but varietal purity with no oak mask. Only $38 from the list - a great value at list price of $26 at the winery. I've tasted there previously and have always liked their wines and thought they presented very good value.

Ampelos (Lompoc Wine Ghetto):
Spacious and nice tasting room. Interesting lineup. 2013 Red Carpet Pinot was actually pretty good and we were informed that it would be poured the next day at the Golden Globe awards! The 2011 Lambda Pinot was very nice in a fairly restrained style. 2011 Rho Pinot was similar but with more noticeable French Oak. The 2011 Gamma Syrah and 2011 Syrache were both very good but it was the 2011 Delta Grenache that stole the show for me - a well-balanced and tasty wine with good varietal character.

Fiddlehead (Lompoc Wine Ghetto):
Tasting room is very cramped with fold up chairs and table. Loved the Sauv Blancs but the Pinots were unremarkable and the NV "Missing 7" was terrible. $15 for only 5 wines, three of which were low-end. A poor experience.

Arcadian/Bratcher (Lompoc Wine Ghetto):
Was very impressed with the 3 Bratcher wines that were poured. New producer for me and now on my radar. 2010 Mary Ellis Chardonnay was gorgeous as was the 2013 Sauv Blanc. I'm blanking on which Pinot was poured but I think it was the 2012 La Encantada which was also very good. The Arcadians were also fantastic wines. The 2007 Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay was fresh and vibrant. The 2008 Santa Lucia Pinot Noir was a well balanced, flavorful wine that reminded me of the (more recent vintage) Sandler versions. The most interesting wine was the 2007 Sleepy Hollow Syrah which had wild aromatics and ever changing flavors. A beautiful tasting room and a great chance to taste wines from a Central Coast legend. We were the only ones in the tasting room the entire time we were there on Sunday around 1pm for about 45 minutes. Only $12 for the tasting of the six stupendous wines.
Paul,

When you where at the wine ghetto did you go by Piedrassasi? I always thought they had some good lower priced Syrahs. I didn't bother going there earlier this year because their web site said most of their Syrah were sold out. Zotovich also there has some good Syrah but kind of pricey.
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#10 Post by WesleyHagen » January 14th, 2016, 4:07 pm

Lineup at Sanford right now is very good, loved the reds at Dragonette from a recent stop at their tasting room. I see that Ken Brown made a Happy Canyon Sauv Blanc and plan a special trip to go taste that, as HCoSB AVA SB is really driving my imagination right now.
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#11 Post by Roger Ouellette » January 14th, 2016, 4:21 pm

The CFO (wife) and I did an anniversary trip to Santa Ynez, Los Olivos and Santa Barbara in early December.

I posted a trip report here: http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/santa- ... ip-report/.

This is my roundup of the highlights:

Best of show - Melville, everything we tasted here was top shelf, the setting was beautiful and the folks pouring were fantastic.

Best tasting experience - Demetria, not necessarily the best wines but the setting and the seated tasting were first class.

Best Chardonnay - Liquid Farm, all of them, not much of a surprise here.

Best Pinot - Au Bon Climat, 2012 Isabelle

Best Syrah/GSM - Melville 2012 Syrah, High Density

Best Bordeaux varietals - Happy Canyon Vineyard, 2011 Piocho Reserve

Nicest tasting room - Alma Rosa, once we found it on Santa Rosa Rd, next to Industrial Eats

Most unusual offerings - Kenneth Volk. We tasted Malvasia Bianca, Verdelho, Negrette, Blaufrankisch, Touriga Nacional and Aglianico with a bonus pour of their Old Vine "F"Red which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Touriga Nacional.

Biggest surprise - with all the hype about this areas Pinots and Chardonnays, we found the syrahs to be the standouts. With a few exceptions, the majority of pinots were good but not great and the chards were all over the place from steely/minerally to oaky and buttery.

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#12 Post by k i r k_crow » January 14th, 2016, 4:31 pm

anyone visited A Tribute to Grace, the grenache producer in Santa Barbara? I am new to those wines, but man did I enjoy the ones we bought this fall. made me want to visit the area and taste more

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#13 Post by larry schaffer » January 14th, 2016, 4:59 pm

Kirk,

A Tribute to Grace does not have a tasting room at present.

And Roger, please do stop by next time you are in the area.

Cheers.
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#14 Post by Greg Ballington » January 14th, 2016, 5:34 pm

P Intag wrote:My wife and I were just up there for a quick weekend trip.

Tercero:
Love visiting Larry and trying his wines. He opened up the not-yet-released 2011 Camp 4 Grenache and it was fantastic. The other standouts were the 2010 Larner Syrah and the 2013 Roussanne. The only wine club that I belong to - enough said.
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#15 Post by larry schaffer » January 14th, 2016, 5:36 pm

Greg,

Sadly, I am nearly out and therefore not pouring it in my tasting room anymore.

The good news - I'll be bottling it at the end of February and it's tasting and smelling awesome :-)

Cheers.
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#16 Post by P Intag » January 14th, 2016, 5:40 pm

Joel, no, I did not get a chance to try Piedrasassi. I'll make sure to try them next time I'm "in the ghetto".
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#17 Post by Michael Martin » January 14th, 2016, 6:13 pm

P Intag wrote:Joel, no, I did not get a chance to try Piedrasassi. I'll make sure to try them next time I'm "in the ghetto".
Piedrasassi Syrahs are very good to great. Even the "cheap" ones.

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#18 Post by R. Gaston » January 14th, 2016, 8:14 pm

Piedrasassi makes great juice.
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#19 Post by Michael Martin » January 17th, 2016, 1:40 pm

'12 Jaffurs Verna's Vineyard Syrah
I normally would hide these in the cellar for 5-6 years, but Jaffurs has toned down their style in the last few vintages and this one, while young, is drinking very well with lots of spice and dark fruit goodness.
I heard Verna's was sold, so I am not sure how many more vintages we'll see from here. I really like these. Too bad.

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#20 Post by Peter Petersen » January 17th, 2016, 5:05 pm

'10 ABC "Isabelle" PN. Too young but delicious nevertheless. One can easily wait another 5 years to open this wine.

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#21 Post by Michael Martin » February 8th, 2016, 4:43 pm

2012 Jaffurs Santa Barbara County Syrah. Their lowest cost blend. Very juicy at this point. I think the '13 version is better, but the '12 works for a Monday after the Super Bowl wine.

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#22 Post by Steve Anderson » February 8th, 2016, 10:56 pm

Seven Days of Santa Barbara (not planned, but started with the Feb #WineStudio Twitter chat focusing on Santa Barbara County*).

Between last Tuesday and tonight:
2008 Tercero Thompson Vineyard Syrah
2012 A Tribute to Grace Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard Grenache
2005 Jonata El Corazon Red Blend
2012 Paul Lato Hilliard Bruce Vineyard "Belle de Jour" Chardonnay
2010 Paul Lato Larner Vineyard "Cinamatique" Syrah

All excellent and recommended.

* Protocol Wine Studio does a #WineStudio chat on Twitter each Tuesday. Feb is a focus on Santa Barbara County, featuring Dan Kessler (Kessler-Haak) on 9 Feb, Kimberly Smith (La Montagne) on 16 Feb, and Larry Schaffer (Tercero) on 23 Feb. Here is a link to the schedule and information. Chat starts at 6PM Pacific. http://protocolwinestudio.com/event/win ... bara-love/

Cheers!

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#23 Post by Michael Martin » March 13th, 2016, 8:01 am

'09 Jaffurs Verna's Vineyard Syrah. Needed a 3 hour decant. Very dense, big olive, salt, blue and black fruit notes. This wine will go another 10 - 15 years yet.

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#24 Post by Peter Petersen » March 13th, 2016, 8:34 am

'11 Ojai, Solomon Hills, PN. This PN is chock full of flavors, probably still needs a few years to settle down. I find the new more civilized style at Ojai far more appealing than what was produced 10 years ago. It was also until last week my only wine club.

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#25 Post by calauber » March 13th, 2016, 4:52 pm

The ultimate praise (am I right?) is being hesitant to post said praise. Jaffurs SB County Syrah '13 meets that standard. (I'm going to wish I hadn't written this.)
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#26 Post by Michael Martin » March 13th, 2016, 5:01 pm

calauber wrote:The ultimate praise (am I right?) is being hesitant to post said praise. Jaffurs SB County Syrah '13 meets that standard. (I'm going to wish I hadn't written this.)
I agree with you. It is an awesome QPR and one of the better blends they have put out since 2007.

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#27 Post by vincentz » March 13th, 2016, 8:27 pm

Bien Nacido Vineyard 2011 Pinot. Delicious, strawberry and subtle cedar. Good balance of fruit and acid.
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#28 Post by Michael Martin » March 25th, 2016, 5:48 pm

2005 Jaffurs Upslope. Can't get much better than this.

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#29 Post by Michael Martin » March 30th, 2016, 7:17 pm

2011 Jaffurs' Ampelos Syrah. Rich and deep.

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#30 Post by Evan Pontoriero » March 30th, 2016, 8:15 pm

Tercero - The Outlier

I just drink the whole bottle myself.
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#31 Post by PrestonS » March 31st, 2016, 7:02 am

2014 RASI Pinot Noir- good juice here with Rachaels sophmore effort. Only have two bottles left.
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#32 Post by Michael Martin » April 12th, 2016, 6:10 pm

2012 Jaffurs Kimsey Syrah. First year Jaffurs has used this vineyard. Great spice driven Syrah. Almost Saxum like in its layered flavors. Might be my new SBC favorite.

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#33 Post by Michael Martin » April 19th, 2016, 7:42 pm

Was in Santa Barbara today and checked out Municipal Winemakers and Area 5.1. They are right across from each other. I read, I think here, some reasonable reviews on Municipal so that was my initial interest.

Across the board both wineries need a kick in the pants. I found their offerings marginal at best. Their surroundings seemed more brew pub than winery. Maybe I am not the demographic they are seeking, being in my 50's, but the wine itself was borderline bad. Some of the old guard SBC winemakers have nothing to worry about if these guys represent the new talent in SBC.

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#34 Post by larry schaffer » April 19th, 2016, 10:09 pm

And you didn't make it over the hill? Bummer . . .
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#35 Post by Michael Martin » April 20th, 2016, 7:57 am

larry schaffer wrote:And you didn't make it over the hill? Bummer . . .
We might make it to Los Olivos on Thursday. Will you be around?

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#36 Post by Michael Martin » April 20th, 2016, 7:53 pm

Larry, we had your '10 Grenache at Bouchon tonight. Loved it.

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#37 Post by larry schaffer » April 20th, 2016, 10:07 pm

Michael Martin wrote:
larry schaffer wrote:And you didn't make it over the hill? Bummer . . .
We might make it to Los Olivos on Thursday. Will you be around?
Darn it - I'll be down in LA . . . but Maeapple, the woman who works for me, will be there . . .
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#38 Post by larry schaffer » April 20th, 2016, 10:09 pm

Michael Martin wrote:Larry, we had your '10 Grenache at Bouchon tonight. Loved it.
Thanks! That's my 2010 Larner Grenache - love the site and love the vintage.

If you are around, there is an event happening this Sunday at Larner Vineyard called LarnerFete. 7 wineries who purchase fruit from the vineyard will be pouring:

Jaffurs
Kaena
Larner
tercero
McPrice Meyers
Central Coast Group Project
Casa Dumetz

Should be a fantastic afternoon - let me know if you need info on tickets.

I will be pouring a selection of my Larner stuff, including my 2012 Larner Mourvedre - only about 20 cases produced . . .

Cheers!
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#39 Post by CoryT. » April 20th, 2016, 10:47 pm

Michael Martin wrote:Was in Santa Barbara today and checked out Municipal Winemakers and Area 5.1. They are right across from each other. I read, I think here, some reasonable reviews on Municipal so that was my initial interest.

Across the board both wineries need a kick in the pants. I found their offerings marginal at best. Their surroundings seemed more brew pub than winery. Maybe I am not the demographic they are seeking, being in my 50's, but the wine itself was borderline bad. Some of the old guard SBC winemakers have nothing to worry about if these guys represent the new talent in SBC.
I was a member at municipal from 2010-2012 and found that the initial vintages were quite good but I was less impressed over time. The TR also became like you noted a brew pub, more hang out/party atmosphere than serious tasting room.

I like the winemaker and enjoyed supporting him getting the winery off the ground but didn't ultimately like the direction the winery went. So I dropped it. I think if I was looking to join a SBC wine club I would join Tercero or Jaffurs.
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#40 Post by BarryPrice » April 20th, 2016, 11:24 pm

Hi there! New to the board (been reading quite a few threads today, but this is my first post). Thanks for the great posts in this thread. My wife Anna and I are heading up to Los Olivos for the weekend (may stop by Vintners tasting, but more likely just some vineyard visits and tasting rooms).

Here's what's on our list (we will never get to them all)

Jaffurs
Tercero
Larner
Stolpman (Sunday morning vineyard hike)
Saarloos
Longoria
Qupe
Dragonette
Grassini

Plus these ones, if they take visits, or if the wines are in a Los Olivos tasting room:

Harrison Clarke
Kimsey
Solminer

Tried to set up a Jonata visit, but no go. Emailed some people about seeing WhiteHawk vineyard but no word on that yet.

Personally, I love Ballard Syrahs, and prefer Pinots closer to Lompoc.

We may take a day to drive over towards Lompoc too to visit Clos Pepe, Babcock, Hilliard Bruce, D'Alfonso-Curran, Fiddlehead and Dierberg.

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#41 Post by larry schaffer » April 21st, 2016, 6:46 am

Barry,

Feel free to reach out directly to me - larry@tercerowines.com. More than happy to help.

Cheers.
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#42 Post by Peter Petersen » April 21st, 2016, 7:34 am

Barry, you might want to give Ojai a try. Some of the best wines around and reasonably priced as well.

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#43 Post by Chris Caruso » April 21st, 2016, 9:02 am

Anyone know if Paul Lato has a tasting room?

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#44 Post by larry schaffer » April 21st, 2016, 9:35 am

Peter Petersen wrote:Barry, you might want to give Ojai a try. Some of the best wines around and reasonably priced as well.
Yep, Peter, great wines and wonderful prices. Unfortunately comma their tasting room is in Ojai, and that would be quite a detour from our area.
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What Santa Barbara County/South Coast Wine Are You Drinking?

#45 Post by Michael Martin » April 21st, 2016, 9:36 am

Spent some quality time with a Santa Barbara master, Craig Jaffurs. His '12 Kimsey Syrah is one of the best wines I've tasted of that vintage.
Ojai is also a great place to stop. Their '14 Santa Barbara Syrah is a pepper lover's delight.
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larry schaffer
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What Santa Barbara County/South Coast Wine Are You Drinking?

#46 Post by larry schaffer » April 21st, 2016, 9:37 am

Chris Caruso wrote:Anyone know if Paul Lato has a tasting room?
Paul does not have a Tasting Room. That said, if I remember correctly, he joined the Vintners Association and will be playing at our Festival on Saturday. His wines are also available on a couple of local places. You can try the winehound in Santa Barbara or Los Olivos Cafe in Los Olivos.
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What Santa Barbara County/South Coast Wine Are You Drinking?

#47 Post by Peter Petersen » April 21st, 2016, 10:44 am

larry schaffer wrote:
Peter Petersen wrote:Barry, you might want to give Ojai a try. Some of the best wines around and reasonably priced as well.
Yep, Peter, great wines and wonderful prices. Unfortunately comma their tasting room is in Ojai, and that would be quite a detour from our area.
A bit out of the way and even more so if one takes the scenic route to or from Ojai, but worth it all in all.

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What Santa Barbara County/South Coast Wine Are You Drinking?

#48 Post by Chris Caruso » April 21st, 2016, 11:34 am

larry schaffer wrote:
Chris Caruso wrote:Anyone know if Paul Lato has a tasting room?
Paul does not have a Tasting Room. That said, if I remember correctly, he joined the Vintners Association and will be playing at our Festival on Saturday. His wines are also available on a couple of local places. You can try the winehound in Santa Barbara or Los Olivos Cafe in Los Olivos.
Thanks Larry. I'm actually staying in Santa Ynez this weekend and was wondering if you were going to be in your tasting room at all over the weekend? I had picked up a mixed case on Berserker Day and wanted to try your new releases.

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What Santa Barbara County/South Coast Wine Are You Drinking?

#49 Post by Gary Schulte » April 21st, 2016, 5:58 pm

Love the barrel fermented chardonnays by Clos Pepe and the barberas by Steve Clifton.

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What Santa Barbara County/South Coast Wine Are You Drinking?

#50 Post by Michael Martin » May 1st, 2016, 5:27 pm

2007 Jaffurs Bien Nacido Syrah. Classic cool climate Syrah.

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