Santa Barbara Dreamin'

"I first visited Santa Barbara over a decade ago. Immediately I was struck by the finesse of wines born from microclimates that are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Subsequent visits have only reinforced my long-held view that Santa Barbara is one of the world’s elite grape growing and wine producing regions. This report focuses mostly on the 2016s, which are just being released onto the market. In 2016 Mother Nature gifted producers with the conditions to make striking wines of grace and finesse." Enjoy this selection of tasting notes from Antonio Galloni's article on Vinous and see which wines you're inspired to stock up on. Cheers!

Tensley

Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah 2016

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2016 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard is bold, racy and exuberant and yet also has plenty of structural underpinnings as well. The Colson Canyon Syrah is a stylish wine. Like all of Tensley's wines, the Colson Canyon is quite intense. In 2016, that manifests itself in slight but perceptible sweetness. This is the first vintage farmed by Tensley following his acquisition of the vineyard. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 18 days ago

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Fess Parker

The Big Easy Syrah Blend 2016

Delectable Wine
9.5

The 2016 The Big Easy is fabulous. Rich, powerful and flamboyant to its core the Big Easy hits the palate with tremendous fruit intensity. Super-ripe red cherry, raspberry jam, white chocolate, vanillin and new American oak shape this opulent Syrah/Petite Sirah/ Grenache blend. Winemaker Blair Fox has dialed in a style that captures all the exuberance of past editions, but with more nuance than the Big Easy has ever shown. And I say that as someone who has never loved this wine. The 2016 is simply outrageously delicious. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018)
— 19 days ago

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Domaine de la Côte

Bloom's Field Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2016

Delectable Wine
9.6

The 2016 Pinot Noir Bloom's Field is stellar. A powerful wine built on a core of vertical structure, the 2016 dazzles from the very first taste. Lavender, sage, menthol, licorice and a rush of inky blue/purplish berry fruit develop in the glass, but it is the wine's virile power that differentiates it in this stellar lineup. I would prefer to give the 2016 a few years in the cellar to come into its own. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 19 days ago

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Piedrasassi

PS Santa Barbara County Syrah 2016

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2016 Syrah (Santa Barbara County) is a gorgeous appellation-level wine. Dark and pliant with expressive savory and black pepper overtones, the 2016 delivers the goods. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. Sage and lavender overtones linger in the glass. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 18 days ago

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Andrew Murray

Watch Hill Vineyard Syrah 2016

Delectable Wine
9.4

The 2016 Syrah Watch Hill Vineyard is dense, powerful and super-concentrated. Inky blue/purplish fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice and spice notes are all amped up in this rich, beautifully resonant Syrah. Dollops of Viognier add brightness and floral top notes, but the Watch Hill remains a pretty big, yet nuanced, wine. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 18 days ago

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Paul Lato

"The Prospect" Sierra Madre Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Delectable Wine
9.5

The 2016 Pinot Noir The Prospect Sierra Madre Vineyard is stunningly beautiful. Deeply-pitched aromatics and beautifully sculpted fruit elevate the Sierra Madre into the realm of the truly exceptional. Rose petal, mint and red/purplish berry fruit all come alive. The 2016 Prospect simply has it all. What a wine! (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 19 days ago

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Stolpman Vineyards

La Cuadrilla Ballard County Syrah Sangiovese 2016

Delectable Wine
9.0

The 2016 Syrah La Cuadrilla is gracious and lifted in this vintage, with lovely aromatic presence and striking purity in its silky red-toned fruit. This is an especially feminine wine from Stolpman. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 18 days ago

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Ex Post Facto

Santa Barbara County Syrah 2016

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2016 Syrah is a very pretty wine from Greg Brewer's Ex Post Facto project. Racy and perfumed in the glass, with striking aromatic presence, the 2016 makes a strong opening statement. The red and purplish berry fruit is nicely lifted by floral and savory overtones from the whole clusters. It will be interesting to see where this wine goes in the future. Certainly the debut vintage is promising. Brewer gave the fruit, from Spear, 4-5 days of cold soak followed by a lengthy fermentation/maceration of 45 days or so. The 2016 spent 16 months in neutral French oak. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 18 days ago

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The Hilt

The Old Guard Pinot Noir 2016

Delectable Wine
9.6

Expressive floral, savory and mineral notes give the 2016 Pinot Noir Old Guard much of its super-distinctive personality. Hints of crushed rocks, graphite, blueberry and lavender develop in the glass. Above all else, though, the 2016 is a wine of structural intensity and persistence. I loved it. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018)
— 19 days ago

Jeff, E and 2 others liked this