Matt Kettmann

Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from California

Matt Kettmann reviews and reports on wines from the Central and South Coasts of California for the magazine. Santa-Barbara based Kettmann is senior editor for the weekly newspaper The Santa Barbara Independent, for which he has covered local news, lifestyle and beverage beats since 1999, and has reported on local and general wine topics for the New York Times, Time Magazine, Smithsonian, Sunset and Wine Spectator. In addition to organizing successful regional wine food and drink events in Santa Barbara and moderating at the annual Paso Robles CAB Collective seminar at the California Wine Festival last fall, in 2009, Kettmann cofounded New Noise Santa Barbara, an annual music conference and festival, and also serves on the board for Notes for Notes, a nonprofit providing free access to musical instruments and recording studios for music-interested youth.

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95
points

Epoch Estate Wines 2011 Veracity Paderewski Vineyard Grenache Blend (Paso Robles)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $65
Remarkably inky in color for a Grenache-based blend, it features strong aromas of cedar, meat and deeply purple fruit. The soft, rich mouthfeel coats the palate like a luxurious lacquer, and features flavors of blackberry jam, macerated cherry and vanilla-spiced plums. The blend of florals, herbals, fruit and oak-driven tannins is masterful. Drink now by itself or…  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
94
points

Oso Libre NV Rojo del Patron Red (Paso Robles)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $45
When you’re blending barrels from multiple vintages, you’d better make a fine wine. Oso Libre succeeds with this opulent offering from their Abernathy Vineyard. There is leather, mocha, oak smoke, vanilla and deep cherry on the nose, followed by a rich palate of ripe red-berry fruit and a lingering campfire-flavor finish.  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
94
points

Refugio Ranch 2010 Barbareño Syrah-Petite Sirah (Santa Ynez Valley)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $38
Those who love the smell of campfires could park their nose in this wine all day. But this is gourmet smoke, reminiscent of applewood, with hints of vanilla and tea-smoked duck. On the palate, this extremely well-put-together wine is plush, expansive and tastes like blueberry pie, adorned with the buttery crust and all.  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
93
points

Boekenoogen 2012 Bell Ranch Estate Viognier (Carmel Valley)

  1. $30
Boasting a distinct aroma of both roasted and candied walnuts, this Viognier is probably best suited for those who love California Chardonnay. The palate is luxuriously soft, delivering peach and toasted oak on the midpalate and vanilla on the finish, but the acidity is perfectly incorporated throughout.  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
93
points

Testarossa 2012 Diana’s Chardonnay (California)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $61
There’s a touch of Riesling-like petrol to the nose of this best-barrels Chardonnay from Testarossa, as well as dried citrus, fresh roasted cashews and Chinese almond cookie. The palate is very soft, with ripe fruit such as baked oranges. A nicely buttered touch bolsters the refreshing, mouthwatering acidity.  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
93
points

Testarossa 2012 La Rinconada Vineyard Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $45
The single-vineyard experts at Testarossa hit a homerun with this wine from a famed property. Aromas of 7-Up, recent rains and minerality kick off a refreshing experience, which is powered by a strong flavor combination of very ripe fruit (à la traditional California Chardonnay), barrel-related vanilla and brisk, lingering acidity (à la Old World).  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
93
points

Epoch Estate Wines 2011 Authenticity Paderewski Vineyard Red (Paso Robles)

  • Cellar Selection
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $65
Opaquely purple in color, this Syrah-Mourvèdre blend (with 1% Viognier that co-fermented with the Syrah) boasts a brooding black cherry, pipe tobacco and tarragon nose. Then it delivers a much more nuanced palate, with very ripe blackberry, oaky vanilla and a tartness on the backend. It’s well integrated, with some tannins to make it last. Drink now with a…  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
93
points

Epoch Estate Wines 2011 Ingenuity Paderewski Vineyard Red (Paso Robles)

  • Cellar Selection
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $65
It’s another inky Rhône monster with aging potential from Epoch and their historic Paderewski Vineyard. This Syrah-led blend throws off inviting aromas of black cherry pie, violet, fennel and balsamic vinegar reduction. Once sipped, layers of flavor emerge steadily, with blackberry fruit roll-up, wet pipe tobacco, candied nuts, lingering herbs and a slight vanilla…  — M.K.  (9/1/2014)
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