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

Scar of the Sea 2012 Le Belle Rose Vineyard Pinot Noir (Monterey County)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $38
Thoroughly complex and elegant, this begins with a nose that wavers between deep purple fruit and bright spice, with black licorice, Indian spices and gaminess as well. It’s extremely soft and tantalizing on the palate, with a fruit backbone of sour cherry leading into brown spice on the edges. A brush of Limonata citrus appears on the finish.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
94
points

Lorenzi Estate 2009 The Catalyst Red (Temecula Valley)

  1. $120
This proprietary blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon delivers a deep and layered nose. Wild blackberry jam, pine pitch and white sage converge, like a walk through the California chaparral. The acidity is amazingly vibrant, with flavors of bright purple fruit, pepper and crushed herbs on the finish.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
94
points

Pianetta 2011 Bilancio Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon (Monterey County)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $36
Delicious aromas of cherry-crusted beef, coconut, blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream and sassafras frame this blend of 63% Syrah and 37% Cabernet Sauvignon from southern Monterey County. The wine coats the mouth luxuriously, with black cherry and pepper spice. It drinks well now, but has mouth-coating tannins that will evoke with time.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
93
points

Clos La Chance 2012 Erwin Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $50
Clove and sage combine with brisk raspberry and warmer strawberry fruit for a lively wine. Flavors of black cherry, gingerbread cake, eucalyptus and lingering black spice comprise the palate, which is booming with mouth-watering acidity and strong tannins. Drink 2018 onward.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
93
points

Presqu'ile 2012 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley)

  1. $35
This begins with round, lush scents of honey butter on hot toast and roasted almond. The initial flavors are light and fresh, with peach and slight guava. That tropicality emerges even more thoughout the long, lingering finish.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
93
points

Daou 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)

  1. $56
Black cherry, leather, tar and nose-tickling clove aromas mix with a tad of green pepper on the nose of this signature bottling. The wine is very elegant in structure and memorable in flavors of peppercorn and cherry pie, all while retaining an acidic tartness.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
93
points

Still Waters 2010 Petite Sirah (Paso Robles)

  1. $38
Scents of sesame oil rise to the forefront of the nose on this east Paso Robles estate wine, accompanied by violet, strawberry and black sage. The nicely balanced flavors touch upon cotton candy and pretty pink fruit.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
93
points

Bargetto 2012 Regan Vineyard Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)

  1. $40
Juicy strawberry and raspberry fruits form the base of an aromatic profile that also picks up some sagebrush and dried cake frosting. Though lighter in body, the flavors emerge continually on the palate, from ripe berries to tomato stew to cola to mint. Serve with roasted chicken or turkey or even a rich pasta. Bargetto has been making wine since 1933.  — M.K.  (11/1/2014)
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