Matt Kettmann

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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96
points

Gypsy Canyon NV Ancient Vine Angelica Marcelina’s Vineyard Mission (Sta. Rita Hills)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $150

The multiple discoveries (the forgotten vines, the monks’ secret recipe) behind Deborah Hall’s project are fascinating enough, yet the golden orange wine is also utterly delicious. Old Fashioned cocktail-like aromas of maraschino cherry and orange rind mix with roasted nuts and a touch of brandy on the nose. Flavors of simmered honey, buttery whiskey and pear…

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
95
points

Kynsi 2011 Stone Corral Vineyard Pinot Noir (Edna Valley)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $48

An all-encompassing and earthy richness on the nose of this wine blends dried strawberry, Bing cherry and sour cherry fruits with damp herbs like dewy sagebrush and dark chocolate bars. It’s thick once sipped, with ripe raspberry and dried cherry fruits. Spicy fennel and cardamom arrives on the midpalate, finishing with a zing of Sichuan peppercorn and shiitake…

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
94
points

Justin 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)

  1. $55

Richly buttered Bing cherries, plums, licorice, black pepper and a loamy mud minerality show on the nose of this bottling by winemaker Scott Shirley. The palate truly shines, with flavors of chocolate syrup-covered cherries rolled in fresh mint, espresso beans, charred pine and tannins that wake up the mouth and hold its attention.

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
94
points

Loring Wine Company 2013 Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $50

A very intriguing nose from winemaker Brian Loring is reminiscent of ripe red cherries stewed in a béchamel sauce laced with cinnamon sticks. The palate dives deep into blackberries, black tea, beet juice and all sorts of cherries (red, black and sour), lifted by freshly crushed anise seeds.

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
94
points

Riverbench 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $42

Deep and rich aromas of black raspberry, star anise, iodine and iron entertain the nose on this bottling by winemaker Clarissa Nagy. It’s lush on the palate, with deep red fruits, but then becomes brightened by acidity and focused on an earthy, herbal line down the middle. With wild mint and anise on the finish it’s quite complex.

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
94
points

Flying Goat Cellars 2010 Rio Vista Vineyard Dijon Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $46

The 2010s are magical right now, and Norm Yost’s latest reveals why. Intoxicating and sultry aromas of plums, figs and other savory fruits get a mace-powered, brown spice kick. A cherry reduction sauce flavor shows once sipped, laced with mocha, strawberries and a sagebrush element that pulls through the experience, all wrapped around still stunningly bright acidity.

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
93
points

Lucas & Lewellen 2013 Goodchild High 9 Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County)

  1. $35

Juicy strawberries, raspberries and plums are balanced by wet slate on the nose of this wine from grape growing pioneer Louis Lucas and his vintner-partner, Judge Royce Lewellen. The palate shows more raspberry and a bit of boysenberry along with an orange rind tartness and woody herbs like juniper and black sage.

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
93
points

Orfila 2013 Sequestered Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $40

Luxurious aromas of gingerbread, blackberry jam, black cherry juice and smoked pork meet with a touch of iodine, loam and lava rock in this wine from a producer just north of San Diego. Red cherries and pomegranate juice tighten up around dried fennel stalks and pencil shavings on the sanguine palate. It’s tasty now, but will blossom from 2019–2025.

 — M.K.  (8/1/2015)
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