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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Showing 1 thru -8 of 367
94
points

Wrath 2011 Boekenoogen Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $49
There’s something magical in the dirt of this vineyard, and winemaker Michael Thomas makes it shine extra bright in this bottling. The nose combines cranberry and light pomegranate with a fennel funk. Next, the palate starts with a zing of acidity followed by layers of flavor. Red currant and raspberry morph to cola, mocha and dried lavender, then finish on tart…  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
94
points

Justin 2010 Isosceles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles)

  1. $120
Justin’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon—which this vintage features 5% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot—drinks like a compelling mystery novel with many twists and turns. It opens with scents of red clay and black earth, then leads into deliciously rich but uplifting flavors of olallieberry reduction sauce with some mocha and mincemeat pie.  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
93
points

Walt 2012 Sierra Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)

  1. $65
Rich aromas of raspberry jam, brown spice and coffee greet the nose on this wine from Napa Valley’s Hall Wines, named Walt after Kathryn Hall’s middle name. The delicious flavors include long-lingering plum, some earthiness and a distinct orange peel acidity that keeps the mouth salivating long after the sip is gone.  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
93
points

Dragonette 2012 Radian Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $54
Rather dark and intimidating at first glance, this bottling comes from a big elevation vineyard planted on starkly white diatomaceous soils above the Sta. Rita Hills. Aromas of cherry, uplifting spices and stone minerality lead into a silky palate of tar, black fruit, violet and fleshy meats. It’s heavy duty but elegant, and likely to sell out quickly at just 200 cases.  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
93
points

Joyce 2012 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $40
Savory, spicy aromas wage a battle for the bouquet, with stewed mustard greens, shiitake mushrooms, cooked plums, gingerbread and roasting meats all on the nose. The umami power persists on the palate, with cherry tomatoes and gingersnaps.  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
93
points

Testarossa 2012 Fogstone Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $45
With a nose approaching butterscotch but expertly cut with acidity and cinnamon spice, this is the best Testarossa single-vineyard Chardonnay of 2012. On the palate, there are lovely flavors of salted caramel and yellow peach, and the wine manages to be simultaneously spicy, sharp and smooth. The finish lingers extra long.  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
93
points

Testarossa 2012 Fogstone Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $61
A savory nose of seared beef crust gets lift from violet and lavender florals, and then the wine coats the palate very softly, with luscious flavors of stewed cherry, ripe cranberry and more herb-crusted roast. A licorice-aided acidity cleans the mouth on the finish.  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
93
points

Chamisal Vineyards 2011 Estate Syrah (Edna Valley)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $32
Crushed potpourri, cherry-rhubarb pie, black pepper and fresh raspberry aromas lift this Syrah to the upper echelon. There are very nuanced, evolving flavors on the palate: violet and lavender, red and black currant, chamomile tea. Soft and even tannins make for a more delicate experience overall.  — M.K.  (10/1/2014)
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