You want brawny and brambly and briary? Take this Zin. With wildly mouthfilling berry, raisin, cranberry, coffee and peppery spice flavors, it finishes dry and clean. The alcohol is high, but in this case, it’s exactly what a wine of this power requires.
An elegant, lighter-style Pinot that oozes charm and finesse, from its vanilla-bean and cola aromas through the sweet root-vegetable and sour cherry flavors. Finishes well, with pretty herbal and fruit nuances that reverberate for a long time.
The wine comes from one of the most westerly sites in the appellation, a vineyard recently sold by Fess Parker. It has good, crisp acidity, and is very dry, with fine Pinot fruit and herb flavors. It’s a stylish Pinot Noir, perhaps not the most powerful exemplar of Santa Rita, but a dashing wine.
A rich, 100% varietal in which warm sunshine coaxed out ripe notes of figs and white peach, while the region’s cool temperatures capture Sauvignon’s minty, anise-infused side. The resulting wine is complex and dynamic. High acidity gives this very dry wine a nice bite of tartness.
Shows how well this inland Santa Barbara County appellation ripens Sauvignon Blanc to perfection while maintaining the vital acidity the variety needs for balance. This charming wine brims with citrus, fig, green melon and sweet lemongrass flavors, and finishes dry, with a tart, juicy bite. Great value.
Solid and medium in weight, with an aromatic plum-cherry and herb nose that has a complex, slightly meaty, funky edge. The earthy black cherry, sour plum and beet/tomato fruit on the palate rides good acidity onto a somewhat muted finish. Shows dusty tannins; this should improve for another year.
Young and not showing much now beyond huge, powerful fruit and smoky, unintegrated oak. It floods the mouth with waves of black cherry jam, black raspberry tarts, red currants, cola and dusty, East Asian spices. Forward and simple now, but could develop bottle complexity over the next 4–6 years. The score reflects potential, not current reality.
The sour-plum nose sports cedar, leather and clove accents. Round, even juicy on the palate, it displays a strong, tart cranberry-like element and pepper and oak shadings. Finishes bright, with tart fruit, herbs and leather. Earthy, juicy, a bit herbal, and definitely Syrah. Drink now through 2005.