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11-26-2008, 02:40 AM
  #26
WineShark
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Originally Posted by PatMacSB View Post
WS,
What's your take on Santa Barbara wines? Having lived there for 5 years previously I've done some wine tasting in that area. How do the SB county wines stack up to the rest of California?
Its a large area and both good and bad examples of wines made. Generally, SB County is known for pinot noir and chardonnay in places near the water like Santa Rita Hills, but Los Olivos and Santa Maria have good examples of Rhone and some Bordeaux styled wines that are quite good.

Sea Smoke has done a commendable job growing the reputation of the the Santa Rita Hills area, which earlier gained fame from Richard Sanfords winery. (He since sold that to Terlatto Wine Company and has restarted a label using his old fruit called Alma Rosa - see links above) In Santa Maria, Bob Lindquist and Jim Clendenon have done a great job promoting that region. In Los Olivos and surrounds, Fess Parker (Daniel Boone) has made great strides but there are many other really good wineries producing appellation specific and well made wines competitive with anything in the world.

Two of my favorite winemakers in the region are Bruno D’Alfonso and Kris Curran (recently married). Kris was the original winemaker at Seasmoke and has a lengthy resume. Bruno was the winemaker at Sanford for 10+ years. They both are characters, serious winemakers, and aren't tied up in snobbery. They make honest wines at good values, helping each other along the way. Here is Kris' site: http://curranwines.com/
and here is Bruno's site: http://www.badgewines.com/. You can taste their wines in their tasting room in Solvang if your're down that way. Kris' wines are easier to find though.

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Old
11-26-2008, 03:37 AM
  #27
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Gracias again WS. I have been to the Fess Parker winery for a tasting and I have to say I was impressed by most of their wines they had the day I was there (I think they had a Viognier, Syrah, Pinot and Riesling). I've also sample a Cab of their's that was pretty good. I will definitely check out your suggestions. I have just begun my journey to becoming a wine (and beer!) connoisseur, so I am readily soaking up any knowledge that can be bestowed upon me. I plan to take some wine tasting classes in the near future as well!

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11-26-2008, 08:40 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by WineShark View Post
Give the Sauternes a try. Bid on 4 bottles. You'll love that one its a stupid value.

Peter Michael is still selling all they make and there is a waiting list for the mailing list. Its an interesting conversation talking about the wines and what they can go for when they reach cult status. Screaming Eagle has gone to $750 a bottle and Harlan Estate is $450 now I believe. That will give you pause.

One of the up and coming cult wines that I like is Roy Estate.(link: http://www.royestate.com/) It was a vineyard planted by Helen Turley, farmed by Davie Pina and the wine made by Philipe Melka. I like their "Proprietary Red Wine" a lot. Parker rated the wine as a 95 point wine. ( http://www.royestate.com/pages/RoyEs...MediaSheet.pdf ). With only 1,500 cases produced, its not long for the world but is priced somewhere around $125 I believe. Today you can get on their mailing list and even get some of the wine. I doubt that will continue long though.
Killer recommendation WS - thanks. Yes I know of the Melka's - of former Chateau Petrus fame. I just sent an e-mail to get on their list. I'll let you know how the wine is. Looks like a can't miss bet to me.

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11-26-2008, 08:50 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by WineShark View Post
Its a large area and both good and bad examples of wines made. Generally, SB County is known for pinot noir and chardonnay in places near the water like Santa Rita Hills, but Los Olivos and Santa Maria have good examples of Rhone and some Bordeaux styled wines that are quite good.

Sea Smoke has done a commendable job growing the reputation of the the Santa Rita Hills area, which earlier gained fame from Richard Sanfords winery. (He since sold that to Terlatto Wine Company and has restarted a label using his old fruit called Alma Rosa - see links above) In Santa Maria, Bob Lindquist and Jim Clendenon have done a great job promoting that region. In Los Olivos and surrounds, Fess Parker (Daniel Boone) has made great strides but there are many other really good wineries producing appellation specific and well made wines competitive with anything in the world.

Two of my favorite winemakers in the region are Bruno D’Alfonso and Kris Curran (recently married). Kris was the original winemaker at Seasmoke and has a lengthy resume. Bruno was the winemaker at Sanford for 10+ years. They both are characters, serious winemakers, and aren't tied up in snobbery. They make honest wines at good values, helping each other along the way. Here is Kris' site: http://curranwines.com/
and here is Bruno's site: http://www.badgewines.com/. You can taste their wines in their tasting room in Solvang if your're down that way. Kris' wines are easier to find though.

The guy that owns Sea Smoke, Bob Davids lives up by me in Lake Tahoe. He's a real jerk, but they make great Pinot - perhaps the best in California. It's now very overpriced since it's become a cult wine ($100+ for the "Ten" varietal).

I love Curran - superb stuff and very resonably priced. Another little boutique Pinot maker in the same area is Chris Whitcraft http://www.whitcraftwinery.com/. Big, fruit bomb Pinot's. A cab lover's pinot for $30 to $50.

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Old
11-26-2008, 10:16 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by dburdick View Post
The guy that owns Sea Smoke, Bob Davids lives up by me in Lake Tahoe. He's a real jerk, but they make great Pinot - perhaps the best in California. It's now very overpriced since it's become a cult wine ($100+ for the "Ten" varietal).

I love Curran - superb stuff and very resonably priced. Another little boutique Pinot maker in the same area is Chris Whitcraft http://www.whitcraftwinery.com/. Big, fruit bomb Pinot's. A cab lover's pinot for $30 to $50.
I've never met Chris and strangely, though I know his name and reputation, can't remember trying one of his wines. I will have to remedy that! Thanks for the tip.

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