Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Couple of Mentionables in SB County

Ah, Santa Barbara County. I miss you already. Your green hills, so soft you could pull them apart like fresh bread, your Pinot Noir, your spotty moo-cows, your strange Danish towns, your pea soup.

Before I leave this grand land of butterific Chardonnay, I want to mention a couple of places I thought were damned fine:

Stolpman Vineyards has a tasting room in Solvang I highly recommend. They have a penchant for my beloved Italian varietals, including two vintages of Nebbiolo, a 2000 and a 2002, both of which had great tar & roses. The 2003 'La Croce' is also a solid 'Super Tuscan' style, half Sangiovese and half Syrah, with big front fruit and lots of spicy tobacco and good tannins. Their reds are fruit forward, but with good structure and acidity to hold 'em up.
Also doing a damned decent job was the small production house Casa Cassara, whose tasting room is part of The Olive House on Mission Street. Matter o' fact, they pair olives with their selections, and for the most part, the pairings work. Both the 2002 Burning Creek Pinot Noir and the 2004 Estate Pinot Noir had both freshness and depth, and lots of good tea-tannins. The 2004 Sauvignon Blanc was crisp and stinky like a good Sauv Blanc should be.

IMG_0829Alrighty then. Time to move on down the line. Or, rather, up the line (headed north, after all) to check out SLO. I'm on the job, doncha worry. Next up: my sleepy chat with Claiborne Thompson of Claiborne & Churchill Winery. Keep checking in.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I discovered Stolpman wines several years ago. Yummy.

I have two bottles of "Hilltops" 2003 Estate Grown, Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley, in my rack. Drink no wine before its time.

6:13 AM  

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