• It has been a little while since I last wrote. Which is a bummer, because I have had so many fun wine experiences lately. The problem is that I have just been enjoying them for myself. I went tasting in Napa on several different occasions, and hit up some faves like La Rochelle, Darioush, Honig, Frog’s Leap, Round Pond, and Signorello. I had wonderfully friendly experiences at all of them.

    I have also had so many kooky ideas rattling around my head for creative writing that it’s a shame not to put the pen to the paper… or fingers to the keyboard (although I do often write it out first).

    That said I wanted to try it a bit different this time. I am going to tell you where I am going to taste at on Saturday before I actually go up. This weekend is the wine release meet and greets party at Santa Barbara Winery. It is a kind of thank you for members that introduces the wines with some cheese and hob-nobbing. Myself and others are going to use this as our segue into the city of Santa Barbara’s wine scene. They have one area called the Funk Zone, and a new area of a fancier nature called El Paseo in the Presidio neighborhood (not to be confused with SFs Presidio). We are going to visit both, and with six wine appointments (hey it’s totally business) we won’t be missing out.

    Margerum is first on our list after the SBW party. They make some really amazing Rhone style wines. Their entry level M5 (5 grapes with Grenache leading the charge) is exquisite for only $27.50 at the tasting shop, and hot damn if the solo’d out Grenache isn’t to die for.

    Spot number three (I’m including SBW in the count) is Jaffurs. I haven’t tasted their wine in years, but it never disappointed. I can’t wait to try the Grenache Blanc (love me some of that), the Petit Sirah, and the bevy of Syrahs that they are known for.

    Numero cuatro es Au Bon Climat. Bangin’ Pinot Noir, need I say more?

     

    JSlone

     

    Last, but ooo am I looking forward to it, is the Jamie Slone winery. The new kids on the block, Jamie and Kym Slone, have put together a very alluring package. From the beautiful architecture to the classic label they had me hooked. Throw in one of my favorite winemakers Doug Margerum, and you have a recipe for success. They have only been open 20 months and already have over 200 club members. That’s (favorite expletive goes here) impressive!

    JKSlone_Doug

    I had a brief talk with Jamie who won’t be there Saturday (he’ll be pimping out his wine at a tasting). He hails from Radio and Racing, and then fell in love with wine. He did it right too, because there are five things that are needed for a meteoric rise to awesome in the wine world… A killer good winemaker, some smashing grapes (pun intended), a prime locale with a beautiful tasting room, a stunning label, and a down-to-earth friendly reception. Jamie Slone has all of that in spades.

    Tasting-RoomJSlone

     

    To use the words of Sacha Baron Cohen when he plays the character Borat “I excite!”

     

    I’m also going to an Alsace tasting in Beverly Hills on the 16th and a Rioja tasting on the 21st in DTLA so stay tuned… I may just write about those too.      🙂

     

    Tasting notes from the winery:

     

    M5

    Margerum M5 2014 blend of 41% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 14% Mourvèdre, 4% Counoise & 4% Cinsaut

    Aroma: Dark plum, dried cranberries, and spiciness; youthful fruits come immediately to the fore, with perfumed Grenache and rose-petal floral aromas combined with earthy notes and charcuterie undertones.

    Palate: A solid core of dark red fruit and spicy fruit surrounded by youthful tannins.  The overlying presence of Grenache flavors initially impact the palate, followed by a finish complete with licorice, cocoa and dark chocolate contributions of Syrah and earthy Mourvèdre.

     

    Jaffurs

     

    Jaffurs 2015 Grenache Blanc

    Thompson Vineyard, Los Alamos Valley | Santa Barbara County

    “The 2015 Grenache Blanc was partially fermented in stainless steel barrels to retain an edge and mineral focus, thus keeping the wine bright on the palate. This wine did not complete malolactic fermentation to further accent its perfect bite and acidity. Very aromatic, light but full in the mouth, and a clean, mineral driven finish. Honey-rich, with tropical fruit and vanilla flavors, ending with a pleasant touch of tannin. Fantastic with cheeses, one sip will easily lead to another …”