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Santa Barbara Wine Cask barrel tasting


Beachfan
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The good news - plenty of winemakers to talk to. Joe Tensley, Seth Kunin, Jim Clendenon (Au Bon Climat), Bruno D'Alfonso(Sanford), Bob Lindquist (Qupe), Adam Tolmach (Ojai) and others..

Bad news, the wines were disappointing as a whole. Some good ones, but generally not as good as last year. The only one I thought really worthy of mentioning was Kunin.

Seth Kunin makes the best Viognier in California IMHO, and one of the few that is evocative of Condrieu. His Syrah had complexity and structure beyond what you normally expect from a Central Coast Syrah. While it may not be a blocbuster like some of the past Ojai bottlings, it was very tasty indeed.

(I think the Tasting Room has his wines).

beachfan

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1) Sorry to hear beachfan's thoughts - I actually loved the 2002 vintage in SB. I really think that it has more to do with the timing of the tasting than anything. Most wines are very awkward at this time; either just having finished ML or, worse, in the middle of it. The oak (if any) hasn't had time to really become integrated into the wine, and tannin levels can be very high due to youth. My guess is that if he attends the next tasting in April, the wines will show better, and if he goes out on a limb and buys some 2002 wines when they hit the market, he'll be pleasantly surprised. At least he liked my wines.

2) They are available at the Tasting Room (please see www.kuninwines.com for other outlets around the US).

3) Paterno didn't buy Sanford outright, just became a partner. And Bruno is definitely in it for the long haul - he's a partner as well in their new Riconada project. And crazy as ever.

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Welcome to the board zinfan!

Another taster who was there responded similarly to my comments on the Wine Lovers Discussion Group board. I thought I was comparing apples to apples, but it's true, last year I was there at the late April tasting.

Edited by Beachfan (log)

beachfan

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1) Sorry to hear beachfan's thoughts - I actually loved the 2002 vintage in SB. I really think that it has more to do with the timing of the tasting than anything. Most wines are very awkward at this time; either just having finished ML or, worse, in the middle of it. The oak (if any) hasn't had time to really become integrated into the wine, and tannin levels can be very high due to youth. My guess is that if he attends the next tasting in April, the wines will show better, and if he goes out on a limb and buys some 2002 wines when they hit the market, he'll be pleasantly surprised. At least he liked my wines. 

2) They are available at the Tasting Room (please see www.kuninwines.com for other outlets around the US).

3) Paterno didn't buy Sanford outright, just became a partner. And Bruno is definitely in it for the long haul - he's a partner as well in their new Riconada project. And crazy as ever.

zinfan,

welcome--whether you're seth or someone who works with him.

i do like westerly for the money. namely the sauvignon blanc. and this cab franc blend is fun for santa barbara cab franc. i think it's called the W or something.

is anyone going to the pinot fest in SB this weekend?

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Thanks for the warm reception.

Glad to hear there's some Westerly fans out there as well. The 2001 sauvignon blanc is shipping now, along with the first release of viognier and a W blanc, which is roussanne blended with a bit of viognier (we had some problem with the labels - actually the glue on the labels - but we're getting it sorted out). Also the 2000 reds - merlot and the W cab franc/merlot blend.

The World of Pinot Noir is actually in Shell Beach, about 100 miles north of SB, but I do recommend it. I'll probably be up there for at least part of it (the Dujac tasting is tempting...).

Also glad to know there's some more wine drinkers out there with good taste in music (Mr. Marley).

I have a lot of friends who post on this board regularly, but I've never taken the time. So far, I like what I've read, so I'm sure you'll be hearing from me more often. I'm fairly opinionated and not shy about it.

Cheers.

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