Thursday, July 17, 2014

Santa Barbara Wine Fest 2014

Santa Barbara Wine Festival 2014
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
This year the festival wine glasses were moved indoors to the entryway of Fleischmann Auditorium and offered a fun photo op with this friendly-looking bear.

And the annual reminder bear was still on patrol at the entry.
Mission Creek is a nice backdrop to the festival, although I've never seen much water in it.

Part of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's tagline is "Inspiring a thirst for discovery..." and I interpreted that to be a thirst for discovery of new wines.  I wasn't disappointed again this year and enjoy this wine festival more than others in the area.
Avelina 2012 Pinot Grigio, Santa Barbara County (and sponsor of the friendly-looking bear by the wine glasses).
Mary Beth Vogelzang with Vogelzang Vineyard 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Happy Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley.

 A fine line-up of reds and whites!
  • Vogelzang 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Happy Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley
  • Vogelzang 2011 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley
  • Vogelzang 2009 Pinot Noir,  Santa Rita Hills
  • Vogelzang 2011 Reserve Viognier, Happy Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley
Uncorking for the day...
Alexander & Wayne - Burgundy and Bordeaux varieties
Arthur Earl - Rhone, Italian, Spanish varieties

Beckman Vineyards ready to pour their Grenache Blanc, Cuvée Le Bec, Grenache and Syrah.

Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards with 2010 Syrah, 2010 Z Cuvée (54% Grenache, 34% Mourvèdre, 6% Syrah, 6% Cinsault), 2012 Viognier and 2011 Z Blanc (78% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 5% Viognier).
Andrew Murray Vineyards poured a very nice 2013 Viognier, Santa Maria Valley, a 2012 Espérance, Central Coast (60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre) and a 2012 Syrah, Stolpman Vineyard, Ballard Canyon.  
I liked the 2013 Viognier, Santa Maria Valley and 2012 Syrah, Stolpman Vineyard, Ballard Canyon best.

Fiddlehead Cellars poured a white, a pink, and a red:
2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
2013 Pinot Noir Rosé
2010 Seven Twenty Eight Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, Fiddlestix. And don't forget to drink 728 on 7/28 at the big party in the Lompoc Tasting Room or toast from home and send pictures.

Norm Yost of Flying Goat Cellars had a nice variety of wines, including their bubbly:
2010 Goat Bubbles, Blanc de Blancs, Santa Maria Valley, Sierra Madre Vineyard
2013 Pinot Gris, Santa Maria Valley, Sierra Madre Vineyard
2009 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, Rio Vista Vineyard
2011 Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, Dierberg Vineyard

Westerly Wines with a great selection of Santa Barbara County wines:
2012 Westerly Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County
2010 Westerly Cabernet Sauvignon, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
2010 Westerly Fletcher’s Red, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 23% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc)

Kenneth Volk Vineyards, where Ken poured his version of American Beauty…
2011 Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley
2013 Albariño, River Bench Vineyard
2012 Malvasia Bianca, Monterey, San Bernabe Vineyard
2010 Mourvèdre, Lime Kiln Valley, Enz Vineyard
2010 Zinfandel, Lime Kiln Valley, Enz Vineyard
2009 Tempranillo, San Benito, John Smith Vineyard

Transcendence Wines 2012 Chardonnay, Zotovich Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills poured by winemaker Joey Gummere (AKA Kenneth). Love the Zotovich fruit.
Larner Winery had a very nice selection of wines, including:
2011 Rosé, Ballard Canyon
2009 Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley
2009 Elemental GSM

Jason Haas of Tablas Creek Vineyard poured white, rosé, and red wines:
2013 Patelin de Tablas Blanc
2013 Dianthus (
Rosé of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Counoise)
2012 Patelin de Tablas

In a wooded corner by Mission Creek I found Grassini Family Vineyards and Rachael poured me their extremely popular Bordeaux blend, the 2011 Articondo, Happy Canyon Vineyard, which is sold out! She also had some chilled 2012 Sauvignon Blanc available.
Feliz Noche Cellars poured a red wine with a well-hidden label.
Kunin Wines poured a 2013 Viognier, Santa Ynez Valley, Camp Four Vineyard.  My favorite white wine!
Ken Brown, with a bottle of 2011 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, and Jarrod Bradley of Ken Brown Wines. They also poured these wines:
2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley - a debut wine.
2011 Rita’s Crown Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, Rita’s Crown Vineyard
2011 Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, Garey Vineyard
2010 Syrah, Santa Barbara County, “A” Cuvée
I especially enjoyed the red wines.

Brewer-Clifton poured a very nice 2012 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, other Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, plus  a 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Kessler-Haak that was popular with the tasters below.

Karina and Larry Hogan of Sagebrush Annie's poured their red wines from Stone Pine Estate, Core, Barnwood and Laetitia vineyards. Great reds!
At Margerum Wine Company I tasted their 2012 M5, Santa Barbara County (43% Grenache, Alamo Creek, Camp 4, Rodney’s, and Black Oak vineyards, 41% Syrah, Colson Canyon, Black Oak, Great Oak, John Sebastiano, and Alondra de los Prados vineyards, 9% Mourvedre, Curtis and Zaca Mesa vineyard, 4% Cinsault, Camp 4 vineyard, 3% Counoise, Camp 4 vineyard) and a 2010 Syrah, Colson Canyon Vineyard, Santa Barbara County. Both were delicious!
They were also poured a 2012 Sybarite (Sauvignon Blanc), Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, and a 2011 Buoni Anni Bianco (34% Cent’Anni Estate Pinot Grigio, 32% Honea Vineyard Tocai Fruiliano, 34% Sierra Madre Vineyards Pinot Bianco), and 2009 Buoni Anni, Santa Barbara County (Sangiovese with a little Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot).

Richard Sanford poured his Alma Rosa 2012 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills, La Encantada Vineyard & El Jabalí Vineyard.  Very good!

Chemayne Faulconer of Roblar Winery poured a 2012 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills.
Bob Wesley of The Winehound poured a Mirabelle 2012 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
Daniel Gehrs Wines poured a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (blended with Petit Verdot), Central Coast.
Koehler Winery poured two very good red wines: a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley and a 2010 Sangiovese, Santa Ynez Valley.
Doug Timewell and Terrie Leivers of Toucan Wines poured their great reds and fortified wines: the 2010 & 2011 Carignane, the 2009 Zinfandel and the 2010 Estate Toucanet Port Style Dessert Wine. All were very good!
Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines poured his artistic Rhône red and white wines, plus a special Erlenmeyer flask that made some people get a little excited!

Marmalade Café served up some tasty treats, but the prop bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne was fun too.

The Berry Man, Inc., a wholesale produce distributor, always puts out a great display of fresh strawberries.
Whole Foods Market has a great selection of appetizers.
Renaud’s Patisserie put together an artistic arrangement.

Sweets from Mademoiselle Madeleine.

Brophy Bros. Clambar & Restaurant served some nice ceviche.

SBCC School of Culinary Arts made some country pork paté with mini pickle slices.
Via Maestra 42 was popular with their ceviche treats.
Tropical Ceviche with citrus marinated Mexican shrimp and baby scallops topped with tropical mango dressing.
Ceviche Verde with fresh Halibut ceviche in a special cilantro basil marinade with pineapple and red onion.

What wine would you pair with Rock Rose Smoked Chipotle Chili and Tangerine and Smoked Sea Salt Marmalade from Sweet Lady Cook Handmade Preserves?
Finch & Fork's Shuck & Swallow oysters were as easy as ONE...
THREE!  (Thanks to this oyster volunteer for demonstrating, because I'm not an oyster fan.)
C’est Cheese served Three Chees Foccacia and Cucumber & Avocado Soup.

The Pickle People from the Pacific Pickle Works smile when they say, “Asparagusto!”
Sorriso Italiano served One Meatball and it was available next to  Kalyra Winery.
Chef Michael Hutchings of Michael's Catering served a Gruyere Cheese Souffflé--twice baked on a pool of cream.

Georgia's Smokehouse served a chicken sandwich and everyone was snapping them up.  The early ones might have looked better; I think I got there a little late.
Freezer Monkeys added some new Bon Bons to their line-up.  Great dessert on a warm day!

I thoroughly enjoyed the wine & food and talking with vendors, winemakers, and friends.  This festival always draws a good crowd, but it is still, somehow, laid back and you can taste at a relaxed pace. Of course you can't taste everything, as I try to do every year, but you can cover most of the wine and food. Maybe if I didn't take so many pictures I'd cover more ground, but that wouldn't be as much fun! 


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