Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Santa Barbara Wine Festival 2015


I enjoyed the wine festival at the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara recently. It was held along Mission Creek behind the museum in a rustic area during a slightly overcast day. Perfect weather after recent heat waves, and it finished with a few sprinkles of rain just as the festival ended! Perfect for a drought-stricken state, but not really enough rain for the flowers or even enough to rinse your wine glass.
In addition to the winemakers from Santa Barbara County and beyond, I always see lots of friends at this festival, which makes it an even better occasion. 

Starting at the southwest part of Mission Creek I followed it back to the museum, as I do every year. The route northeast back across the bridge over the creek to the museum isn't a very long walk, but it can take three hours if you're tasting wine and enjoying plenty of great food along the way!

I managed to start out tasting just white wines, but I couldn't resist the great reds so I doubled back before I got very far along.
WHITE WINE
I enjoyed the following six white wines best (out of the 14 I tasted):
  • 2013 Dierberg Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, Dierberg Vineyard 
  • 2013 Jaffurs Viognier, Santa Barbara County, Bien Nacido Vineyard
  • 2013 Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas Blanc (Traditional blend of white Rhône varietals: 39% Viognier, 29% Grenache Blanc, 20% Marsanne, 12% Roussanne)
  • 2013 Melville Chardonnay, Estate - Sta. Rita Hills
  • 2013 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills
  • 2014 Tercero Albariño, C5 Vineyard
These were all very good as well:
  • 2012 Rancho Sisquoc Chardonnay, Santa Barbera County
  • 2014 Larner Malvasia Bianca, Ballard Canyon
  • 2013 Ken Brown Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley, Vogelzang Vineyard
  • 2012 Brewer-Clifton 3-D Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills
  • 2012 Fiddlehead Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
  • 2014 Tatomer Meeresboden Grüner Veltliner, Santa Barbara County
  • 2013 Babcock “Top Cream” Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills
  • 2013 Sunstone Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County. An interesting blend of 84% Chardonnay, Goodchild Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, 12% Grenache Blanc, El Camino Real Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley, 2% Viognier, Verna's Vineyard, Los Alamos, and 2% Marsanne, Buttonwood Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley.
RED WINE
I enjoyed the following seven red wines best (out of the 24 I tasted):
  • 2010 Larner Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley
  • 2010 Larner Elemental GSM
  • 2011 Jaffurs Syrah, Santa Barbara County
  • 2013 Falcone Family Vineyards Syrah, Paso Robles
  • 2011 Fiddlehead Cellars Seven Twenty Eight Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, Fiddlestix
  • 2012 Area 5.1 Celestial (65% Merlot, 25% Pinot Noir, 10% Petite Sirah).
  • 2010 Tercero Syrah, White Hawk Vineyard
These were all very good as well:
  • 2009 Feliz Noche Mi Pasión, Santa Barbara County Red Wine (Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese)
  • 2011 Falcone Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, Mia’s Vineyard
  • 2013 Palmina Dolcetto, Santa Ynez Valley
  • 2012 Grassini Family Vineyards Equipo Red Wine, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
  • 2008 Mosby Seduzione, Central Coast, Lagrein. Lagrein is an ancient grape variety that was originally grown in northeastern Italy.
  • 2013 Andrew Murray Roasted Slope. Blend of co-fermented Syrah and Viognier.
  • 2013 Margerum Wine Company M5. Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blend using five grape varieties from Santa Barbara County: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, and Cinsault. The “M” is for Margerum and “5” is for the five grapes used.
  • 2012 Blair Fox Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Happy Canyon Vineyard
  • 2013 Municipal Winemakers Dark Red
  • 2012 Brander Vineyard Merlot, Mesa Verde Vineyard
  • 2012 Point Conception Pinot Noir, Solomon Pico, Santa Maria Valley
  • 2012 Qupé Syrah, Santa Barbara County
  • 2008 Clendenen Family Vineyards, “The Pip” Nebbiolo, Bien Nacido Vineyard
  • 2011 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir, Mt. Eden Clone, El Jabalí Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
  • 2013 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
  • 2012 Beckmen Syrah, Ballard Canyon, Purisma Mountain Vineyard
  • 2009 Alexander and Wayne Cuvee P (78% Merlot & 22% Petit Verdot).
FOOD
This year the food selection was extensive and there were more  restaurants and caterers than the sixteen I photographed. My favorites were the savory ones:
  • Michael’s Catering - Chef Michael Hutchings served Braised Short Rib Meatballs with poor man’s truffles and pinot demi glace, plus Porcini Mashed Potatoes.
  • San Ysidro Ranch
  • Tartisan handcrafted artisanal pastries that are sweet or savory. The Lamb pastry was great.
  • The Funk Zone Patio, The Cutting Room. The pulled pork BBQ was very good.
Some of the other tasty selections were from:
  • Arch Rock, Santa Barbara
  • Barbareno Central Coast Cuisine
  • Bob’s Bread, Los Olivos
  • C’est Cheese, Santa Barbara
  • Cinnies 100% Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
  • Coveted Cakery
  • Larry's Loaves (along with Tercero wines, of course)
  • Omni Catering and Events - Creamy Polenta with Italian Braised Pork
  • Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro
  • Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go - Prepared and served by Richard Lambert & Lola Paredes
  • The Berry Man, Inc.

Devon,  Leslie,  Tricia
Not everyone has the same taste and style preferences in wine, so I've added in selections from culinary and wine experts Devon, Leslie and Tricia. They all know more about wine (& food) tasting than I do!
Devon’s favorites: 
  • 2012 Alma Rosa El Jabalí Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills
  • 2014 Tablas Creek Dianthus, Paso Robles. A rosé blend of 46% Mourvedre, 41% Grenache and 13% Counoise
  • 2014 Tatomer Meeresboden Grüner Veltliner, Santa Barbara County
Leslie’s favorites: 
  • 2013 Tatomer Riesling, Kick-on Ranch, Santa Barbara County
  • 2014 Larner Rosé
  • 2014 Transcendence Rosé
  • 2010 Flying Goat Rio Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 2013 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
  • 2012 Foxen John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 2009 Vogelzang Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2011 Falcone Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2012 Melville Verna's Syrah
Tricia’s favorites:
  • 2014 Tatomer Meeresboden Grüner Veltliner, Santa Barbara County
  • 2014 Tablas Creek Dianthus, Paso Robles. A rosé blend of 46% Mourvedre, 41% Grenache and 13% Counoise
  • 2014 Larner Rosé (very yummy!)
  • 2013 Palmina Dolcetto, Santa Ynez Valley
  • 2013 Andrew Murray Roasted Slope. Blend of co-fermented Syrah and Viognier
It was a great time and everyone found their favorite wine and food!

You can see the rest of the fest in this CoonToonStudios video by CLICKING HERE.

CHEERS!

 

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