Quick Notes – Chien, Tatomer, and Lato

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Quick Notes – Chien, Tatomer, and Lato

Postby Steve Anderson » Mon May 13, 2013 11:05 pm

Here are some quick notes from some recent bottles:

2009 Chien Grüner Veltliner, Santa Barbara County. Really enjoyed a couple of bottles of Chien SB Edelzwicker (Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Gewürz) last year. Stopped at Ampelos in Lompoc to see if I could pick up some more, but alas, they were sold out. They did have the 2008 Chien Grüner Veltliner and I happily purchased a bottle to try. Santa Barbara Grüner probably has a ways to go to catch up to its Austrian cousins, but this was a great effort and a fun wine to try. Nose was slightly reticent on opening, but some florals and Riesling characteristics. A bit of sweetness on entry, but seems totally dry on the finish. It did seem to pick up a little sweetness with the oxygen over several days, although the specs indicate 0.0 RS.

The web site indicates a long-lived wine, which I think is accurate as this one was open and fresh for at least seven days before I enjoyed the final glass. According to the web site http://www.chienwines.com the grapes are from the Evergreen Vineyard, north of Los Olivos, which is new to me.

Chien is the label of Don and Lindsay Schroeder. “We chose the name Chien for one very simple reason. We have two passions in our lives, dogs and wine. Because we love the wines of Alsace we chose the name Chien which is the French word for “dog”. We feel that after raising 2 dogs, especially one that was so badly abused, making wine has a very similar foundation. Lots of love, patience and persistence is needed. Chien will donate a portion of our profits each year to a very deserving animal rescue foundation, Noah’s Ark.”

Don is the winemaker for Sea Smoke, and the son of the Ampelos vineyard owners. Great pedigree (pun intended). A 2011 Grüner is in the pipeline.

2010 Tatomer Riesling Sisquoc, Santa Barbara County. I’ve enjoyed the Tatomer Vandenburg and Kick On Ranch Rieslings on several occasions, but this was my first time with the Sisquoc. Brought this to an event and only got a taste, but a lot of great feedback from the lovely Mrs A and others who tasted. No notes, but a nice dry Riesling and a bargain in the $20-24 range. Found this one for $20 at Domain LA on Melrose in LA. Check out any of the Tatomer Rieslings and you won’t be disappointed.

2009 Paul Lato Souvenir Chardonnay, Santa Maria Vineyard. Brought this to the same event as the Tatomer, so again just a taste at a large group event. I’ve posted on this wine several times before, and strengthened my opinion that Lato makes the best Chard in SB County. Hilliard Bruce and Liquid Farm are commendable runners up, but man do I love the Lato. I don’t have a lot of experience with white Burgs, but this seems to fit in nicely with that group. Just a stunning nose of florals and pear, along with some apple and peach on the palate and great minerality. Sadly, last of four bottles but will be keeping an eye out for more and looking forward to the 2010 and 2011 versions chilling nicely in the cellar.

2005 Paul Lato Sky Watcher Bien Nacido Syrah. Could this still be too young? I’ve had four or five great bottles of the 2003 Paul Lato Bien Nacido “Quo Vadis” Syrah, but this was my first time with the 2005 Sky Watcher. Initally reductive on the nose, with some burnt rubber and asphalt. This filled out nicely over a couple of days. Dark fruits, blueberry and black cherry. Glad to have a few more bottles to follow of the next five years, as I think this still has a long life ahead.


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Steve Anderson
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Re: Quick Notes – Chien, Tatomer, and Lato

Postby sbfireman » Tue May 14, 2013 2:41 pm

Thanks for the TN - think I'll wait on my Paul Lato Reds for a few more years!!
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