2013 Top 100 from Jon Bonné Features SB County Wines

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2013 Top 100 from Jon Bonné Features SB County Wines

Postby Steve Anderson » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:32 pm

Skimmed through the new Top 100 List from Jon Bonné of the SF Chronicle and found some familiar names, along with two new ones.

Jon does not rank the wines, but separates by category. The article and complete list can be found at http://www.sfgate.com/wine/article/Top-100-Wines-of-2013-5023413.php.

The Santa Barbara wines I saw included (comments are mine):

2012 Sandhi Santa Barbara County Chardonnay - the 2011 was also a Top 100 wine. The single vineyard Sandhi bottlings are superb, but the SB County blend is nearly as good and a good QPR. Snag a bottle at retail if you can still find it.
2012 Liquid Farm White Hill Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay - even better than the 2011. Tasted this at the recent wine pick up party but have not yet cracked a full bottle. Jeff and Nikki Nelson are making a big impression in the California Chard world. Get on this email list before it closes. You won't be disappointed.

Other Whites
2012 Tatomer Meeresboden Santa Barbara County Gruner Veltliner - Graham Tatomer is getting more and more attention for his Riesling and Gruners. Have not had this bottling, but loved the 2011 Paragon Edna Valley Gruner. Graham's wines are bargains in the $20-25 range.
2012 Habit Jurassic Park Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Chenin Blanc - This is a new label for me, although I've had a couple of great Jurassic Park Chenin's, including Andrew Jones' Field Recordings and the next bottle below. Article indicates this is a project of Jeff Fischer from LA.
2011 Farmers Jane Santa Barbara County Field White - This is a joint effort from Angela Osborne of A Tribute to Grace and Faith Armstrong-Foster, who makes Anderson Valley Pinot and Rosé under the Onward label in NorCal. Phil and I had the opportunity to taste the Farmer Jane white at one of Angela's events in San Diego earlier this year. Enjoyed a small pour at the tasting and purchased a bottle which I have not opened yet. Although the name indicates simply "Field White", this is 100% Jurassic Chenin aged 16 months in neutral oak. They also produce a Camp 4 Rosé and a red blend of 93% Watch Hill Grenache and 7% Hawkeye (Mendocino Co) Carignan.

Pinot Noir
2011 Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir - No surprise here. Just a great wine.
2011 Domaine de la Cote La Cote Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir - I've heard of Domaine de La Cote, a project of Sashi Moorman and Raj Parr, but have not tasted the wine.
2011 Longoria La Encantada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir - I've also not had this wine, but nice to see one of the SB "old guard" on the list, as most of the entries are relatively new producers.

2011 A Tribute to Grace Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard Santa Barbara County Grenache Another great wine from a relatively new producer with an extremely bright future. Love Angela's wines.

Not surprising that Jon's list focuses on relatively new producers pushing the lower end of the alcohol scale (Habit, Domaine de la Cote and Farmers Jane are 12, 12.5 and 12.7% respectively). Also not surprised there was not a SB County Cab or Zin on the list, but disappointed there was only one Rhone. As there are many great SB rhones, I'm guessing alcohol levels may have been a factor in Jon's rankings.


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