Aug. 14: "One Day Warrior Trip" Wrap-Up!

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Aug. 14: "One Day Warrior Trip" Wrap-Up!

Postby Phil_Carpenter » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:49 pm

Went to Santa Barbara for a one-day blitz of wine events. I knew time was going to go fast, but not THAT fast. First stop…

Cargasacchi Open House
Bright eyed and bushy tailed, we were there at 10am on the dot. Can’t think of a better way to start the day than to hangout with Peter and drink his killer wines.

2009 Point Concepcion Pinot Grigio, Celestina
Don’t call this a rose! Just the way Peter prefers to make this pinot grigio. Great copper, orange hue. Beautiful hints of melon and citrus. Great acid streak.

08 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir, Cargasacchi Vineyard (750ml)
Now we’re talkin’. For as tough as the 08 vintage was, the wines are REALLY coming out beautiful. Great purity with some loamy earth there. Great length with structure. Bit of acid there too!

09 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir, Jalama Vineyard (375ml)
God I love this vineyard. Very feminine and elegant nose. Strawberries and blueberries intertwine. Killer…

09 Point Concepcion Pinot Noir
Gamey notes to go with herbs and a touch of anise. Just plain yummy…nice weight.

05 Point Concepcion Syrah, Encantado
Really hitting it’s stride…bacon, anise, plum to go with blueberries. Great mouth feel.

Time was already flying so we had to hit the road and head to…

Clos Pepe Barrel Tasting Event
The Pepes and Wes Hagen KNOW how to throw a party. The event took place at the big house on the vineyard and provided some picturesque views. I gotta say, I just love being at this site. The views, the beautiful pinot and chard vines, the distant calls of various livestock…just fun. But we were here to drink wine! And boy was there plenty to try! The 10’s are the barrel samples..

10 Clos Pepe Chard, “Homage to Chablis” (No Oak)
This is how all parties should start. Just an ultra clean expression of mineral and citrus. The acid rules here…to go along with a beautiful lime. Wow…

10 Clos Pepe Chard (Barrel Fermented)
Touch darker in glass. Oak just adds a touch of complexity to the wine. Still plenty of lemon/lime and acid on this bad boy.

10 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir
Just beautiful red fruit here with some spice. Total consistent palate with a great weight. What potential. A restrained beauty.

10 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir, “Vigneron Select”
Much more expressive and richer fruit. Darker in glass. Bigger structure. Man, this has the framework for something special.

09 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir
Full of spice, some rhubarb, and a touch of salinity. Great acid with a hint of some oak at the end of finish.

09 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir, “Vigneron Select”
Clove and herbs with a touch of salinity and orange rind. Great red fruit.

08 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir
This was my wine of the event. Ultra sexy, elegant fruit. I spent a bit more time with this one. Just singing right now. Again…the 08’s!!

07 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir
Rose pedal, earth, spice, hint of smoke. Total consistent palate to go along with a nice acid streak.

10 Axis Mundi Grenache/Syrah, Windmill Vineyard, Ballard Canyon
I’ve never had a wine from this site. Very distinct. The color is a light garnet…lighter than most of the pinots! The Grenache notes strike nose first…leathery raspberry. Syrah adds the backbone and yummyness. Great wine for price.

Library wine!

02 Clos Pepe Chard
Solid yellow with a mustard mustiness going on. Ripe tropical fruit. Great weight with a limeade thing on finish. Love how the chards evolve over multiple years.

We could have spent the whole day here. The wine and food was flowing. But Los Olivos was calling.

Dragonette Tasting Room Pop-In
Have to stop here whenever in the vicinity. We got to hangout with James Sparks and go through the flight. Love what is going on here. The cloudy rose was hittin’, the sauv blancs were tasty (as usual!), but the big highlights:

09 Dragonette Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix
What happens when fruit from a great site is made by a great winemaker. The spice that comes from this vineyard is stunning. Some herb and earth here too. Red fruits are brilliant.

09 Dragonette Grenache
An “under the bar” special…barrel sample. Thompson and Watch Hill fruit. You can say those are some great sites! Nose in glass…eyebrows raise. A very elegant Grenache…pure raspberry. LOVED this offering. Wife’s favorite…

08 Dragonette Syrah, “MJM”
These guys are smart…they name their signature syrah after their wives. This syrah is special. Cool climate beauty. Dark fruits…olive…meaty notes. Some oak qualities but integrated.

As usual, we had so much fun. For the next stop, all we had to do was walk next door.

The Ultra New Tercero Tasting Room
Larry Schaffer is getting this room together. The “Mad Scientist” is in full effect. His signature beakers and flasks dot the area. The newly installed bar looks great, and the chalkboard is begging for me to write my manifesto.

Larry always has plenty of wine to share. I’ve written previously about the White Hawk Viognier. Killer offering. “The Outlier” (Gewurtz) hit the spot on this warm day. Not to mention the 10 Mourved Rose. I seriously don’t think there is a better grape for rose. The highlights…

08 Tercero Mourvedre
When Larry first poured this for me earlier this year, I told him this wine is going to make some noise. Some funkiness…but not out of hand. More earthy. Spice is killer! Some pepper and smoke. So tasty…and it’s fun to watch people try this for the first time.

08 Tercero, “Cuvee Christie”
A GSM blend that might be my favorite offering from Larry. Just killer fruit and spice. In-line, elegant, and beautiful. Excited…

[b]08 Tercero, “Cuvee Loco”[/b]
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah…100% from the sacred earth they call Larner Vineyard! Raspberry, leather, smoke, olive, earth…it’s all going on here. Money…

And before I knew it…the day was over. Such is life when you’re up in this area. Big thanks to all that hosted us. Great day, great wine, great times.
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Re: Aug. 14: "One Day Warrior Trip" Wrap-Up!

Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:29 pm


Sounds like a super day! Congrats to Larry on the tasting room. Yet another reason to try and get to Los O soon. Looking forward to trying the White Hawk Vio and the '10 Outlier. Absolutely loved the '09 Gewurz. Popped a bottle of the '08 Mourvedre about a month ago and thought it was showing extremely well as was the Loco!

Also looking forward to the '09 Dragonette Fiddlestix. Tasted the barrel sample at WOPN and Family Winemakers, and enjoyed it even more than the '08, which was one of my favorite pinots of the year. Looking forward to my sole bottle of '08 MJM, but will try to hold out for another year or two. The '09 Grenache sounds like a winner. The guys are on a roll!


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Re: Aug. 14: "One Day Warrior Trip" Wrap-Up!

Postby Phil_Carpenter » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:23 pm

Steve, yes, you gotta get up here. Larry's tasting room was super fun. Three great rooms right next to each other (Dragonette, Tercero, Kaena).

They really are, so happy for those guys. Everything was hitting on all cylinders.
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