Wine reviews: #WineChat with Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association

Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association recently gathered six Wineries and twelve Wine Bloggers to host their first Coast-to-Coast Wine Chat. Readers of Wine Everyday are familiar with the format, tasting and tweeting our impressions of the wines and then summing it all up for you. Here are the six wines featured:


Santa Barbara Wines

2010 Pearl Paradise Mountain Viognier by Imagine Wine

Imagine Viognier

2010 Imagine Viognier

Using grapes sourced from Paradise Road Vineyard in the San Yenez Valley, Winemaker Ross Rankin handcrafted this graceful Viognier. During our Twitter Chat, Ross remarked that “Santa Barbara County is known for their Pinot Noir and Syrah, but we grow over 65 different kinds of grapes here.”

The wine presents a pale yellow hue almost champagne like; and slight perfume and floral aromas; flavors of lemon tart and peaches round out the wine with a mild vanilla finish. While it drinks very nicely alone, this wine pairs well with a fruit salad or a bit of manchago cheese.

Alcohol 14.3% | 100% Viognier | $24 | natural cork closure

2011 Arneis Honea Vineyard by Palmina

2011 Palmina Arneis

2011 Palmina Arneis

This is a new-to-me grape variety, Arneis, is a white Italian grape traditionally used as a blending grape, now grown in Australia, California and New Zealand. Arneis translates to ‘little rascal’ which explains its propensity to be difficult to grow. The grapes for Palmina’s wine are grown at Honea Vineyard in the Los Olivos District of the Santa Yenz Valley.

Light yellow in color with dusty wet wood aromas; mouth-feel is bright, light with lemon citrus flavors. The wine has a clean mineral finish. This is a refreshing wine, perfect for summer sipping; I paired this wine with grilled cilantro pesto shrimp. If you’ve never experienced Arnies wines you should strongly consider adding it to your white wine line up especially at this price point!

Alcohol 13.5% | 100% Arneis | $20 | natural cork closure

2012 Sierra Madre Chardonnay Summerland Winery

Sourced from grapes grown in the Santa Maria Valley AVA this wine drinks in the classic French Chablis style. Light green apple color with steely aromas along with a mouth-feel of stainless steel and lemon rind, leading to a sharp finish with plenty of acidity.

This is a wine to try if you are looking for a Chardonnay that hasn’t been oaked & buttered.

Alcohol 14.1% | 100% Chardonnay | $35 | 150 cases made | natural cork closure

2010 Brewer-Clifton Gnesa Chardonnay

Grapes from Lee Gnesa (knee-sa) Vineyards are exclusively used in this Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay, the wine presents a Straw golden hue with aromas of lemon floral essences. A tart grapefruit flavor with a tart lemon finish. The theme of lemon and citrus flavors are woven into most of the wines from this evenings tasting, a great feature of this region.

Alcohol 14.2% | 100% Chardonnay | $48 | 150 cases made | natural cork closure

2010 Sauvignon Blanc Fontes & Phillips

Fontes & Phillips

2010 Fontes & Phillips
Sauvignon Blanc

Husband and wife wine-making team Allan and Rochelle craft small lot, single vineyard wines sourced from Santa Barbara County vineyards. Their personal touch continues to the hand application of the beautifully crafted handmade pewter label made in South America.

A ‘shy yellow’ color in the glass; aromas of fresh linen and grass; flavors of citrus rind and tart watermelon lead to a tart clean finish. This wine paired well with a fresh salad of spinach, strawberry and toasted almonds.

Alcohol 13.8% | 100% Sauvignon Blanc | $18 | natural cork closure

2012 Sauvignon Blanc Baehner Fournier Vineyards

Not just a ‘single vineyard’ wine, the grapes used for this wine are from one row of grapevines at the Vogelzang Vineyard in the Happy Canyon region of Santa Barbara!

Very pale tint of yellow color with aromas of a hay field and flavors of grapefruit with a crisp citrus rind finish. This wine drinks great on a hot day!

Alcohol 13.5% | 100% Sauvignon Balnc | $20 | 90 cases made | natural cork closure

I hope you get a chance to visit each of these wineries, their web sites are linked within the article. If you get a chance to get to Santa Barbara, be sure to stop in and tell them Wine Everyday said Cheers!

Many thanks to Bill Eyer Director of #WineChat , Morgen McLaughlin, Executive Director Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association and to the Wineries for sharing their time and their wine with us.

About Wine Everyday

Eileen Gross is a 1983 Graduate of Fordham University and retired Financial Professional and Founder of Phillips Charitable Foundation, Inc. Annapolis, Maryland. She is wine lover, traveler, and collector who shares her wine experiences with private wine tastings and on her blog “Wine Everyday." She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, The Wine Century Club and a contributor the former
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4 Responses to Wine reviews: #WineChat with Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association

  1. talkavino says:

    Arneis from California? Very intriguing…. Glad to see you writing again!

  2. Looks like a great tasting and a fantastic write-up!

  3. Nice to see you back in the saddle! I try to get down to Santa Barbara once a year (usually as a side trip to Paso) because they’ve got some great wine!

  4. Eileen Clancy says:

    Great to see you back writing! Sent from my iPhone

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