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Ok, I want to know why there is so little talk about wines from SCC of California. Specifically, Santa Barbara County, ie, Santa Rita, Santa Ynez and Santa Maria.

We spent 4 days there in the spring and had a wonderful time visiting 18 wineries.

Are the wines from there really so far down the scale they rarely appear on your tables or are they just overlook because the others are such monsters. WS covered the region in a spring issue this year but the Central Coast is so big, only a very few wineries received notice.

What about,
Foxen,
Cambira,
Fess Parker,
Blackjack,
Buttonwood,
Kalyra,
Gainey,
Rusack,
Bridlewood,
Sunstone,
Firestone,
Mosbey,
Au Bon Climat,
Siduri...

I just curious and want to know. There are a few wines from these wineries I really enjoy.
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Tong:
quote:
Originally posted by EagleGrafix:
Ok, I want to know why there is so little talk about wines from SCC of California.


You're kidding, right?


Why would I be kidding about wanting to learn something I do not know? Or are you one of those people who was born with all your knowledge?

I just want to know...there is no shame or joke in that. Smile
Dave, if you do not want to answer my quesions because you think they are stupid questions, then don't answer them. I don't care.

Someone told me that the South California Coast is were Napa was 25-30 years ago. Good things start somewhere and become great or just stay good.

But to belittle my questioning explains a lot about your attitude toward helping others learn.
The Santa Rita Hills appears to be a very good site to grow wine grapes. Lots of money is going there and some very high scoring wines have hailed from here for a while. I personally find many of the wines a bit alcoholic and over done, but there are many interesting things to see and places to visit and many of the best vineyard sites in the world.

In the Santa Maria Valley, the Bien Nacido Vineyard is worth a vist, as is its neighbor, Cambria Estate. These two large vineyards are very well managed and produce large quantities of really good wines at reasonable prices. Pay attention to the weather as you drive to/from the Santa Maria Valley. The temperature changes, fog patches are astounding and correlate directly with where the best wines are grown. This is great farm land!

As far as being what Napa was in the past. For their sake, I hope not. I don't think the rabid "environmentalists" will permit it anyway.
quote:
Originally posted by EagleGrafix:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Tong:
quote:
Originally posted by EagleGrafix:
Ok, I want to know why there is so little talk about wines from SCC of California.


You're kidding, right?


Why would I be kidding about wanting to learn something I do not know? Or are you one of those people who was born with all your knowledge?

I just want to know...there is no shame or joke in that. Smile


Nope, I was born dumb and read a lot.

You can't *move* on this board or any other for chat about central cost Pinot, Chardonnay and Syrah producers these days. Vineyards like Garys' and Rosella's are as hot as any in Napa or Sonoma. Sea Smoke can fetch twice retail at auction. And then there was that movie. "So little talk" just implies you aren't paying attention.

Now if you mean there's very little talk about Paso Robles Zinfandel or Central Coast Cabernet, that's another issue entirely.
quote:
Originally posted by mattach:
do some checking first....wines from Loring, Sea Smoke, AP Vin, August West, Siduri, Babcock, ROAR, Sanford, Testarossa, Papapietro, Radio-Coteau, Hitching Post, Kosta Browne and many, many others from the Central Coast get tons of props here and justifiably so.


I admit I've been watching here only since May so I could well miss some of the conversations that included these wines.

Thanks for your list because it mostly includes producers I did not visit or know.

The list I gave were the wineries we visited except Siduri because we were not able to although we tried. We did taste Hitchin' Post and their Highliner was excellent to my taste.
quote:
Originally posted by cdr11:
I personally find many of the wines a bit alcoholic and over done, but there are many interesting things to see and places to visit and many of the best vineyard sites in the world.

In the Santa Maria Valley, the Bien Nacido Vineyard is worth a vist, as is its neighbor, Cambria Estate. These two large vineyards are very well managed and produce large quantities of really good wines at reasonable prices.

As far as being what Napa was in the past. For their sake, I hope not. I don't think the rabid "environmentalists" will permit it anyway.


Our visit to Cambria was very statisfying. I enjoy their Pinot from Julia's Vinyard - especially since I can actually buy it here. I also like their Pinot from Bench Break.

Foxen produces a Syrah I like a lot from their Williams Dior Vineyard (if I spelled that right).

Your comment on the alcoholic level I find interesting and will pay more attention to.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dave Tong:
You can't *move* on this board or any other for chat about central cost Pinot, Chardonnay and Syrah producers these days. Vineyards like Garys' and Rosella's are as hot as any in Napa or Sonoma. Vineyards like Garys' and Rosella's are as hot as any in Napa or Sonoma. Sea Smoke can fetch twice retail at auction. And then there was that movie. "So little talk" just implies you aren't paying attention.
QUOTE]

I'm reading as fast as I can to be sure I do not reamain so ignorant Big Grin

Frequently when some of the producers you note are mentioned, the region is not necessairly identified. As quick as I can I'm learning and some of what you have said is what I want to know.

Honestly though, when I hear about Pinot it is generally Oregon or even Sonoma and not so often referenced to SCC. I have no vested interest in the region except that is where I have the most intimate experience because of our trip last spring.

I did see that "movie" and I actually liked it but not because of the wine knowledge I gained from it. I still enjoy Merlot and Kalyra does have generous pours but that is not the knowledge I want.

I "pay as much attention" as my budget allows and if you want to pick apart those three words, because your just have to be critical of someone who knows less than you, I'll change them.

Like I said, if you are not interested in passing on your knowledge to someone else and would instead rather maintain your attitude....fine. I think you know a lot I could learn from you but you insist on using condecending words and phrases because you are so very much wiser than me and probably everyone else. I can live with that too because I'll find others who will share their knowledge with me.

Trying to make me feel stupid for lack of knowledge does not work because I do not have to put up with your arrogance and I am not stupid...but I am ignorant about a lot of things with wine and that is something I can do something about. Obviously not with your help.
The Central region of California does not get as much hype as Napa does...I think that is what the original poster is trying to say. And my answer to that...GOOD! The Central Coast wines are reasonable priced now and when people who aren't wine geeks like us discover it...prices will increase.

And don't forget Turley on that list Big Grin

BTW, Firestone is where I fell in love with wine...just so you know.
quote:
Originally posted by Bella Donna:
The Central region of California does not get as much hype as Napa does...I think that is what the original poster is trying to say. And my answer to that...GOOD! The Central Coast wines are reasonable priced now and when people who aren't wine geeks like us discover it...prices will increase.

And don't forget Turley on that list Big Grin

BTW, Firestone is where I fell in love with wine...just so you know.


I really liked Firestone, one of the more "fancy" tasting rooms. I bought a couple of bottles of their Sauv. Blanc and really enjoyed them this summer. Our son and daughter-in-law are both Marines so we had fun with the Jar Head Red we bought in their honor.

I agree with you on the reasonable pricing. $20-$35 buys some really good wine IMHO and I'll never know how good it is compared to the cults from the north but I only have so many hours in a day to drink and can't expect to experience it all. Wink Only what fits in my wallet.

In Feb. we will be in Napa/Sonoma/Lake County for 5 days...but I'll probably have to print my own money if I expect to come home with as much as I did from SCC this past spring. Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by TBird:
while most of those mentioned make for a fun day of wine tasting, i don't collect many of them. they just aren't that good.


Thanks TBird, but that is a major part of my question I guess I need to clarify. Why are they not as good? It is the winemakers?, the grapes, or is the "terrior" simply not able to produce "collectables"?

I do not yet do collecting for re-sale so what I enjoy is more important and like what's been said, I find wine I like from those wineries, some with really good scores.
I have been to those wineries more times than I would like to remember. I will tell you this, when I first got into wine I really didn't know much. I just hit all the closest wineries and drank what they poured.. They were fine but I really didn't have anything to base my opinion on. The more I tasted other wines of better quality the more I understood these wineries were way overpriced for what you were tasting.

Foxen, ABC, Siduri and Blackjack make some nice wines and I still drink them. The problem is that these wines go for over $40 for the most part and I think there are way better values out there.

Next time you visit there make sure to look up the better quality wineries from the forum here. There are so many great places to visit.{Melville, Sea Smoke, Clos Pepe, Longoria, Pinot Prison, Stolpman, etc.) Bye the way, I had the '04 Stolpman Estate Syrah and for $25 it is a steal! An unbelievable Syrah with great structure and a huge long finish! BUY!
I'll, take your advice and plan better the next time I get out there which I hope is harvest season 2007.

While my trip in May was not my first visit to wineries it was my first time to that region and I did not have real good information to go on. I learned from the pourer at Hitching Post the difference between Santa Ynez and Santa Rita and why the best Pinot was found on the west side of 101 not the east side. He was part owner in Melville and we tried but were unable to get there on our last day.

I am planing a trip to Northern CA in Feb, tying it into a convention I am attending. My research for that trip is going to be much better. I want to go to wineries that make great wine that I can afford and I want to stay away from the big names I have already visited in the past.
AAAAAAGGGGHH!

I hate the term "Central Coast". Can we please start a movement to eliminate it from wine diction?

The Central Coast is a region spanning from San Francisco all the way to Los Angeles. It is absurd to have a Central Coast term for labelling, it means nothing.

You can't tell me that the following regions have some common viticultural, vinification, or weather related denominator that ties them all together:

Livermore
Paso Robles
Santa Rita Hills
Edna Valley
Santa Maria
Mount Harlan


I move that we never use this horrific term again and ban purchases on any wines with the audacity to throw this term on their label.
quote:
Originally posted by Natester:
AAAAAAGGGGHH!

I hate the term "Central Coast". Can we please start a movement to eliminate it from wine diction?

The Central Coast is a region spanning from San Francisco all the way to Los Angeles. It is absurd to have a Central Coast term for labelling, it means nothing.

...
I move that we never use this horrific term again and ban purchases on any wines with the audacity to throw this term on their label.


I'll second your motion. I too think the term covers way too much of California. This is at the center of my question when I started this post and I tried to narrow my area of interest down to the three smaller regions on the south end thus South CC. But that too is nondiscript. Santa Barbara County covers a small part of it and I find that refenence in some of my reading but not in an official sense.

Santa Barbara producers seem to reside in three smaller regions, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Rita Hills. As different the wines from these regions are from those close to Monterey they are distinctly different from each other. I question why these names for these regions are not used more frequently by writers and instead are grouped together more often than not?

These are my observations and my guess is that the supurb wines grown and made in Santa Barbara County have successfully gained their notoriety apart from a strong connection to where they come from. That seems to be different in Napa or Sonoma counties. If a wine can use Napa on its label, there is more effective boost than a wine that uses Santa Maria Valley. If that is true, will it change?
I do enjoy sampling Central Coast Cabernets. Sometimes I find a nice surprise. I think when you try to find a replacement fro a Napa/Sonoma Cabernet, you miss the point. Most good ones have their own characteristics. I just tried the Barnwood 3200' Cabernet, and it a pretty good mountain fruit QPR. I also usually enjoy Beckmans offerings. The prices of these Cabernets usually are never more than $25-$30 and they are well worth it. Many people shun them because they are NOT Napa bignames.

There are also some amazing Syrahs and Pinots producers there as mentioned above. I mysel like Pisoni & Beckman.

I agree that many are over done (Row Eleven Pinots comes to mind), , but that could be over-zealous winemakers playing catch-up with its northern neighbors. Once they realize potential for their dirt and temperatures good things can happen.
quote:
Originally posted by mike p:
I do enjoy sampling Central Coast Cabernets. Sometimes I find a nice surprise. I think when you try to find a replacement fro a Napa/Sonoma Cabernet, you miss the point. Most good ones have their own characteristics. I just tried the Barnwood 3200' Cabernet, and it a pretty good mountain fruit QPR. I also usually enjoy Beckmans offerings. The prices of these Cabernets usually are never more than $25-$30 and they are well worth it. Many people shun them because they are NOT Napa bignames.

There are also some amazing Syrahs and Pinots producers there as mentioned above. I mysel like Pisoni & Beckman.

I agree that many are over done (Row Eleven Pinots comes to mind), , but that could be over-zealous winemakers playing catch-up with its northern neighbors. Once they realize potential for their dirt and temperatures good things can happen.
"Most" "Central Coast" cabernets are undrinkable IMO. Stick to pinot in the south and Rhones in the north.
Agree entirely with GA. I have hated almost every Cab (and merlot for that matter) from the Central Coast, be it Santa Barbara area or Paso. They are almost uniformly green and unpleasant.

I know Dave Core has bottled one and we are giving it a try due to our respect for Dave, but I am dubious about it. Will probably be able to report on it after we see him on Sunday.

Definitely stick to Pinot, Zin and Rhone varietals.
quote:
Originally posted by EagleGrafix:
Ok, I want to know why there is so little talk about wines from SCC of California. Specifically, Santa Barbara County, ie, Santa Rita, Santa Ynez and Santa Maria.

We spent 4 days there in the spring and had a wonderful time visiting 18 wineries.

Are the wines from there really so far down the scale they rarely appear on your tables or are they just overlook because the others are such monsters. WS covered the region in a spring issue this year but the Central Coast is so big, only a very few wineries received notice.

What about,
Foxen,
Cambira,
Fess Parker,
Blackjack,
Buttonwood,
Kalyra,
Gainey,
Rusack,
Bridlewood,
Sunstone,
Firestone,
Mosbey,
Au Bon Climat,
Siduri...

I just curious and want to know. There are a few wines from these wineries I really enjoy.


I visited Central Coast wineries this summer and loved the region. Doesnt hurt that it's close to Santa Barbara, the most beautiful city Ive ever laid eyes on. Favorites of mine were Sanford, Foxen and Melville.

Got to EOS and a couple others in Paso Robles (also got a speeding ticket on the main highway in off Rte 1).
quote:
Originally posted by Gigond Ass:
quote:
Originally posted by mike p:
I do enjoy sampling Central Coast Cabernets. Sometimes I find a nice surprise. I think when you try to find a replacement fro a Napa/Sonoma Cabernet, you miss the point. Most good ones have their own characteristics. I just tried the Barnwood 3200' Cabernet, and it a pretty good mountain fruit QPR. I also usually enjoy Beckmans offerings. The prices of these Cabernets usually are never more than $25-$30 and they are well worth it. Many people shun them because they are NOT Napa bignames.

There are also some amazing Syrahs and Pinots producers there as mentioned above. I mysel like Pisoni & Beckman.

I agree that many are over done (Row Eleven Pinots comes to mind), , but that could be over-zealous winemakers playing catch-up with its northern neighbors. Once they realize potential for their dirt and temperatures good things can happen.
"Most" "Central Coast" cabernets are undrinkable IMO. Stick to pinot in the south and Rhones in the north.


GA, Overall you are correct, but do not shoot the horse until the vet has seen him.

I hate 'green' and the two I mentioned do not have any.
quote:
Originally posted by Gigond Ass:
"Most" "Central Coast" cabernets are undrinkable IMO. Stick to pinot in the south and Rhones in the north.

GA is right... im surprised you liked that Barnwood mikep, i've had a few Barnwood Cabs and they've all made Silver Oak seem smooth. i had a Cab blend from Castoro Cellars that was probably the best Cab based wine i've had from the area, and a 2000 at that. thats farther North then Barnwood. ive had nice Merlot's from EOS. mmm... yeah, Pinot & Syrah country.
quote:
Originally posted by kumazam:
quote:
Originally posted by Gigond Ass:
"Most" "Central Coast" cabernets are undrinkable IMO. Stick to pinot in the south and Rhones in the north.

GA is right... im surprised you liked that Barnwood mikep, i've had a few Barnwood Cabs and they've all made Silver Oak seem smooth. i had a Cab blend from Castoro Cellars that was probably the best Cab based wine i've had from the area, and a 2000 at that. thats farther North then Barnwood. ive had nice Merlot's from EOS. mmm... yeah, Pinot & Syrah country.



My Notes. Nothing ground breaking, but ...

I Had not tried this wine since the '01 vintage. This bottling now has a new look as well as a new altitude from which grapes come from, 3200 feet.

This wine is deep crimson in color, with a fantastic expressive nose of dark fruit (blackberries) and currant. Nice. The palate need some coaxing, but then a super concentrated cabernet style comes through. Wonderful deep dark fruits carry foward as well as some casis. The finish is moderate, but decent. There is nothing negative here, and with some decanter time a real QPR shows itself.

The label says "not for the faint of heart", and its's not far from the mark. If you don't like this style as it is a burly slightly unfocused beauty, please stay clear! Pure mountain fruit cabernet. Wonderful with a mid October BBQed NY State Sirloin Strip steak.

Will get 6 for the cellar.

$18.99

89/100


Cheers!!
I have still not reached the place where I can identify the more subtle characterists of wines so I really enjoy and benefit these comments posted.

I guess I'm doing something right because it is the Pinot and Syrah are my favorites. I also enjoy several of the Chard. from that region.

About the Cabs., why are they generally inferior? And, I don't mean tasting experience but what happens to create the less than great tasting experiences. Is it the producers or the grapes, or the weather? Will the quality of Cabernet from that region ever match the quality of the Pinot or Syrah?
quote:
Originally posted by EagleGrafix:
I have still not reached the place where I can identify the more subtle characterists of wines so I really enjoy and benefit these comments posted.

I guess I'm doing something right because it is the Pinot and Syrah are my favorites. I also enjoy several of the Chard. from that region.

About the Cabs., why are they generally inferior? And, I don't mean tasting experience but what happens to create the less than great tasting experiences. Is it the producers or the grapes, or the weather? Will the quality of Cabernet from that region ever match the quality of the Pinot or Syrah?


I may be wrong, and I am sure I will corrected here for it if I am, but I think the climate is too cool for the varietal. The same reasons others do well.
Central Coast has some great wines. They can get a bad rap from some wine people cause alot of big wineries are buying purchased grapes to make central coast or california appellation wines. I think rhone varietals do well in the hotter climates and the pinot noirs do well in the cooler climates of the central coast. Like anywhere in the world you gotta pick your terroir and grow what grape will flourish there.
A lot of Paso Cab seems to be very herbal. Justin has made some good cab and cab blends but they have been spotty in recent years IMO. As far as I'm concerned, they are the lone exception from what I've tasted and I've tasted a ton.

I've never cared for Eberle Cab, but I had a 1995 Sauret Zin that was great. I think Eberle lost the vineyard contract after that though.
Not sure what you mean by jaded. I have had upwards of 40 cabs from vineyards from Paso down through Santa Barbara and the vast majority of them are green, herbal and fairly undrinkable. Are there exceptions, of course, but if I am picking a Cab it ain't gonna be from this region.

Here is one example, Carina's Cab/Syrah blend, the fruit is sourced for Napa for a reason.
quote:
Originally posted by Jcocktosten:
Not sure what you mean by jaded. I have had upwards of 40 cabs from vineyards from Paso down through Santa Barbara and the vast majority of them are green, herbal and fairly undrinkable. Are there exceptions, of course, but if I am picking a Cab it ain't gonna be from this region

pretty much sums it up for me as well... my exceptions have been early-mid 90's, 97' & 99' Justin Cab's, Isosceles & Justification, the aformentioned 00' Castoro Cellars Due Mille Reserve, and an EOS Merlot... besides that, i'd rather not

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