A Santa Barbara Bargain?

Thin garnet, seriously bricking.  A seasoned Pinot Noir nose–headed South–but still showing gobs of dull fruit and seasoned ground beef with wet Pixie-stix in Coke.  A bit warm, flaccid and herbaceous, everything screams an inexpensive wine past its prime.

Santa Barbara Winery was my first true love upon re-locating to the Central Coast almost 20 years ago.  Even before I moved here, I had discovered what was then the only downtown winery and its great placement in lots of local retail outlets.  This was before there was even a Pierre Lafond label. I bought gobs of the Pinot and Chard, as it was well-priced and of supreme quality.  Now there’s 10 or 15 tasting rooms down there and this formerly industrial area on the wrong side of the freeway in Santa Barbara is a destination for many.  It was a tiny little in-cellar tasting room, now it is a destination in The Funk Zone of Santa Barbara.

In the mouth, a dry heat, round and voluptuous, but not elegant or eloquent.  More of a sultry desert, cooling and calm but breeze in the chaparral, heat still omnipresent but approachable.  This wine is past its prime–there’s no discounting that fact.  It was never designed for consumption at even this mere 6 years.  These wines are just flat-out not arranged like that.  It tastes better than it smells, and as a true Pinot freak, I can enjoy drinking it where others would discount it immediately as “gone”.  Round plum with thick and bitter skins run a sweaty parallel with wet paper and Naugahyde, with a smoky vein throughout, fruit going opaque into the bitter finish.

Current vintages are available throughout the Central Coast area at common retailers for prices well under what we have come to expect in Santa Barbara Pinot Noir.  I highly recommend it for the Price-Point.

2009 SANTA BARBARA WINERY Pinot Noir Central Coast 13.8



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