Friday, February 3, 2012

STARS of Santa Barbara Wine Tasting

Learn About Wine is the one responsible for many great wine events and tastings in LA throughout the year, including the recent STARS of Santa Barbara held at The Peninsula Hotel. Ian Blackburn of LAW had gathered quite the lineup for the event (from Santa Barbara area and beyond). There was too much to taste without spitting - but I have a hard time spitting good wine...

It was impossible for me to try everything due street parking time limit and my liver, but here are some highlights, from old favorites to new discoveries. Being a new wine making region, you can find diverse varietals and styles from Santa Barbara wines.

Palmina from the Lompoc "Wine Ghetto" produces some white of the Italian varieties, including Arneis, Tocai Friulano, and Malvasia Bianca. For the quality, they are quite inexpensive at $12-18 per bottle.

La Fenetre by former sommelier Joshua Klapper is one of my favorites from this region. I tasted their new Chardonnay vintage, but you can refer to this post for more detailed notes on their other wines.

Tantara is a new one to me, and they have some great single-vineyard pinot noirs from various parts of the Central Valley that run about $52-55.

The next table was Tercero Wines which produce wines from Rhone varietals. The Outlier was a lightly sweet gewurtzraminer (retails for $20) while the Cuvee Christie is a traditional Chateauneuf blend of 75% Grenache, 12.5% Syrah and 12.5% Mourvedre (retail $30). I liked the bolder The Climb, a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Petite Syrah (retail $30)

I never knew this before, but there's a winery in Bel Air! So close to home! Moraga Vineyards has been in operation since the 1989 but most probably don't know it because the winery isn't open to the public for tours and tastings. They gave one of the best tastings at the event since they had a vertical tasting of their red wine (a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot) from 2005 to 2007. They're great but certainly not cheap at more than $100 a bottle!

With that much wine to go around, I was thankful that the Peninsula Hotel provided some creamy carbs to soak it all up.

Mark your date for the upcoming STARS of Napa Valley, which will be held on March 21st in Orange County and March 22nd Los Angeles (back at The Peninsula Hotel), or just check the LAW website for more events.


Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital