Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Arthur Earl Winery, Los Olivos


Arthur Earl Winery makes wine in Buellton, CA, and they pour it in their tasting room in Los Olivos.  Arthur White (pictured) and Earl Brockelsby are the names behind the names.  They have no vineyards, so they buy all the grapes used in producing their wines.  Fruit from Santa Barbara County, the Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles and other parts of the Central Coast find their way into Arthur Earl bottles.

The tasting room is on the main street in Los Olivos, but it is tucked away a bit.  A serviceable room that seems much larger than it needs to be, the Arthur Earl storefront is staffed by people who love not just AE wine, but wine in general.  The pourers are equipped with pairing suggestions for dishes at restaurants in town.  One small business helping others.

And small is the word for the Arthur Earl production.  They usually only produce 100 to 300 cases of each varietal per year.  If you find one you really like, you’d better jump on it.  It may not be there on your next visit.

Arthur Earl Viognier, Vogelzang Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley 2008
From Santa Barbara County’s Happy Canyon AVA, it spends four months in neutral oak barrels, giving a surprisingly oaky overlay to the peach fruit.  $24

Rosé of Mourvedre, Vogelzang Vineyard, Santa Barbara County 2010
This pinky is dark in the glass with a funky nose of strawberries and green leaves.  The lovely taste is as complex and dark as you’d expect in a rosé made from this grape.  $25

Grenache, Vogelzang Vineyard, SBC, 2007
Very lovely strawberry aromas and flavors, with great acidity and nice tannins.  It’s great with Greek food.  $29.50

Nebbiolo, Stolpman Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley, 2006
Aromas of roses and cherries gives such a great start to this extremely pleasant wine.  It’s quite acidic, of course, and a really nice match with tomato sauce - it changes the taste of both the wine and the food.  $29.50

Moscato, Carrari Vineyard, SBC 2006
This is a sweet wine, but not necessarily a dessert wine.  Six percent residual sugar certainly makes for a sweet taste, but it’s not at all cloying.  In fact, the nose is rather herbal and the acidity is nice.  It’s not dessert, but it pairs well with dessert. Keep it in mind for the holidays.  Only 12.9% abv.  $16 (375 ml)