Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SBC Tasting Room: Tres Hermanas

We made a trip out of Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County wine country recently. My wife and I, along with our good and dear friend Guido love this two-hour trip. The stop in Camarillo to have a bagel and coffee is mandatory and the Trader Joe’s on Milpas provides our picnic lunch. Usually it’s a loaf of bread, some cheese, avocados and olives. This short series will describe some of the wines we sampled in the various tasting rooms we visited.

A cattle ranch provided the beginning of Tres Hermanas Vineyard & Winery in 2001 when Marvin and Paulette Teixeira planted a small vineyard there. The name translates from Spanish as “Three Sisters,” and stands for their three daughters.

We arrived to an empty parking lot, a little unusual for a Saturday afternoon in wine country. A cow lowed in distance - the only sound around - as we looked up at the threatening sky. We couldn’t help but note that the winegrowers would love a little rain, but the wine sellers must be saying, “Did it have to come on Saturday?”

Tres Hermanas Winemaker Mark Horvath is a longtime fixture in Santa Barbara County wine. He will host a private tasting by appointment, but you are welcome to stop by the tasting room anytime. It is a little remote but easily accessible along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.

I was tasting only white wines on this trip, and Tres Hermanas has quite a few good ones.

Cuvée Sadie 2009 $26 - This 60/40 blend of Viognier and Chardonnay has a great savory nose and wonderful acidity. Oak spice is well-handled and the nutty finish really is a pleasant memory after the sip..

Dos Blanc 2009 $28 - A blend of Sauvignon Blanc (55&) and Chenin Blanc, this wine has a very funky and aromatic nose. On the palate, savory almond and tropical fruit is joined by a fantastic acidity. Mango sticks around on the finish.

Pinot Gris 2009 $19 - This is a pretty damn awesome Pinot Gris. To me, it is reminiscent of some of the best examples of northern Italian Pinot Grigio. A savory dark nose with hints of nutmeg rolls out the red carpet for the completely earthy palate. Did I say great acidity? Oh, yes. Great acidity.

Cuvée Haleigh 2009 $18 - Bright aromatics mark this Riesling, which has some petrol notes coming through on the nose and palate, the age starting to show nicely.

Fume Blanc 2009 $28 - A fully oaked Sauvignon Blanc, this one shows savory nuts on the nose along with the herbal sense. Tastes of tropical fruit and a beautiful salinity are helped along by a very nice acidity. It was a great day for acidity.

Malvasia Bianca 2009 $19 - Honey flowers and an herbal green element decorate the nose, with sweet pear juice competing for attention. The palate is sweet and nutty with a floral finish.

Muscat Canelli 2011 $19 - Savory candy and exotic flowers are quite expressive on the nose, and a nice sweet palate laden with peach and touch of candy reveals the 1.5% residual sugar.

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