Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tercero Wines Of Santa Barbara County

It had been a while since I stopped in on Larry Schaffer at his Los Olivos tasting room for Tercero Wines, so it was a great and pleasant surprise to see him in Los Angeles recently for a tasting event.

Schaffer uses grapes from some top-notch vineyard sites in Santa Barbara County to make his mostly-Rhônish wines. His reds seem to be what people really want to experience, but his whites are the show-stoppers, in my opinion. I love a good white wine, and the Tercero whites are much better than that.

Tercero 2013 Grenache Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley - This is possibly my favorite. It has a beautiful, savory nose and palate, with a slight funk and great acidity.  $25

Tercero 2014 Albarino, Santa Ynez Valley -  Funky and floral, the salinity comes through on the sip.  $25

Tercero 2014 Outlier Gewurztraminer - Floral to spare, but minerals make it more complex and less sweet than this grape usually turns out.  $25

2015 Mourvedre Rosé - Grapes from Vogelzang Vineyard, in the Happy Canyon AVA are footstomped and fermented, with some oak involved. The light cherry and strawberry flavors show wonderfully right now, and this rosé gets even better with age.  $25
 
Tercero 2011 Mourvedre Santa Barbara County - Schaffer likes the mix of warm and cool areas in a cool vintage, Larner and Camp Four vineyards being the draw here.  There is a great use of oak (nearly three years.)  He says it’s his best-selling red and he didn’t get to make an awful lot of the 2012 to be released soon.  $35

Tercero 2011 Grenache, Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon - This wine is muscular and savory. Shaffer calls it, "my favorite grenache," and you just may as well.  $35

Tercero 2015 Abberation - 40% Cinsault, 40% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre, all from the Camp 4 Vineyard in the newly created Los Olivos District. It’s a steel-aged red, and it takes a chill very well and still shows the dark earthiness of the soil.  $35


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