Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Santa Maria Valley Pinot Blanc

A New Year's Eve day trip to Santa Barbara County brought us, once again, to Sanford Winery's outpost west of Buellton. It was raining in L.A. when we departed in the morning, but the day turned amazingly beautiful once we arrived in wine country.

Sanford's Pinot Blanc is a bit of an oddity on their menu, in that it's not Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. This 2013 was the first vintage of the wine, made from a grape they say can be as hard to manage as the Noir variety. The wine retails for $34.

This wine carries a 14.5% abv number and had no malolactic fermentation at all. Still, it has a nice, full mouthfeel due to the aging in neutral French oak. The Sierra Madre Vineyard, from which the grapes come, is in the Santa Maria Valley of Santa Barbara County. It's one of my favorite wine regions, as the earth and mineral aspects always seem to come through so strongly, especially in the whites.

The cool climate of the Santa Maria Valley also makes for a delightfully refreshing acidity. This one actually is somewhat reserved in that department, but it has enough acid to make for a good pairing with food. The nose and flavors are quite dark and earthy, with a savory mask placed over the fruit to give great complexity.