Sometimes the desire to get boundaries drawn for new appellations (also called American Viticultural Areas, or AVA's) can be drawn for political or advertising reasons more-so than the distinction of the wine. More than one of these lines in the world-and yes the French and Italians are just as guilty of this as anyone- have less to do with the distinction of the wine from the land than it does with who owns the land and how much they complained about being included. But the relatively new Happy Canyon AVA in eastern Santa Barbara does in fact make sense, as its more protected by the cooling coastal fog (which helps the Western AVAs in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production), and the soil is high in magnesium which helps provide more mineral intensity. The region has grown to become a hotbed for Bordeaux styled Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon in recent years, and as more producers put in vines in the old horse and cattle farms there can only be great things ahead.
Field Recordings is the main project from journeyman winemaker Andrew Jones, sourcing grapes from some of the best vineyards in his favored Central Coast region. The Cabernet juice here comes from the Grassini Family vineyard, one of the first and most successful vineyards in Happy Canyon. From the first pour the nose speaks of a serious Cabernet Sauvignon, loaded with dark blackcurrant, cedar, and black pepper notes. With some time open the aroma does develop some hints of warmer red fruits, but as a whole stays very dark and cool. On the palate the fruits stays equally dark, but the tannins are surprisingly well polished, allowing a lot of the cocoa tones to show and even a hint of sweeter dark fruits. The mineral composition in the soil shows through as well on the finish, providing a nice firm acidity that give it a longer and lightly drying finish. A surprisingly high quality Cab for the money that will do extremely well with a much broader selection of foods than just steaks.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!