An old friend is back in the store after being absent for a few vintages in Virginia. Pali Wine Co. is like many good names in the Californian wine business, with a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and sourcing fruit from various sites where they can find them. Over the years they have accumulated quite the inventory of top notch properties to work with, extending from the Sonoma Coast all the way down to Santa Barbara. Where they have been most successful and exciting (at least to us) has been their lineup of value oriented 'regional' wines, blends of several vineyards within specific AVAs. Their choice of site is pretty much impeccable, and their winemaking style is very restrained on the oak and extraction, which allows the regional character to really shine through in each bottling. All too often you find producers with these types of bottlings where the 4-5 'different' regions taste way more alike than not, but the Pali wines always shows a wonderful sense of place to us.
The Huntington is built from 5 vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Rita Hills, and is just a picture perfect reminder of how distinct Santa Barbara wines are. Deep ruby in the glass but not thick and saturated, the nose has surprisingly cool black cherry skin aromas, blue and black fruits, a bit of cola and dried spice. Some of the Santa Barbara area wines can have a overly warm streak, but the cooling fog influences definitely show through here to keep the sweeter side of Pinot Noir in check. The palate has a nice mouth-filling juiciness to it at first, lots of black raspberry and cherry notes, but the fine tannins and acidity start to kick in as it sits on your palate, getting more savory and black herbs as well as a touch of fresh tartness that lingers on the finish. Far from an overblown fruit bomb, this is what the 'Sideways' era Pinot drinker was getting excited about back in the day, and what is still exciting about the region now.
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!