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Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 15, 2016

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I’m pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently.

This week included a couple of wines from some favorite producers down in Santa Barbara County, Presqu’ile and Palmina. If you’re looking for some aromatics, you’ll not want to miss the Malvasia Blanca from Palmina, and if you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, Presqu’ile’s rendition is one of the best made in the state.

On the red side, Morgan Winery delivers pretty darn good value for money with their Cote du Crows blend of Grenache and Syrah, which will please most palates I’d think, and at $14 it’s a great deal. Also a great value, the Palmina Dolcetto lives up to its name with sweet fruit that is utterly charming.

All that and more below!


2014 Morgan Winery “Highland” Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, California
Light yellow-gold in color, this wine smells of buttered popcorn and lemon curd. In the mouth, lemon curd and fuji apples and lemon zest mix with a light browned butter creaminess. Very good acidity keeps the wine fresh and bright in the mouth. 14.2% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $24. click to buy.

2015 Presqu’ile Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Maria Valley,Santa Barbara, California
Palest greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of kiwi and green apple. In the mouth, kiwi and green apple flavors have a charming aromatic sweetness at the front of the palate and a searing tart citric acid zing at the end of the palate. Delicious and fantastically refreshing. 13.3% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $22. click to buy.

2014 Palmina “Larner Vineyard” Malvasia Blanca, Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara, California
Pale gold in color, this wine smells of honeydew melon and white flowers. In the mouth, flavors of white flowers, unripe pears, and a hint of candle wax mix with a deep wet chalkboard minerality as great acidity keeps the wine fresh and snappy across the palate. The finish is white flowers and green melon rind. 12% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $27. click to buy.

2015 Presqu’ile Pinot Noir Rosé, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara, California
Palest ruby in color, this wine smells of watermelon rind, pink grapefruit, and wet stones. In the mouth, wet stones, unripe berries and watermelon rind have a snappy quality thanks to excellent acidity. Nice finish. 12.8% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $20. click to buy.

2014 Morgan Winery “Cote du Crow’s” Red Blend, Monterey, California
Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of strawberry jam. In the mouth, sweetish flavors of strawberry and boysenberry have a nice brightness to them and the faintest texture of tannins. A simple but pleasing wine, with just a hint of sweetness to the fruit. Good acidity. A blend of 53% Grenache and 47% Syrah. 14.2% alcohol. Closed with screwcap. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $14. click to buy.

2013 Palmina Dolcetto, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, California
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of bright cherry and boysenberry fruit. In the mouth, boysenberry flavors mix with faint orange zest and cedar notes against a backdrop of faint, suede-like tannins. Great acidity and easy drinking goodness. 13.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $20. click to buy.