Tuesday - Saturday
12 PM - 8 PM
is the September, 2006 Featured Wine for the Wines
by Jennifer Cellar Club:
Barbara County, California
Zaca Mesa vineyard was originally planted in 1973
with numerous varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon,
Pinot Noir, Grenache, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
Mesa was one of the first wineries established
in Santa Barbara County since the days of Prohibition.
As the vineyard
grew and viable production began, a winery was built
on the estate in 1978 and later expanded in 1981.
in the northernmost portion of the Santa Ynez
Valley AVA within Santa Barbara County, the estate
only 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Unlike most
parts of the California coast, these valleys orient
east-west, thus opening directly to the cooling
marine influences that include morning fog and
afternoon breezes, making their vineyard a unique
site for growing grapes.
owners determined that the Rhône
Valley varietals of Syrah,
Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, and Roussanne
grow the best on their site. They then made the logical
decision to focus exclusively on these
special blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre,
and Grenache represents the best of
the Zaca Mesa vineyards, while capturing
the individual characteristic of each
grape variety. The grapes were hand
fermented and barrel
aged separately for seven months, then
combined and aged for an additional
12 months in French
grape variety adds its own personality: Syrah adds
flavors of blackberry and ripe tannins; Mourvèdre
brings notes of blueberry and full mouth-feel;
and Grenache adds lush raspberry liqueur
flavors. These rich layers of flavor create a wine
than the sum of its parts and enable it to
be enjoyed now or cellar for five to seven years.
2002, the Wine Institute and the California Association
of Winegrape Growers developed and published a
Code of Sustainable Winegrowing. The overarching
sustainability principles are “winegrowing and
winemaking practices that are sensitive to the
environment, responsive to the needs and interests
of society-at-large, and economically feasible
to implement and maintain.” It is a voluntary code,
but Zaca Mesa has embraced the code in their winegrowing
to ensure the health and sustainability of their
vineyard, employees, neighbors and environment.
What They're Saying:
outstanding 2003 Z Three (52% Syrah, 46% Mourvedre,
and 2% Grenache) is a seductive, full-bodied,
fleshy red boasting a deep ruby/purple color as well
as aromas of blackberries, cherries, tar, earth,
and underbrush. It is a layered, nuanced, rich, seamless
effort to drink now and over the next 5-7 years." 90
Points. Robert Parker, August 2006.
and keenly focused elements of ripe raspberries
are met in the nose here with touches of black
pepper, game and a hint of stony soils, and each
in the wine's lively and well-concentrated flavors.
If quite full on the palate, the wine is not at
all heavy or given to overripeness, and it is at
both silky and supple in feel. It will keep by
virtue of its structure and depth rather than by
tannins, and, as wholly enjoyable as it is now,
it should grow for several years yet." 2-puffs,
92 Points. Connoisseurs' Guide to California
Wine, July 2006.
"A complex array of aromas introduce this syrah-mourvedre-grenache
blend: warm scents of chaparral; smoky mineral notes,
like gun-powder; and red cherry, blueberry and black
currant notes, which all meld in layers of flavor.
Oak enriches the wine, refining the tannins and focusing
the flavor on quail stuffed with morels." 93
points. Wine & Spirits Magazine,
by Jennifer recently had the pleasure of hosting
Celeste Bernard, Sales and Marketing Manager for
Zaca Mesa Winery. Here's what she had to say:
was a pleasure to meet you last week and
thank you for supporting Zaca Mesa Wines.
You have a beautiful and most unique shop. We
are thrilled to be in it.
let us know if
you make it out to Santa Barbara. We would
love to show you around and lunch amongst the vines.
for the kind words, Celeste. Sounds like a trip
to Santa Barbara may be in order!