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Top 10 Wines of the Week


Sharing first place are 8 wines from Santa Barbara’s Sanguis Winery (owner/winemaker Matthias Pippig). The 9 runnerups consists of a Central Coast Chardonnay, 3 coastal Pinots, 2 Syrahs (one cool climate, one warm climate), a fancy Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma, a Santa Ynez Sauvignon Blanc and a Riesling from cool Marin County. This week’s top 10 is a mixed but very good bag. You’ll see my complete reviews and scores in upcoming issues of Wine Enthusiast.

8 wines from Sanguis, in Santa Barbara County: 2006 As the Crow Flies, 2008 Fractured Flowers, 2007 The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea, 2007 The Oracle of Delphi, 2008 Ampelos Vineyard Syrah, 2008 The Narrow & Straight, 2005 Kubernetes and 2004 The Last Dance. All are massive, extraordinarily decadent, but balanced. Good luck finding them.

Mount Eden 2007 Estate Bottled Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains. Big, vital, exotic and minerally. 1,313 cases, 13.8%, $55

Laetitia 2008 Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir, Arroyo Grande Valley. Always a favorite. Powerful, classy and rich. 1,200 cases, 14.5%, $40

Arrowood 2006 Réserve Spéciale Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley. Shows typical elegance and complexity. Satiny and rich. 1,770 cases, 14.9%, $110

Pey-Marin 2009 The Shell Mound Riesling, Marin County. One of the best California Rieslings I’ve ever had. Racy, bone dry and steely. 340 cases, 12.5%, $26

Sobriquet 2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley. Dazzlingly good, rich, big. Volumes of fruit. 350 cases, 14.5%, $48

Samsara 2008 Melville Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills. Complex and velvety. Textbook Santa Rita. From Chad Melville. 96 cases, 14.1%, $46

Adelaida 2007 The Glenrose Vineyard Reserve Syrah, Paso Robles. Soft and yielding, but delicious. Oodles of fruit and meat. 134 cases, 15.5%, $55

Qupe 2008 Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Syrah, Edna Valley. Bone dry, fruity and crisp. Textbook Edna red. 271 cases, 13.8%, $35

Grassini 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley. Expensive, but worth it. Defines the white Graves style. 120 cases, 14.5%, $45

  1. Very pleased to see Mattias Pippig’s Sanguis getting some praise. He is an impressive winemaker with an impressive sense of style. It can be pointed out that he is also the winemaker for Grassini.

  2. Wayne, yes I know, and I’ve enjoyed the few Grassini wines I’ve tasted.

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