Bargins from American Vines that are a pleasure to drink -
Palmina Santa Barbara County Pinot Grigio 2011, $17
Palmina is devoted to making wines from Italian grapes grown in Santa Barbara County. This pinot grigio is fuller-bodied than what might come from northeast Italy, but it’s lively, vivacious, balanced and properly refreshing.
Qupé Santa Barbara County Marsanne 2011, $20
Bob Lindquist is one of the unsung heroes of California wine, and his Qupé label is consistently overlooked, possibly because he makes wines of little-known Rhône grapes like marsanne. This is actually a blend of two Rhône grapes, 79 percent marsanne and 21 percent roussanne. Pleasantly weighty and harmonious with persistent floral, nutlike flavors.
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2010, $20
While much of California has veered from making bombastic chardonnays to lean “no oak” versions, Jim Clendenen has stayed the course, making wines that are direct, restrained and balanced. The 2010 chardonnay is lively and inviting, smoky and spicy.
Labels: Au Bon Climat, Chardonnay, Marsanne, Palmina, Pinot Grigio, Qupe, Santa Barbara, Wine