As you may or may not know. I hate Tasting Notes.
I mean, we are all adults, why should i tell you what you taste. Plus you are probably smarter than me. So when Jon McDaniel sat down and smashed out this piece of awesomeness. I rethought my position on such matters.
Now I only hate them if Jon McDaniel docent write them.
Heck, while your at it. Take a Good Look @ http://www.santaynezwineclub.com/
They are the only ones doing anything interesting these days.
Saarloos & Sons Current Releases
To tell the story of these wines in a vacuum, by just reading one descriptor and moving on does not do the wines or your palate justice. To fully appreciate each of the wines in this lineup, you really need to taste them side-by-side. The following wines are more of a family than the Walton’s. They roll onto each other with so many fascinating similarities that you would think may have all started from the exact same grape. In fact, these wines come from the same vines. Vines that must talk to each other at night because the connection and flavors that goes from white to red are seamless.
Saarloos & Sons 2008 Syrah, ‘The Father’, Santa Ynez Valley - $188
So you are drinking this 100% Syrah from Keith Saarloos and family. You are the type of guy that likes steak with your steak. You complain that there is too much bun on a Double-Double animal style. You see a bottle of this wine at the bar and would push your own sister to the ground to get at this meaty, juicy nectar of the gods of F-U wine critics. You are that type of unapologetic, trucker hat-wearing, former fraternity pledge chair that just doesn’t give a darn.
If there was a winery that mirrored this cavalier, “we will do what we want when we want to” kind of attitude, nothing would match up more than the folks at Saarloos & Sons. Father Larry Saarloos is the vineyard wizard who manages their 17-acre vineyard in the northern part of Los Olivos. Son Keith is perhaps the face of the winery that is a museum to the history of the family and to bucking the trends and the critics. Everything about these wines are huge, flavorful and full of life (among other things).
The Father Syrah is the type of wine that drinking one glass may knock your socks off. The price tag is steep, but like anything in this world, you get what you pay for. If you were to ask Keith, he would probably say it was the best value wine in the world! Massive flavors of plum, blackberry and smoke come from the glass. The best way to describe this Syrah can only be told through this image. Imagine that you go to visit Keith at the winery. He has a big plate of blackberries, blueberries and plums on a platter. He put slabs of hickory-smoked bacon on top and then put a bunch of broken No. 2 pencils on top just for good measure. Now imagine that while investigating this curious pile you open your mouth and Keith slams your face right into the platter. That is with what intensity this wine comes. And guess what? You absolutely love the feeling. This wine is like riding a roller coaster built in 1912 in a car with no seat belts.
It’s expensive. It’s in your face, it’s one of those wines that after a couple glasses you will drink it straight from the bottle and then want to lick the insides. It, like you, is the middle finger to your boss that only drinks fine Champagne. By the way, the cupcakes at the tasting room are to die for!
Brielle Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is one of those grapes that can be described by grassy, herbal and for the purists – cat pee.
What’s different about this Sauvignon Blanc – how about everything! The only thing that this cat pees is excellence. From the first sniff in the glass you will realize that this is going to be a different white wine experience. Leave the grass to John Deere – this is Sauvignon Blanc.
On the nose, a haunting Seven Up dream-sicle flows into something that can only be hints of one of those Cucumber Avocado facemasks – which you just want to lick over and over again.
Tasting it will have you checking the label once again as a rounded, creamy and soft taste resemble niblets of White Chocolate Almond Joy drizzled over a cantaloupe sno-cone. This wine, like a 7 year-old at Disneyland, is skipping all over the place and does not stop.
Mother Grenache Blanc
For those that say that Chardonnay is the most complex, elegant white wine….enter Grenache Blanc. If there was a wine version of one of those crazy Russian Babushka dolls, this is the one. Each time that you go back to taste or smell this wine, a new surprise and level is in store.
From the start, you would almost think you have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Herbal, bright and crispy, you may need a napkin for all of the drool at the sides of your mouth. 10 minutes later with a little warmth, a whole new wine emerges. The secondary layer of a Krispy Kreme Donut factory leads to a fat kid experience like no other. Another 10 minutes and you would have thought the bees set up camp in your glass. Waxy, honeyed and a passion fruit smoothie find its way to all parts of your mouth.
With a color of Michael Phelps’ eighth Olympic Medal, this Grenache Blanc will not let you confuse it for Chardonnay any day.
Son Cabernet Sauvignon
When you taste this Cabernet, you will probably realize that you have been forcing yourself to drink more than one glass of big, over-ripe Cabs from fanciful frosted bottles for far too long. That stops now.
Dusty, earthy and sawdusty flow out of the glass on this Cab like you planted your face on the floor at the local saloon. The Son Cabernet has a lot of those big flavors that $300 Cabernets have – kirsch, vanilla, and cigar box. What is different is that it doesn’t actually taste like you are struggling to digest a big box of Swisher Sweets.
What you will find is a lot of big tannins that will leave you puckering for more. The massive flavors of eucalyptus give this wine a unique pairing duo as you could share this with a Koala, or drink it while eating one (don’t knock it til you try it). In a massive field of big, showy, middle-aged crises wines that are trying to be Stephen Tyler….this Cabernet is satisfied with being the most delicious Joe Perry in the room.
1947 – (60/40 Cab Syrah)
Cabernet and Syrah together may sound like a marriage that will land you on Jerry Springer, but the give and take, yin and yang of this wine are the perfect harmony.
The coolest thing about this Cab/Syrah blend is that it is a combination of a rustic red and a Ruby Port all in one. The nose is complex, sweet and mystical. In short, the smells are the closest thing you could imagine to sticking your head in your pillowcase after a long night of trick or treating.
When you taste it….wow. This continuation of the ruby port theme meets a great red enchilada sauce. Jammy flavors of berries left out in the sun from the Syrah, with that great sweet heat from the Cab. It’s a wine that will pair with everything from a Double Cheeseburger to a Ho-Ho and everything in between.
The tastes, the smells are 100% Stewie – not cooked fruit – but the taste of dreams of world domination.
Extended Pinot Noir
Another Pinot from Santa Barbara – shocking. What makes this Pinot unique is that for every winemaker that tries to make Pinot Noir taste like great Burgundy, this wine manages to pull it off. It tastes exactly like Burgundy….the town. Aromas of French countryside meets every part of your nose that is Brie cheese, a small little bakery and the guy that bakes the bread, all in one. Complex? You have no idea.
This is a wine that you would smell over and over and pull out different flavors every time. At first, bright red fruits that are freshly picked from the side of the road, moving to roasted Chantrelle mushroom that you would sacrifice days of poison oak to get, and finally, a taste of a summer monsoon – fresh, dirty and vibrantly haunting.
When you finally taste this wine, you fling open the doors to that French bakery and drink pastries filled with 19 different types of jelly. The most interesting taste that you may find is Prickly Pear Candy, with a ripe and tangy flavor that goes on in the mouth forever.
Brady Pinot Noir
With a color that is school girl skirt meets Scottish bagpiper, the flavors of this Pinot do not disappoint with a mix of innocence and naughtiness that are hard to get in one glass.
Lots of bright, bright cherry flavors that remind you of the anticipation you have in getting through that Hot Fudge Sundae just to get to the cherry. And when you get the cherry? The flavors in this Pinot are so elegant, long and sensual that you will be spitting out tied cherry stems all night.
This is not the most complex, spicy, smoky, Pinot on the block, but then again, this doesn’t contain a secret splash of Syrah. Real. Vibrant. Pinot Noir as the grape was intended to be. Fruit-driven with a long delicate finish that will make you think you are consuming straight Chinese silk.
Pair this with any food that you want to make taste better, it’s that talented of a wine.