As we continue to press our growers to be more meticulous in their work, we have been pleased by the increase in quality in the wines. And perhaps the most dramatic change has been in our Santa Barbara County blend, which is getting more and more intriguing with each successive vintage.
The 2003 was certainly a study in what low yields from mostly hot climate vineyards can achieve. It was hugely fruity and had big, soft textured tannins. In 2004 we turn away from the warmest districts of Santa Ynez Valley, and concentrate our efforts on what we like best-cool climate syrah. This wine is comprised of 50% moderately warm vineyards and 50% from very cool climate spots. The resulting wine is just as concentrated as the 2003, but possesses more spirit-y, peppery northern Rhone characteristics. This syrah is less obvious than the 2003, but in my view a finer wine.