Sunday, January 27, 2008

Spotlight on Jaffur's Tasting Room in Santa Barbara

I'm thankful that Craig Jaffur's quit the aerospace industry and followed his passion for wine. Starting out as a cellar rat at the Santa Barbara Winery, Jaffur's first commercial vintage was in 1994. They've been successful ever since. Craig Jaffur's passion for Rhone varietals shows in his always enjoyable Viogner and Syrah. Jaffurs moved to their Santa Barbara Facility in 2001 located on Montecito Street just off of Milpas. We stopped there on our way to the Santa Barbara International Film Fest. Its going on till Feb 3rd and has some pretty interesting movies showing all throughout the week.
Jaffurs 2006 Viogner $24
Color: Pale straw Nose: perfumed flowers, touch of spice. Taste: well rounded and floral, pleasant mineral finish.

Jaffurs 2006 Grenache $34 -New Release
Color: dark ruby red. Nose: bing cherry, leather, plum, and pepper
Taste: Delicious ripe cherry, distinct notes of tellicherry black pepper and some nice soft tannins supporting the fruit. Lingering finish that fades out to a faint note of cherry.

2005 Cane Felice Sangiovese $25
This is a project by Jaffurs' assistant winemaker, David Yates and features Kava the winery dog on the label. Notes: Lovely garnet color with aromas of raspberries and spice. A simply delicious wine. The nose on this wine is amazingly vibrant.

Jaffurs 2006 Syrah Santa Barbara County $23-$25
Aged for 10 months in oaks this wine was silky on the palate with lots of dark fruit. A tasty Jaffurs syrah with good QPR. This wine is blended from several vineyard sources throughout SB County.

Jaffurs takes the best barrels from each vineyard and lets them aged for 18 months in oak. These barrels are the source for the vineyard designate Jaffurs Syrah's from Bien Naciedo, Thompson, and Verna's Vineyard. The best of these barrels will contribute to their 2005 Upslope Syrah $75 . This wine is built to last and would be one to lay down. Sorry, no tasting notes for this one.

Jaffurs 2005 Thompson Vineyard $30-$34
On the nose there were hints of mint and chocolate. This wine is big & a bit thick on the palate, reminiscent of glycerin. Notes of tobacco and vanilla adding to the dark juicy fruit. Very decadent heady stuff.

Jaffurs 2005 Late Harvest Syrah
This was Jaffurs first red dessert wine. During our tasting, Matt Brady told us how Jaffur's has always made a different dessert wine every year. I think he was pulling for a late harvest Grenache some time soon. The only other one I'm aware of is the Core "Candy Core". This late harvest Syrah was quite enjoyable. Lovely fruit with the right touch of sweet and tannins. I'd recommend serving this with raspberries and molten chocolate cake.

The wines I couldn't bear to leave the tasting room without were the Viogner, Grenache, and the Sangiovese. Stop by next time you are in Santa Barbara and let us know what you think.

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