Friday, February 22, 2008

Pink Fiddle Party Report Part 1: A Whiter Shade of Pink

Fiddlehead Wines had their annual Pinkie party for their upstart Pinot Noir Rose that has become a cult favorite in Santa Barbara County. Lucky for us, that's not all they were pouring. As you can see on the right some people really went for it with a complete outfit made of pink post its. We also spotted a few winemakers there besides Kathy. Don Schroeder, the new winemaker for Seasmoke, made an appearance. He also has his own label; Ampelos. Karen Steinwachs, Kathy's former assistant winemaker was helping out by pouring for a bit even though she is now the winemaker at Buttonwood. Kris Curran and Bruno D’Alfonso also stopped by Fiddlehead to take part in the festivities. In summary : Great wine, great food, fun people, and a live band= Great Party

Now for the White Report. Kathy Joseph has dedicated herself to making wines from her two favorite varietals. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Sauvignon Blanc from California is often derided in comparision with other wine regions. I think Kathy's Sauvignon Blancs could make people reconsider this notion. I once had one of the most fantastic experiences with her Fiddlehead Honeysuckle Sauvignon Blanc with a Halibut from Tupelo Junction. The wine started out crisp and fresh with lots of citrus notes and as it warmed in the glass it continued to evolve and began to reveal lovely notes of honey and even more intense aromatics. It was a perfect match for my halibut. It was just one of those perfect moments in wine and food pairing. Needless to say, I have had a soft spot for Fiddlehead Sauvignon Blanc ever since.

My favorite whites of the day

Fiddlehead Goosebury Sauvignon Blanc 2007 **
Pale golden with a lovely litlting blend of citrus fruit and floral notes. Fantastic bracing acidity makes this a perfect match for seafood. This wine whole cluster pressed and cold fermented in stainless steel to preserve the varietal characteristics.

Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc 2005 ($24) **
This is the most versatile and crowd pleasing of all the Sauvignon Blancs poured. This wine is a blend of 1/3 fermented in stainless steel for aromatics and zinginess, 1/3 in new French oak barrels for texture and spiciness and the remaining third from neutral French oak barrels for fruit tones and elegance. I consistently enjoy this Sauvignon Blanc and it's probably the most easily found in stores and restaurants in the area.

Fiddlehead Hunnysuckle Sauvignon Blanc 2003 ($34)***My favorite Sauv blanc
The nose was lovely, lots of floral notes and honeysuckle. Smelling honeysuckle in wine reminds me of my childhood. How all the smells cling to the air in the summer with the help of the humidity and my mom showing me how to pull the stem out of the honeysuckle flower to get a drop of "honey". I still love the smell of honeysuckles today. The wine also had a fantastic silky mouthfeel and distinct notes of juicy grapefruit and nutmeg. This wine is a winner. Fermented and aged , in 100% new oak tight-grain, Damy French oak barrels and finished non-malolactic. A bit pricey for Sauvignon Blanc but worth it. The 2001 vintage of this wine was featured in Sideways during the dinner scene at Los Olivos Cafe.

Stop by Fiddlehead's Tasting Room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto to taste these wines and see what you think. 1597 E. Chestnut Avenue, Lompoc CA. Click here for directions. Thursday - Sunday, 11am - 4pm


Anonymous said...

I was wondering who was going to take over at Sea Smoke! (But isn't Ampelos really Peter Work's label? Don is related to Peter, and

SB Wine Advocate said...

Don't know the specifics on who exactly is the winemaker for Ampelos but I know Don is associated with the label. Its great that his work with Kris as the assistant winemaker at Seasmoke got him the promotion.

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