Alisos Canyon AVA
Santa Barbara County
The "Vaquero" Issue
Alc. 12.5% by vol.
Overall the vineyard had some early rain, but did not make up for the lack of rain years prior. Causing some slightly smaller yields. Giving us a little more concentration, but a little less fruit. Climate was pretty usual, other than the tropical storm down in Mexico. It reached up to SB County causing a heat wave for over a week. Typically heat lasts two-three days, this was a little stressful on the wines. But luckily these grapes are a mild late ripening and we are able to avoid much for problems from the storm. Harvested at night on October 3rd.
Nolan Vineyard is located in the heart of Santa Barbara County, just North of Los Alamos, in the newly designated Alisos Canyon AVA. There are 120 acres planted on rolling hillsides. This block is on the North East portion facing South over looking the majority of the vineyard.
The grapes were hand harvested at night and brought to the winery in the early morning of October 3rd. We de-stem the fruit into steel open top fermenters, but leave about 10% on stems to add some depth. Cold soak for 4 days, with gentle punchdowns twice a day for three weeks until Wine is basically dry. Rack the free run juice and press out the remaining juice from the skins. Juice will then age in neutral oak for 7 months. Racked to tank prior to bottling, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Small doses of SO2 were used during Barrel aging and just prior to bottling.
Up front on the nose you get hints of strawberry and woodiness. The taste hits with fresh raspberry followed by muddled blueberries, earthiness, and fresh anise. All brought together by silky tannin that coats the sides of your tongue.
We were inspired by bottles from Spain to make this wine, looks dark drinks fresh and never disappoints.
About the Label:
With the Spanish heritage linked to both the wine and Santa Barbara County, kind of made sense to go put them together and go Vaquero or Cowboy themed. We wanted this label to have the feel of a cattle branding, so this is our first and only no color label. Most of the fonts give you the feel of old Western "WANTED" posters. All finished with a classic lasso around the Mencia.