Skip to content
Cart 0 items: $0.00

DROP #2 - Be Still My Heart ❤️ 

February 14tH 2024

 

As requested, here is the latest edition of The Drop titled Be Still My Heart for the undeniable way that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are a match made in heaven, and when done right, are truly the most heartstopping grapes. 

DROP # 2 - BE STILL MY HEART

We travel down to Santa Barbara County where on the way a question begs to be asked asked: 

"Oh Côtière (koh-tee-yay), how do I love thee? Let me count the ways ... that Kevin Law, owner and winemaker makes some of our favorite wines in all of California from his homebase in Santa Barbara County.

In no real order, since love can make us say silly things, are the ways:

Kevin's wines make us shout "$#!^ these wines are delicious"
Côtière sources from many of the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County
His Cabernet Franc made our Top 10 wines of 2023 list
Excellent winemaking skills = high praise from the wine critics
Even at full price, his wines are worth every penny

Côtière, meaning coastal in French, is described as the "confluence of cool Pacific Ocean air, warm coastal foothills and late afternoon light." 

Here are two amazing wines featured for you in this week's Drop, at the confluence of everyday bliss and soulmates for your best meals. 

2020 STA. RITA HILLS CHARDONNAY

Starting wth a gorgeous Chardonnay - the one I opened for our baked steelhead trout (see below) and pasta dinner last night, and the one I'm going to finish with popcorn tonight. 

Sourced from two of the most highly regarded vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills, La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict, and made a with a dash of new oak barrel, the final result is everything there is to love about Chardonnay. The wine's aromas take me on a morning walk along the beach with coconut, vanilla, orange marmalade, meyor lemon, and hints of hazelnut and sea salt. The flavors are sublime - ripe citrus, apricot, lemon zest, and fuji apple. Full bodied but not over-the-top at just 13.5% alc.

Kevin's wines manage to achieve the impossible, they are equal parts mouthwatering and satisfying at the same time. 

2021 SANTA BARBARA CUVEÉ PINOT NOIR

Around the time Kevin's amazing Cab Franc was featured in our wine club, Chef Steven at the Mustard Seed and I began tasting wine together. He was exploring Pinot Noir for the restaurant's new wine list, and we tasted a lot of Pinot from California. Side note: There are countless $75+ bottles of Pinot Noir out there that taste like raspberry pie, jello shots, or both. No thanks!!

Right in front of our noses, the Côtière Santa Barbara Cuveé Pinot Noir stood out as an absolute gem. It's been on the Mustard Seed wine list since last Summer, a favorite pairing with their amazing duck breast, sweet potoates, and huckleberry sauce, and we are proud to feature it at Wines in Tandem.

The SB Cuvee is notable for it's high percentage of Santa Maria fruiit, which offers more dark cherry fruit and black pepper spice, and a relatuvely low (by CA standards) 14.1% alc. The sweet barrel tannins and hint of oak toast create the perfect match for any serious home cooked meal from the oven or grill, especially if you are into roasted poultry.

 

You dont need me telling you that great Pinot and Chardonnay are getting harder to find under $30, especially from someone making sensational wines for the past 18 vintages. But it is worth repeating and I suggest you take advantage of opportunities when you can. 



Drop Test - Wines of Georgia
January 30th 2024

Watch the tasting video to see my rough pronunciations and off the cuff food pairings (soup anyone?) for these delicious wines. 

The very first Drop showcases something that was not scheduled for this program, but the wines were so good we couldn't pass on the chance to share these wine with you. Instead of a Drop #1, we're starting with a Drop Test. 

Last weekend at Wines in Tandem dozens of wine lovers showed up for a one-of-a-kind tasting of six wines from the country of Georgia - the birthplace of wine with a vinous history going back over 8000 years!

Everyone in attendance was shocked at the quality and delicious flavor of the wines, and how much there was to learn about a region unknown to most Americans, but historically significant to wine. A special thank to local Georgian wine expert and guest pourer Carrie Boyle for the tasting and the education! 

Today you can get a similar experience in The Drop with the option to purchase the most beloved of the wines from the tasting.

To secure an order, please reply with your selections asap. We'll cut off order by 12pm Pacific on Thursday, Feb 1st.

Let's Dive In

Take a deep breath, because some of the terms (okay, many) here are unfamiliar. We can assure you that the wines are awesome and worth sharing with any hearty dinner with your adventurous wine guests.

Want more wine info? Click the tasting video link below the wine descriptors  [▶️]   

Royal Khvanchkara Tsolikouri ($26)

A land of many wine styles, the white wines of Georgia are quite stunning. Tsolikouri is the grape and is grown in the Imereti region of West Geogia (close to the Black Sea) at a winery with roots dating back 150 years. This is smooth and silky, with friendly aromas of jasmin flower and citrus blossom. The palate is both refreshing with bright acidity and mouthfilling with a creamy texture.

You could say it tastes like a sour patch kid without the sugary crystals, and for a wine comparison it reminds me of Aligoté, Albariño, or even a Grenache Blanc. All of which are immensely drinkable. 

Vazisubani Estate Rkatsiteli 'Dry Amber' aged in Qvevri  ($26)

This was the wine of the event, the Amber wine aged in the clay pots called qvevri or 'qwevri', that push the limits beyond orange wine and into amber territory. A truly expressive drink that showcases the local white wine grape of Rkatsiteli that spend 6 months buried under ground on the skins, taking on the phenolics and tannins of the grape.

Describing it is quite difficult because it was surprisingly fresh and approachable, not what I was expecting for a wine made in this fashion. It smells like a vineyard - ripe grapes, leaves, trampled grass, and fresh air. The palate has an exciting balance - tannins that tickle and a long, dry finish. Extremely versatile at the table - enjoy with just about any foods!

I like to compare wines across price points, and I can't think of another $26 wine this good or interesting.

Vazisubani Estate Saperavi Red Aged in Qvevri ($29)

Saperavi is the primary red grape in Georgia, and for good reason. The wines are dark and intense, but not over the top. As a teinturier grape, the flesh of Saperavi is darkly pigmented, not just the skin itself. This is quite rare. For reference, Alicante Bouchet is another common (well, not that common) teinturier grape useful for blending because of the intense color it provides. 

A teinturier aged on skins for 6 months in a clay pot buried underground? Yes, that sounds interesting. Flavors abound with plum, mulberry and tobacco. Again with a price comparison, a wine this good under $30 is a total steal. 

Vazisubani Estate Mukuzani Saperavi Red Aged in Oak ($29)

This was a great combination. The Mukuzani is also Saperavi, but with different aging. The Mukuzani is aged in oak barrels in the 'European' style as they call it. This wine showcases more sweet oak and toast, cherry fruit, coffee bean, and long velvety tannins. 

I can't say one is better than the other because they were equally popular, but this was moree appealing to the California red lovers, and the Qvevri aged one for European wine lovers. 

This is a one-time oppportunity to order these wines. I hope you take advantage. 

To order

Reply back to Drop email or reach us at cheers@winesintandem.com with the number of bottles you'd like. If you have a credit card on file, we'll charge the card and set them aside for pickup or arrange shipping. If not, we'll give you a buzz to complete the order over the phone. 

Thanks and cheers! 

Ryan Crosbie
Owner & Wine Buyer