Unusually chilly temperatures and below average rainfall ushered in the 2007 vintage, but warm temperatures in spring and early summer provided ideal growing conditions. Modest crop levels, perfect weather and a brief heat spell in August promised an early harvest, but I decided to wait and let flavors catch up with the acidity I tasted in the grapes. That decision was rewarded as temperatures moderated, and this harvest yielded a wonderfully concentrated crop.
The TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is a best-of-both-worlds wine. It takes two distinct expressions of Santa Barbara County and blends them into a balanced wine with depth and complexity. The first component of the blend comes from our North Canyon Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley at the northern edge of Santa Barbara. This vineyard yields a soft and silky Pinot with delicate floral notes and red fruit character. The lots from North Canyon Vineyard are complemented by grapes from our Fiddlestix Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, located at the southern end of Santa Barbara County. Fiddlestix Pinot Noir is big and lush; it lends structure and core of dark berry fruit to the blend.
The 2007 TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is a classic. The nose is rich and complex with aromas of wild strawberry, black tea, dusty cherry and cinnamon. The palate follows through with notes of red cherry, vanilla and clove. Each lot is aged separately in French oak barrels (40% new) for 9 months.
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-- Natasha Boffman, Winemaker