Wine from the Badlands
Meridith May (Distributed by American Wines)
Steep terrain in Santa Barbara County’s back country offers a mountainous sense of place to Barnwood wines. The uniquely high elevation – an average of 3200 feet of sandstone bluffs – a dramatic label change and improvement in wine style, incites a romance for our western heritage.
Much like the bucking bronco that silhouettes the new label, Barnwood wines represent the untamed nature of the vineyards from which is bears its fruit.
The Eastern Sierra Madre Mountains are drenched in high desert sunshine, but afternoon breezes cool down the vines. Temperatures can fluctuate by as much as 40 degrees, and we all know that the fruit excels in this dynamic. Combined with well-drained gravel and sandy loan soils, intense character and complex layers of flavor abound. The reds – Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo - are densely fruity and bold; the Sauvignon Blanc offers up a refreshing array of citrus, melon and fig, with graceful acidity.
Selim Zilkha, owner of Laetitia Vineyards and Barnwood, worked closely with Winemaker Eric Hickey to develop the wines’ new character profile – inside and out.
Cleverly named varietals further reflect the rustic cowboy perception. Although the vines were originally planted in 1982, Zilkha worked hard to develop the brand since he purchased the vineyards in 1998.
Ideal for the cultivation of Bordeauxc and Rhone varietals, the new Barnwood labels are memorable in their rugged western reference.
The range of Barnwood varietals include:
“The Border” Sauvignon Blanc: The remote Barnwood Vineyards lie on Santa Barbara’s eastern border, about 70 miles east of Hwy 101
3200’ Cabernet Sauvignon: At 3200 feet above sea level, mountain Cabernet offers up licorice, spice and deep black fruit. French oak slightly tames and the finish is as lengthy as a trick roper’s lasso.
“Untamed” Tempranillo: It takes sass and heart to grow Tempranillo in California. Spicy notes spur you on to lush pomegranate and strawberry notes. –