Current Tasting Notes
Whitcraft Winery & Tasting Room
36 A S. Calle Cesar Chavez
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Winter Hours: Sat - Sun; Noon - 4:00pm and by advance appointment
As I said the 2004 look great! Big, yes but flavor in buckets! I can hardly wait for them but luckily we have some pretty good wines to drink in the meantime, the 2003s. All these are young wines with loads of promise.
There are a few things I'd like to remind you of concerning the way and care we,(Drake and I), put into the wines. All of the reds and most of the whites are never fined, filtered or pumped and the smallest amount possible of sulfur is used. No other chemicals, other than natural yeast and, if necessary, natural acids are used. This requires a much larger effort than most other wineries are willing to do. We don't even use electricity unless absolutely required. This is to bring you the purest rendition of the fruit possible. Whitcraft wines are living things and go through different stages of life at different times. Decanting is recommended on wines older than five years.
2002 French Camp Lagrein
This is the last year of any quantity as try as I might I can't get the grapes the way I want them. It takes far too much work to make this orphan grape and that's a shame. As always this is one is big, black and incredibly fruity. Huge black cherry nose, biggest fruit bomb yet! It has a softer mouth feel than the '01 so it's very approachable at this early state. Not a weak wine but balanced with a long finish.
2003 French Camp Lagrien
This is the second to last vintage for me. Im not happy about that but it has been to hard to get the grapes the way I want them and its an orphan grape and I dont have the time or money to try to promote it almost by myself. Once again the same tune, black in color, huge nose of oak, (2+ years) with black fruit nose, plums, pumpkins and spices including cinnamon. Drake says its a savory wine
but hes a kid! I agree with him, its the most drinkable Lagrien at release yet. A mere 40 cases this year and even less next year. Im sorry but 9 vintages are enough for me
I’m sorry that this is the last year but it’s not an easy sell because most have never tasted the intense black cherry fruit this delivers. There is very little of it and it’s like all the others. Nine years of doing it but no more. Sniff, maybe I’ll find something else…hint-hint.
2004 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir N Block - SOLD OUT
This is the first time I can recall an N block being lighter that the Q! (But barely.) Its just lighter in color than the Q but with a huge fruity nose of raspberries and strawberries. It seems to have less oak than previous years and I like that. I think its because of the density of the fruit flavors rather than any change in production methods. While its softer that the Q its got enough to last a decade at least. A very nice wine. 180 cases.
2005 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir
This is the wine that should have been the Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir but it’s all Bien Nacido fruit so we’ve gone back to the old label. Wonderful berry fruit in the nose and mouth, sweet and lush on the tongue with a nice long finish, this wine is not to be missed. It is good now; we sampled people with it in the tasting room yesterday, and will be great for a long time.
2005 Aubaine Pinot Noir
Our second vintage of this beautiful vineyard is very dark and tastes like blackberry jam! (And just about as thick!) It rolls around the mouth like jello it’s so rich. It’s also good now but will get better and better with time if you can stay away from it.
2005 Morning Dew Ranch
Burt and Jan Williams vineyard is the jewel in the winery. It stands out because the fruit is so different than what we get from down here. High spices, clove and cinnamon abound with raspberries all around. Lower in alcohol than the other wines but with a fullness that only great vineyards have.
2005 ‘Q’ block
Drake says it reminds him of the 2001, movie wine, and that’s high praise and I agree with him. Light red color compared to all the other ‘05s with a great burgundian nose with sweet fruit flavors and finish.
2005 ‘N’ block
Always one of my favorites, big and spicy. Huge nose and color with all the berries and cherries you’ve come to expect from the Martini clone planted at Bien Nacido Vineyards. Wonderful finish too.
2005 Melville Vineyard
I’m so glad I get these grapes! (Seven years) Santa Rita Hills is a great place to grow pinot and this year is great! It’s like the ’04 but even more elegant as each year seems to surpass the last. Opulent and very burgundian in the nose, mouth and anywhere else you care to put it! I’m very proud of these pinots and Drake has much to do with it.
1991 Bien Nacido Pinot - 3lt.
1991 Olivet Lane RR Pinot - 3lt.
1992 Olivet Lane RR Pinot - 3lt.
1992 Bien Nacido Pinot - 3lt.
1993 Bien Nacido Pinot - 5lt.
1993 Bien Nacido Pinot, Q Block - 5lt.
1993 Bien Nacido Pinot, N Block - 5lt.
1994 Bien Nacido Pinot - 3lt.
1994 Bien Nacido Pinot, Q Block - 3lt.
1994 Bien Nacido Pinot, N Block - 3lt.
1994 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot - 3lt.
1995 Bien Nacido Pinot - 3lt.
1995 Bien Nacido Pinot, Q Block - 3lt.
1995 Bien Nacido Pinot, N Block - 3lt.
1995 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot - 3lt.
1996 Bien Nacido Pinot - 3lt.
1996 Bien Nacido Pinot, Q Block - 3lt.
1996 Bien Nacido Pinot, N Block - 3lt.
1996 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot - 3lt.