Municipal WinemakersJason and I stopped by the Municipal Winemakers tasting room on Saturday 2/20 to help celebrate the grand opening.  Judging by the crowd it was a resounding success.  Seriously…people were crammed into the tasting room like sardines.   We managed to squeeze our way in the door and then after many “excuse mes” made it to the table where the Municipal Winemakers 2008 Bright White was being poured.  This is a dry Riesling which would match well with ceviche, flip-flops and a casual, sunny Santa Barbara afternoon.    After this we tasted the Municipal Winemakers 2007  Bright Red which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah – in the Cotes du Rhone style.    Next up was the Municipal Winemakers 2007  Dark Red which is a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet.  Winemaker Dave Potter used fruit from outstanding vineyards in order to make this wine.  The Cabernet Sauvignon is from Star Lane which just happens to be one of my favorite vineyards located in the newly created Happy Canyon AVA – (American Viticulture Area).   He also used Syrah from Tierra Alta and Fess Parker’s Camp Four vineyard.  Some Syrah made from Camp Four fruit have some interesting smoky undertones –  like the Consilience 2005  Syrah Camp Four Vineyard.    The Municipal Winemakers 2007 Dark Red is good wine for backyard barbeques.   Lastly, we tasted the Municipal Winemakers 2007 Fizz which is a sparkling Shiraz which is sealed with a crown cap like what you’d find on a soda bottle.  While this type of closure seems a bit unusual, it is actually fairly common in Australia where Potter learned quite a bit about making wine.

Winemaker Dave Potter

Municipal Winemaker Dave Potter

After this Jason and I managed to find Potter in this mob of people to congratulate him on the fabulous turn out.

Then we walked over to the Kunin/Westerly tasting room where we found enough space for the two of us at the bar.   I have a few favorites here.  First  the Kunin 2006 Viognier Stolpman Vineyard.  This is a classic Viognier with floral and apricot aromas.  On the palate it is soft and rich – truly a beautiful wine.  My other favorite is the Kunin 2007 Pape Star – this is a red blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah in the style of wines of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC in France.  Kunin’s Pape Star reminds me of  wines we tasted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC with Jason – back when the exchange rate wasn’t so bad.   We decided to taste a few wines, head to head from the Kunin library:  2001 Syrah Alisos Vineyard, 2003 Syrah Alisos Vineyard and 2004 Syrah Alisos Vineyard – almost a vertical flight.  The 2001 had more of a nose and oddly enough more fruit than the ’03 or the ’04.  The ’01  had flavors of black cherry, white pepper with some faint herbal notes on the finish.  The ’03 was a bit more reserved and featured less fruit and spice than the ’01.  The ’04 was the earthiest of the three wines and Jason thought it would be good with a cigar.   All in all a good day of wine tasting – and only 10 minutes from our house!

Library Vertical tasting at Kunin

Library "almost" Vertical tasting at Kunin: 2001, 2003, 2004 Syrah Alisos Vineyard