Friday, April 13, 2012

Bridlewood Estate Winery: Santa Barbara County Winery Visit

All good things come to an end. And so it was with our trip visiting wineries in Santa Barbara County. But we would go out with a bang, visiting Bridlewood Estate Winery, a picturesque winery with rockin’ vino.
Two things put Bridlewood on our list. First is the wine. A couple years ago I bought a bottle of very intriguing Viognier. The complex layers of flavor stuck with me and gave me the idea Bridlewood is making some very interesting wines. Second is the beautiful Mission-style winery building. The building and grounds certainly have the “wow factor.”
After two days and a dozen wineries, we wanted to finish with a winery that had some panache. Everything about Bridlewood is first class. The tasting room oozes quality and style and beautifully landscaped grounds beckon just beyond the doors.
We opened our tasting with a 2010 stainless steel finished Chardonnay that whet our whistle, but didn’t amaze. It was on to the 2009 Santa Barbara County Viognier Reserve. This was fresh, fresh, fresh with striking minerality and honeysuckle threads.
The 2009 SBC Pinot Noir was had leather and dark berry flavors and the 2009 Estate Zinfandel had a touch of spice and sweetness. Here my tasting notes get a bit jumbled – it either would go well with octopus or has a nickname Octopus… Hmmm…
Bridlewood has an awesome lineup of Syrah, some not available outside of the winery or their wine club. We kicked off a trio by sampling the 2007 Syrah Reserve. Their Syrah Reserve is designed to show off the best grapes of a vintage. This wine has soft tannins laced with jammy blackberry and plum. There are oak accents that end in a round satisfying finish.
We were a bit worn out by this point of the day and were about to pack it in, but thanks to “wine angels” Kim and Daffnee, the best tastings were yet to happen.
The 2007 Syrah Dusty Trails is a bold wine aged in toasted oak barrels. There is an awesome smoky quality that rolls across the velvety wine. Roasted meat and dark fruit highlight this vino that winds up with a soft, tart finish. Three cheers!
A fine wine indeed is the 2007 Syrah Six Gun. It offers rounded, subtle flavor notes of toast, dark chocolate and even bacon. This is a wine to unwind with and spend the evening decoding. It retails for $32, but was being offered to their wine club for only $16. This is a case-worthy wine.
Bridlewood is an iconic wine destination. In fact, it served as the starting location for this season’s Amazing Race television program. It was interesting to see contestants dashing through the vineyards. Luckily they didn’t’ cause any damage to the grapes!
The Bridlewood wine is outstanding too. This is a Santa Barbara County winery that has it all.
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