Mission Codename Summer this, summer that
Can you tell, dear Operatives, how hard we try to deny that summer is over? First, with the Summers Cab deal a couple of days ago, and now we’re in Summerland!
While wine celebrities like Manfred Krankl of Sine Qua Non and John Alban of Alban Vineyards embellish the magazine covers, behind the scenes other heroes continue to define the Central and Southern coastal wine scene in California. Nebil “Bilo” Zarif is a poster child for that, and it would not be an exaggeration to call him the unofficial “wine mayor of Santa Barbara”, where his pride and joy Summerland remains a hugely popular winery since 2002, cherished by locals and elite wine lovers, particularly in the glamorous realms of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, etc.
Medium deep, bright and borderline florescent ruby-purple with gradual fading to the rim. Smoky blackberry, plum, earth, herbs de Provence, potpourri, game, meat, and cardamom all adorn the appetizing nose. Cabernet-like firm tannins with bright acidity define the mid-palate, with a full-bodied richness in a layered, savory, rich style showing throughout the back end. Fabulously complex flavors evolve into a long, sweet, spicy finish, with purity, and balance. Pair this with slow-roasted hearty beef cuts, or an equally savory, spicy pot roasts or chilis.
Mr. Zarif is famous for discovering vineyards before they themselves get famous. Not only did he put Laetitia Vineyard on the map back in the day, but he was also a pioneer in unveiling some of Santa Barbara’s great hidden high elevation vineyards. The Demeter-certified Biodynamic Pine Hawk Vineyard this Syrah comes from, for example, is a coveted source for many top wineries. One way to look at this 50% off deal is as an admission to the league of $100 bottles from Paso with a sub-$20 ticket. If you’re a fan of cult wines from this neighborhood by the likes of SQN, Alban, Saxum, Booker, L’Aventure, do yourself a favor and pile up on this.
Here’s what the wine press has to say on Summerland:
Robert Parker – Wine Advocate - “Elegant wines that display impeccable winemaking and a successful attempt to produce wines of good balance and charming personalities.”
What the Winery Says
2016 Paso Robles Syrah
- Etienne Terlinden
- Paso Robles
- Pine Hawk Vineyard
- Total Acidity
- 6.7 g/L
- 18 months
- 33% new French oak