Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: A 60/40 split of Syrah and Grenache that comes from the Bien Nacido and Larner vineyards, the 2021 Letters to Europe offers up a rocking bouquet of blackberries, ground pepper, spring flowers, and leather that needs air to show at its best. This spicy, complex, medium to full-bodied effort has terrific intensity, a stacked mid-palate, and ripe tannins that carry through the finish. It’s a head-turning beauty, that’s for sure.”.
Paul Lato Notes: “A tribute to the Old World wines that inspired me, “Letters to Europe” is a blend of Grenache and Syrah from two great vineyards in Santa Barbara County: Bien Nacido Vineyard from Santa Maria Valley, and Larner Vineyard of Ballard Canyon. Both vineyards bring nuances of their appellations through Syrah and Grenache. Larner Vineyard shows through in the fragrant and aromatic nose with a touch of spice, while Bien Nacido brings additional structure, weight, and power. These noteworthy sites work seamlessly together to produce a rich, intensely flavored wine that retains elegance. Fermented in one-ton lots, this wine was blended just after harvest, where it spent the first 6 months aging in a concrete egg. It spent the remainder of its time in 40% new French oak.