Ruben “The Grape Whisperer” Solorzano may need a new cellar-oriented nickname if he keeps turning out such excellent bottlings. This offers lots of white and black pepper on the nose alongside thyme, rosemary, black plum, licorice, black olive, roast beef and Mediterannean spice. The palate packs thyme, peppercorn, dried sage, black and green olive, espresso and green coffee beans atop underripe blackberry and strong elderberry flavors.
A fifth generation Californian originally from San Jose, Matt Kettmann covers California’s Central Coast and South Coast for the magazine. He is also the senior editor of The Santa Barbara Independent, where he’s worked since 1999, has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, Wine Spectator, and Smithsonian, and co-founded New Noise Santa Barbara, a music festival.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.