Curtis Winery2005 Heritage Blanc
(Santa Barbara County)
Owned by the Firestone family (of Firestone Tire & Rubber renown), Curtis Winery is a stone’s throw down the hill from the larger Firestone Vineyard and Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Curtis, however, has a different and narrower focus than its parent: winemaker “Calypso Chuck” Carlson fashions wine only from Rhone grapes.
Carlson’s blending skills are on display in this wonderfully refreshing Rhone style white wine, a blend of 68% Viognier and 32% Roussanne. An enticing floral nose is incredibly aromatic with white florals, gardenia, nectarine and caramel. The honeyed, rich flavors echo the nose but also include honeycomb (think Bit O Honey bars!) and freshly roasted nuts. The sweet, ripe fruit just sings in the mouth. This combo of Viognier and Roussanne creates a different flavor profile than nearly any white wine in the marketplace. And while there are plenty of $25 Viogniers out there, as well as $35 Roussannes, this white blend has plenty of flavor interest to go around to make it a screaming best buy.
Reviewed September 19, 2006 by Dennis Schaefer.
Dennis Schaefer has been tasting and writing about wine for over 30 years, propelled by a continuing curiosity and burgeoning enthusiasm for discovering what’s in the bottle. Blessed with catholic tastes, he enjoys everything from the obvious to the sublime. A major requirement is that the vineyard, winery and winemaker consistently perform well and fulfill their potential. Balance, concentration and complexity are key to the tasting experience but, in the end, the purpose of wine is simply to give pleasure.