Medium ruby, with a hue far pinker and bluer than garnet. Strong clean candied nose, fruit bight but worn. Dried peach with dull green wood areas, almond butter and herbs de Provence on a steely background softened by the lollipop berry, but strengthened by the tiny mint visible and a match-head which grows stronger with air alongside a little smoky blusteriness. Still, it feels a bit flabby in the nose
I watch pretty carefully what my audience drinks in terms of Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara. Especially at the higher price-points. I’m not going to mention any names, but I see a bunch of you line up for *that one* and *that one* and shell out big bucks for them. And to those folks I am always wanting to introduce Tantara. Never heard of it? I had never either–until I moved here. There’s 2 or 3 of these tiny cult Pinot producers here in Santa Barbara, and I had never heard of ANY of them before I moved here. Now these Tantara’s aren’t cheap, but let me tell you they ARE cheaper than *those ones*, and the amount of personal attention and Burgundian flair they receive and are instilled with blows the smoky-club out of the water. We’re not even gonna TALK about oak.
In the mouth, a calm, dark-fruited entry remains grainy and slightly viscous for a second, then EXPLODES in green tangy bitter beauty, edged in burnt rubber on tar, black walnut on sour cherry, and sulfur and phosphorous meeting on striker-box. Man I didn’t see THAT coming. I had this thing nearly written off for being chubby while smelling it, and it goes straight-up floor-mat, Kool-aid and black tea in the mouth. Easily one of the most tannic Pinots in recent memory, but that subtle fruit hangs on and on, softening those initial blows until it all succumbs to a bit of heat.
One of the most respected–and cherished–Pinots in the valley, and every Pinot-person NEEDS to experience them.
2017 DOMINION TANTARA Pinot Noir La Encantada VYD Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara 14.6