Graham Tatomer is widely (and wisely) lauded as the winemaker who proved Santa Barbara can make outrageously tasty German and Austrian varietal wines, such as riesling and grüner veltliner. But while his time at Austria’s Weingut Knoll was transformative, he did first cut his teeth on more typical grapes from around these parts, and he hasn’t lost his magic with those, either, based on this delectable pinot noir, which is also a relatively affordable $35.
Dark-cherry fruit is the star, but it’s held firmly in place by the high acid level. This is definitely a food wine that will sing with everything from salad Niçoise to Santa Maria tri-tip. Plus, the grace notes are myriad, from cola to dusty herbs, while the finish lingers.
Oh, it comes in a slender and tall riesling-style bottle, but don’t be fooled. This is as good a Santa Barbara pinot as you can get for the price.