Santa Barbara News Press, Dennis Shaefer

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“The Transcendence wines are made in small lots and limited quantities. The vineyards are carefully selected for the type and quality of grapes that mesh with the label’s winemaking style and outlook. Wine doesn’t get any more handcrafted than this. Every wine was absolutely delicious, as well as appropriate with food, and, above all, extremely well balanced.”

2011 Zotovich Vineyard Chardonnay

“A crisp and lip smacking interpretation of the varietal that shows hypnotic aromatics and notes of pure fruit flavors. Slowly cold-fermented to preserve all fruit character, it is a great expression of what chardonnay should be all about. Aged entirely in stainless steel tanks and without malolactic fermentation, the wine’s fresh aromatics and crisp structure easily show through. Light in color, the wine has a zippy nose of pear, lemon zest, muted pineapple and sea shell/sea salt-like minerality. The first sip shows great pinpoint flavor focus: lemon peel and lemon meringue followed by lemon verbena and a sense of crushed sea shells. Impeccably constructed, the wine opens up over the course of a meal (and even over days left on the counter) as all that citrusy confluence forms into the perfect tangy lemon drop on the palate. That resulting hard core of fruit combines with a totally appropriate acidity that makes for a complete satisfying finish.”

2011 Harrison Clarke Vineyard Grenache

“The aromatics immediately pop from the first pour in the glass, with raspberry and pomegranate plus a touch of strawberry and hints of brown spices, candied violets and Play-Doh. For a Grenache, it seems light on its feet (thankfully) and its flavors are nimble in the mouth. Sweet, upfront fruit explodes on the palate like Pop Rocks. The direct flavors include strawberry, raspberry, cranberry and amazingly enough, a sense of creamy milk chocolate. Light, bright and upbeat, the flavors are indeed seriously endowed but still accessible, even as the wine displayed a sense of substantial concentration lurking just under the surface. More like Chateau Rayas than Spanish versions of Grenache, this is a succulent beauty of the first order and one that will age well too.”

2010 La Paloma Syrah Larner Vineyard

“The nose certainly jumps out of the glass with blackberry, blueberry, cassis, graphite, leather and tobacco all in the mix. It’s seemingly complicated and mysterious how that all works together but the net effect is like smelling a sensual savory fruit perfume. The flavors are compelling, serving up blackberry compote with lavender and wild summer herbs in the background plus a deft seasoning of vanilla. It’s a great concentration of flavors, all aligned and working together; loganberry and olallieberry also show up to the party, making this wine an equal opportunity black-and-blue fruit employer. This is not an overtly heavy or overweight syrah, as some are, but rather it inhabits just the right pleasure space in your mouth.” -

Dennis Schaefer, March 2013

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