Sashi Moorman, Melissa Sorongon & Peter Pastan
Bien Nacido Syrah 2017
Why this wine
If you love Syrah, tasting Bien Nacido Vineyard in the hands of Sashi Moorman is an out-of-body experience. For those not familiar with this vineyard, (but geeky enough to care), Bien Nacido is to Santa Barbara County as Hermitage is to the Northern Rhône. Translation: it’s the GOAT. Sashi pioneered this cool-climate style of Syrah in the region by employing a number of classic techniques long considered too time consuming, obsessive, and high risk. Well, the risk paid off.
WHY THIS PRODUCER: Sashi Moorman is American wine’s Benjamin Franklin — ever experimenting, iterating, and going against the grain. And his lightning rod is cool-climate Syrah, a style he pioneered in Santa Barbara County by cultivating vineyards closer to the Pacific ocean than anyone thought possible. He also shares Franklin's worldly charms, taking his cues from the Old World, and serving as American wine's unofficial European ambassador. If you’re ever in Santa Barbara, make sure to visit the Saturday farmers' market, where Piedrasassi co-owner/baker Melissa Sorongon sells the winery's signature bread, which she makes from freshly milled heritage grains in a hand-built wood-fired oven.