VINTAGE 2008 Harvest Notes/Tasting Notes

Most of us will remember 2008 as the year when the world economy experienced a paradigm shift. Here in California, many grape growers suffered a severe frost on the nights of April 19th and 20th. Several of Tantara’s vineyards saw significant losses due to this frigid blast. But even as nature seems to take away, so does she also give back, and the gift of 2008 was strikingly lovely fruit. 2008 is a highly aromatic vintage that is quite approachable. The growing season, starting from flowering in May, was very even. Our normally temperate summer proved to be just that, with no appreciable heat spikes. September opened up with perfect ripening conditions – warm days in the high 70’s to mid 80’s, with nights dipping into the high 40’s. The Pinot Noir harvest occurred over six weeks with our last block being picked on October 4 – similar to 2007, where our last day for Pinot Noir was October 6. That, however, is where the similarity ends between these vintages. In 2007, the Pinot Noir had very high levels of tannin, and although balanced by the fruit, the wines took longer than anticipated to show themselves. This does bode well for the future of 2007. Without the obvious structure of the 2007, the 2008 Pinot vintage produced wines with vivacity; showy and fragrant with healthy color, lush texture and rich flavor.

The Chardonnay was cooperative as well in 2008. Even with a slightly larger crop than 2007, the fruit was harvested on the same days in 08 as compared to 07. What we received in 2008 was characteristically healthy fruit with firm acidity and bright flavors. The wines reflect these components in their lush flavors that are buoyed by structural elements that define and delineate the aromatics and palate. To summarize, we believe that the 2008 wines provide immediate appeal.

2008 Vintage Tasting Notes

2008 Chardonnay – Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
Bold with lime blossom aromas and notes of beeswax. Mouthfilling but not heavy; still very youthful with a hint of brioche on the nose. Exuberant finish. 100 cases –

2008 Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido Adobe Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
Sweet ripe red and black fruit flavors and aromas. As is usual for this wine, it is spicy, well built and benefits from decanting. 194 cases –

2008 Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido Vineyard Old Vine Santa Maria Valley
Classic old viney fruit, smooth on the entry, initially compact then broadens across the palate. Well delineated red fruit flavors with deli meat and pepper on the nose. Nice weight and balance. 167 cases –

2008 Pinot Noir – Dierberg Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
Five spice, lavender and wet stones on the nose. Layers of cassis and framboise surround a dense center that leads to a lingering finish
147 cases –

2008 Pinot Noir – La Colline Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley
Nice density, beautiful, chambolle- like symmetry, calm, delicate, lingering, memorable 383 cases –

2008 Pinot Noir – Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
Very intense fruit, great texture, aromatics evolve in the glass. Crazy like Gary – in a good way, unpredictable, appealing. Deep rich black fruit with overtones of apricot pie and rose petals. 159 cases –

2008 Pinot Noir – Rio Vista Vineyard Santa Rita Hills
Always an easy, approachable wine. Spicy aromas of bramble, berries and fennel. Youthful and fruit driven on the palate, this vineyard should develop more complex flavors over time. 92 cases –

2008 Pinot Noir – Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
Aromatic elements of seacoast chaparral. Cool and pungent flora. Spicy and juicy red flavors wrap around a firm core of dark fruit. This savory wine unfolds across the palate. 387 cases