Leitmotif “Cuvee Amiliana” White Rhone Blend 2018

Santa Barbara
$32 (Wine Club Reorder Price $28)

Aside from his 264 followers on Instagram, Leitmotif is virtually nonexistent. He doesn’t have a website, no tasting room, no winery. I came across his Instagram page and “slid in his DMs” asking if he does wholesale at all — p.s., he doesn’t. We’re very lucky to be able to share this with you!

Stephen Searle is the owner/winemaker of this tiny project and spends his days as the winemaker at an established Santa Barbara winery, Jaffurs. He first became interested in wine while working in the restaurant industry during college in Boston. He soon decided to shift focus and transferred to CalPoly in San Luis Obispo to study Viticulture, and has been making wine ever since.

Stephen traveled around a bit after graduating… Napa, the Bay Area and Europe, then landed in Santa Barbara in 2012. He started this small project in 2016. Leitmotif is focused on coastal, cool-climate sites, and expressing place and vintage as honestly as possible. He’s very light-handed with the winemaking, allowing everything to ferment naturally, and never manipulating the juice or wine with additives apart from a small amount of SO2 to keep the wine focused (general note: you need sulfur to prevent the wine from spoiling too fast).

The Cuvee Amiliana is a Grenache Blanc and Viognier blend from a biodynamic vineyard in Alisos Canyon. It’s bright, yet very expressive. The varieties are harvested and pressed together, so it’s blended from day one, making for a unique and fun wine. This bright wine has a ton of citrus and stone fruit flavors that make for edgy and sharp aromas of lime pith and lemon skin but also rounded touches of white peach and guava. Perfect for hot summer days.

Throw a bottle of this wine in with your next picnic basket to pair with all the creamy cheeses on your charcuterie board. The bright acidity begs for a creamy food pairing.

Taylor Morgan – June 2021

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