Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA
$55 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $45)
In the southeast corner of the Happy Canyon AVA in the Santa Ynez Valley is a 75 acre ranch, bought by Rick and Aurora Grimm in 2010. They met in London in the 1980s, and spent most of their careers in Europe. When they sold their company in 2010, they decided to move to California with their three children. After purchasing the ranch, they were inspired to plant vineyards, and upon consulting with some of the best expertise in the area, they were delighted to find that it was a perfect location to grow Bordeaux-style wines. They certainly have a European-inspired style, and this shows in their wines.
Happy Canyon AVA has hot days and cold nights. However, these diurnal swings are moderated by the cold ocean breezes that travel up the Santa Ynez valley and keep the fruit from getting too hot in the afternoons. The valley has a moderating effect at night, preventing too low temperatures. Some might argue it’s the ideal marriage of continental and coastal climates.
The 2016 Grimm’s Bluff Cabernet Sauvignon speaks for itself. Beautifully balanced, classic aromas of cassis, eucalyptus, and graphite mark the opening and translate to medium-bodied wine with elegance, structure, and bright, fresh black fruits. Sweet tobacco and a hint of cigar box close out the wine. This is a classic Cabernet, calling for a classic steak pairing.
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is all Cabernet that spent 20 months in 50% new French oak. Its deep ruby color is followed by classic notes of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, cedary herbs, chocolate, and spice. With medium to full-bodied richness on the palate, it has notable freshness as well as beautiful purity and elegance. You can drink this today or cellar bottles for 10-15 years.” – 93 points, Jeb Dunnuck
Amy Ryan – December 2021