Pair with barbecued meats and vegetables is what the experts say to do with this lovely wine. Flavors range from deep plum to tobacco and everything else you can dream of. A favorite among private chefs who want to accent their events with a truly over the top pour by the glass beverage A bottle at your favorite downtown table would be more than okay.
Growing up we believed that summer started when school let out for vacation, but for those of us in Santa Barbara, it seems that summer doesn’t truley begin until we’ve watched the revelers dance down State Street in the annual Solstice Parade. Summer in Santa Barbara also means new releases of local wines, perfect for lazy afternoons at the beach, picnics at the park and backyard barbecues. To select the right wine for these summer activities, we put our tasters to work….
The exterior of Carr Winery is similar to that of its owner’s: surprising. The building has more in common with an old airplane hanger than a winery. Located in an industrial section of downtown Santa Barbara, the white domed building sits amongst auto shops, industrial warehouses, and even a brewery. However, what you find inside is unexpected and beautiful. The dim lighting of the tasting bar provides an atmosphere reminiscent of a neighborhood tavern, and in many ways it is, as it plays host regularly to live bands and parties. In the back, stacks of barrels rise dramatically towards the high curved ceilings. A large stainless steel winepress sits in the corner.
This fine Pinot Noir is produced by artisanal winemaker Ryan Carr. It embodies all the characteristics an excellent pinot should, a harmonious balance of fruit and spice resulting in lush tannins and a smooth velvety finish. Enjoy this mouth-watering wine with roasted pork loin with tomato onion chutney, wild mushroom stuffing, or French onion soup with melted gruyere.
Deep ruby color; deep, concentrated berry and spice aromas; deep, complex, intense berry flavors with spice and pepper notes, some tannin and toasty oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep fruit-forward Pinot with good structure. Needs some time to open up.
Deep ruby color; deep, complex plum, pepper and herbal aromas; deep, complex plum flavors with pepper, herbs and spice notes; some tannin and toasty oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Big, complex Pinot that needs time in the bottle and in the glass.
Medium-deep ruby color; deep, pepper and herbal aromas with some dark cherry notes; deep, ripe, rich cherry and plum flavors, complex pepper and spice notes; some tannin; good structure and balance; long finish. Big and rich style that needs time and a hearty steak.
Deep ruby purple color; deep, spice, pepper and plum aromas; ripe, rich, deep plum and cherry flavors with pepper and spice notes; silky texture; sweet oak, good structure and balance; long finish. Big and deep Pinot that has an amazing silky texture.
Medium-deep ruby color; deep herb and pepper aromas with some plum notes; rich, ripe plum flavors with spice and pepper notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Rich, ripe spice and pepper flavors make this a great Pinot for grilled beef.
This has been one of Carr’s more successful bottlings, and the ’08 is quite a good wine, although not quite up there with the ’05. It’s very deep in flavor, with lush, impressive notes of cherry pie filling with the smoky-sweet crust and masses of savory Indian spices. – S.H
Hidden Santa Barbara Who would guess that one of Santa Barbara’s poshest wineries hails from a WWII Quonset hut in downtown’s industrial zone? But that’s exactly where you’ll find Carr Winery and it’s ultra-chic tasting room, made to look like …
Carpinteria has just about everything: and enviable climate, friendly people, good restaurants and a vibrant economic core. Now, Carpinteria can proudly lay claim to Paredon Vineyard, a seven-acre parcel gracefully hugging the hills overlooking Toro Canyon. Though the vineyard is visible from Highway 101. Chances are, you’ve never noticed it. In 2000, Ryan Carr, owner of Carr Winery in Santa Barbara where Paredon wine is made, was hired to plant four acres of Syrah and three acres of Grenache near the termination of Toro Canyon Park Road…
Wine Tasting at Santa Barbara’s Urban Wineries
Carr Winery opened on Salsipuedes in April 2007. At the shiny tasting room bar, handmade from oak barrels, Ryan Carr’s wife Jessica is pouring a tasty Cabernet Franc and Roxy, a big brown dog, is nosing for attention.
It was a major job getting this circa 1940s Quonset hut ready for wine production. Environmentally friendly fireproof insulatin now keeps the room at 58 degrees….
Medium deep ruby color; complex, cinnamon, spice, clove aromas; rich, ripe, lush black cherry, earthy, spice, clove notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep and complex, this Pinot has a great deal of interesting nuance; needs time to open up.
Medium deep ruby color; deep, bit closed and tight, some plum notes; deep, black cherry and plum flavors, spice and pepper notes; some tannin; good structure and balance; long finish. Big, deep and rich; this Pinot definitely needs time to open up and is worth the wait.
Medium deep ruby color; ripe, cherry and savory spice aromas; rich, ripe, lush black cherry flavors, nice savory spice notes; silky texture; good structure and balance; long finish. Delicious and lush fruit make this a delight to drink and a great Pinot for the table.
Carr’s 2005 Turner Vineyard was a very exciting discovery for me, and while their Three Vineyards isn’t quite in the same league, it’s still a seriously good wine. Shows full-throttle Santa Rita atttibutes of crisp balance, intensely ripe fruit, great mouthfeel and limited ageability. The palate loves the cherries, raspberries, cola, spicy vanilla and smoky flavors. The wine comes from some of the best vineyards: Ashley’s, Clos Pepe and Turner. – S.H
Bright ruby with magenta highlights, the wine has warm, soft, and inviting aromas of strawberry, cherry, blueberry, blackberry, clove, allspice, and tarragon. On the palate, it is lusciously round, full, and silky, with dark berry fruit, clove, vanilla, and light tar flavors, moderate alcohol, and rather soft acids that liven up towards the juicy, tarry, gently chewy finish. What I enjoyed the most about this wine was that while it was brilliantly varietally expressive, it felt like it was about a place, not about winemaking. – Catherine Fallis
This wine is a blend of Dijon clones, which bring pure, jammy fruit. Paired with the older Pommard, the result is a meaty, full-bodied Pinot. There’s an earthiness to the cherries and berries, and the wine is complex and probably ageworthy for six to eight years. This polished wine exemplifies the art of blending, although it’s a single-vineyard wine that vividly captures a sense of place. – S.H
2005 Carr Pinot Gris, Turner Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
This cool-climate variety loves it in the Sta. (formerly Santa) Rita Hills. High acidity creates a cool, cleansing feel, while the wine brims with citrus zest, pineapple meringue, mineral and vanilla flavors. This will send chefs into food-pairing heaven. – S.H
This is a deeper, earthier style of Pinot, clearly from a cool climate. You’ll find plenty of cherries, but there are mulchy, mushroomy notes, veering into rhubarb, as well as some tannins. The mouthfeel is silky and light, and the wine is very dry – S.H