I recently had the opportunity to visit Foxen Winery, located east of Santa Barbara. The winery is perched out in beautiful rolling hills and has been producing incredible quality wines for many years. In my last visit to Foxen, roughly eight years ago, I was impressed with the quality of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Both varietals grow particularly well in Santa Barbara County. While both varietals impressed, their Syrah matches or even exceeds their quality Chards and Pinots. The ratings from the top wine publications have been there as two of their 2010 wines achieved scores of 96 from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Foxen’s winemaking team under Bill Wathen and David Whitehair has been creating incredibly high scoring wines for many years. Bill's has strived to craft wines that feature the terroir of each vineyard site while having the least amount of intervention possible. The terroir found in the Chardonnays, Pinots and Syrahs is evident. I was particularly impressed with the terroir found in the Melville Vineyard Pinot Noir, a cooler site for Pinot in the Santa Rita Hills. The Estate Syrah, made from the Tinaquaic Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley, is Foxen’s estate ten-acre vineyard was planted by Dick and Bill in 1989 on the Doré family’s historic Rancho Tinaquaic. In their frugal budget, the founders of Foxen gathered the canes for their little vineyard from already-pruned cuttings from historic Santa Maria Valley vineyards during evening hours in Dick’s old orange pickup truck. Their 2012 Tinaquaic Syrah is rich and viscous while having incredible terroir.
Here are some of the excellent wines that I recently tried at Foxen Winery. #foxenwinery
2012 Foxen Winery ‘Steel Cut Bien Nacido Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Pear and ripe green apple on the nose with butterscotch. Palace has green apple, butterscotch and unripe cantaloupe. Vibrant acidity. Delicious. -92
2012 Foxen Winery ‘Tinaquatic Vineyard’ Chardonnay- This had new French oak for 8 months. Oak and butterscotch on the nose. Palate has pear, butter, pineapple and red delicious. Nice finish with the acid structure. -91
2013 Foxen Winery Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir- Ripe nose with strawberry, clove, and oak. Palate has cola, strawberry, guava and a long cream finish. Delicious now.-91
2012 Foxen Winery ‘John Sebastiano Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Raspberry, nutmeg and mushroom on the nose. Palate has cran-cherry, guava, raspberry, vanilla on this long finish. Rich and layered wine. -93
2012 Foxen Winery ‘Melville Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Nose has mushroom, black cherry and black tea. Black cherry, cola, raspberry, and vanilla. nice weight and viscosity with the lingering finish.125 cases made. -94
2012 Foxen Winery ‘Solomon Hills’ Pinot Noir- Mushroom and earthy nose with dried herbs. Burgundian wine with mushroom, cranberry raspberry cand red cherry. Drink now, delicious juice. -92
2012 Foxen Winery ‘Fe Ciega Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Raspberry, oak and anise on the nose. Palate has black cherry, black tea, raspberry and red currant. Nice minerality. 125 cases made. -93
2012 Foxen Winery ‘Block 43 Bien Nacido Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This is the second vintage of this wine. The nose has perfumed aromas of rose petals, blueberry compote, mushroom and oak. Palate has raspberry, red cherry, cola and pomegranate. Delicious now. -93