I recently was invited to sample some of the new releases from Sanguis and they were all gorgeous. While they were extracted and manipulated, you cannot help but notice the exceptional attention to detail at Sanguis. This is among the best total lineup of California wines and most compelling range of California wines that I have sampled in the past year. Superstar winemaker Mattias Pippig is one to watch. Latin for blood, Sanguis is German-born Matthias Pippig’s brain child. Pippig has previously worked as a wine importer for Marc DeGrazia Selections, and Estate Wines, as well as a brief stint at the famous Le Brea Bakery. He finally decided to start his own winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. His winemaking abilities are absolutely outstanding as I was absolutely blown away with his new release wines.
Pippig hand sorts his wines. Munich born, Pippig does the typical German thing to do for quality control. He changes blends yearly in his Rhône and Bordeaux style wines and never makes the same wine twice. Many of his wines weigh in at over 15% alcohol but they do not present as highly alcoholic. These wines are sourced from some of the best vineyards in the Santa Barbara and Central Coast area. The releases are so impressive that is hard to write about them – you just really need to try them. Check out more at sanguiswine.com or visit their hip tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara, which is by appointment. The wines are not easy to find but some online retailers carry them.
2012 Sanguis 'Verve' Grenache- The 2012 'Verve' is a Grenache wine that is co-fermented with small amounts of Syrah and Viognier. This involves roughly 21% whole cluster inclusion, and was aged for 23 months in a combination of new and French oak. Grapes were sourced from vineyards John Sebastiano and Watch Hill. Needing more than two hours in the decanter to develop, the wine begins with aromas of black plum, candied pomegranate, red cherry and rose petals. Beautiful aromatic profile here. The wine has flavors of red raspberry, cherry pie, Meyer lemon oil, crushed rock, lavender and blackberry. Wonderful mouthfeel and texture to this plush and layered Grenache. Winemaker Matthias Pippig has created a wonderfully complex wine, with excellent aging potential. Only 175 cases produced. Drink 2015-2025- 94
2013 Sanguis 'John Sebastiano Vineyard' 'Loner R13-a’ Pinot Noir- This stunning release comes from the Sanguis Pinot Noir plantings at the John Sebastiano vineyard. It was unfined and unfiltered, as the winemaker did not use any new oak to show the purity of fruit.This Santa Rita Hills bottling needs more than two hours in the decanter to open up. Once aroused it begins with aromatics of cherry cola, red raspberry preserves, lavender and nutmeg. There is a viscous and velvety texture to this scintillating wine. Flavors of cherry pie, cherry cough syrup, cola and red raspberry persist. An absolutely seamless wine, with brightness and decadence, yet showing the refined elegance of the best seen from this AVA. Drink 2016-2026- 95
2012 Sanguis 'Pilgrim' Syrah- Sanguis' winemaker Matthias Pippig has crafted this one from the Bien Nacido vineyard. This dense and layered Syrah has aromas of roasted figs, black olive, black cherry and creosote. This yields flavors of black olive, cassis, black cherry, milk chocolate and smoked meats. There is a gorgeous texture to this wine, with wonderful richness and viscosity, yet maintaining a feminine side. A joy to drink right now, kudos to Pippig for creating another stunner. Enjoy this over the next decade. Drink 2016-2027- 94
2012 Sanguis 'Chinese Fortune' Proprietary White Wine- This wine is an absolutely superlative and intoxicating blend of Rousanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay and Viognier. This has the kind of aromtics that makes you go back to your glass for one hedonistic whiff after another. It is drinking absolutely out of this world at this time. Following a two hour decant, this wine opens up considerably. This blend begins with aromas of lemongrass, honeydew melon, and star jasmine. This leads to flavors of lychee, red delicious apple, poached pear, nutmeg and bananas foster. This has a long and lingering finish that coats the tongue. There is a botrytis like character to this exceptional viscous white blend. Drink 2016-2028- 96
2012 Sanguis 'My Soul Is Rested' Proprietary Red Wine- Needing more than two hours to open up in the decanter, this is aromatically invigorating wine. A bouquet of creme de cassis, mocha, pencil shavings and blackberry pie explodes out of the glass. There are dense flavors of mocha, red bell pepper, creme de cassis, anise and blackberry cobbler. Highly seductive, the intensity and richness showcases this outstanding vintage. Try to cellar for at least one more year. I have never sampled a better red blend from this region. Drink 2017-2035- 95
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