Reviews

“I was thrilled to see more wines from Jeremy Weintraub (he’s also the winemaker for Adelaida in Paso Robles) this go-round, and he’s hit pay dirt with these 2012s.”–Jeb Dunnuck, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

”This is the personal project of winemaker Jeremy Weintraub, whose day gig is overseeing Adelaida Cellars. Weintraub arrived on the Central Coast after a stint as winemaker at Seavey Vineyard in Napa. He sources fruit, but not a lot of it, from some of California’s most renowned sites. His wines tend to be full-flavored but not heavy.”–Josh Raynolds, Vinous.com.

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

2014 Site Wines Grenache
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 95
The 2014 Grenache Larner Vineyard, which incorporates 20% Syrah, comes from the sandy, limestone soils of one of the top sites in Ballard Canyon. Notes of smoke, liquid blackberry, crushed rock and ground herbs all emerge from this 2014, which is full-bodied, deep, rich, tannic and concentrated. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring and drink through 2024. The Grenache was aged 20 months in neutral barrels, and the Syrah spent 20 months in puncheons. I continue to be blown away by these wines from winemaker Jeremy Weintraub, who’s also the winemaker for Adelaida in Paso Robles. Focusing on Rhone varieties, mostly from Ballard Canyon, the wines see a small amount of whole clusters, with the Grenache always aged in neutral puncheons and the Syrah mostly in new barrels. These are pure, balanced reds that possess top notch varietal character.


2014 Site Wines Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 95
More approachable than the 2013, the 2014 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from a cool site located just to the east of the town of Santa Maria. It’s within sight of the Pacific Ocean, and I always find a cool climate and marine style in the wines from this vineyard. This 2014 offers tons of black raspberry, cracked pepper, violets and sea breeze-like characteristics to go with a full-bodied, supple, polished, even sexy profile on the palate, with its oak component covered by pure fruit. Made from 100% Syrah that spent 20 months in new oak, drink bottles over the coming 5-7 years.


2014 Site Wines Red Wine
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 94
A step up over the 2013, with fabulous black raspberry, toasted spice, lavender and crushed flower-like aromas and flavors in its full-bodied, expansive, sexy and voluptuous personality, the 2014 Red Wine Larner Vineyard has tons of fruit, yet stays lively and weightless on the palate, with terrific purity and length. Made from 75% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 5% Viognier, with the Syrah aged in new puncheons and the Grenache in neutral barrels, it will dish out loads of pleasure over the coming 7-8 years.


2014 Site Wines Roussanne Stolpman Vineyards
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 94
One of the best Roussannes I was able to taste from California, Weintraub’s 2014 Roussanne Stolpman Vineyards is a fresh, lively, yet also rich and full-bodied white that has rocking notes of buttered citrus, flower oil, brioche and honeysuckle. Aged eight months in neutral oak, it’s a head-turner readers should snatch up. It should drink nicely for at least 2-4 years.


2014 Site Wines Viognier
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 93
Another winner is the 2014 Viognier from the Larner Vineyard. Aged eight months in neutral oak, it offers full-bodied aromas and flavors of white peach, flowers and honeyed tangerine to go with a rich, layered texture and a great finish. Bottled unfiltered, drink it over the coming couple of years.


2013 Site Wines Grenache Larner Vineyard
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 94
The inky colored 2013 Grenache from the Larner Vineyard incorporates 20% Syrah and saw a touch of whole clusters in the fermentation. As is normal here, Jeremy aged the Grenache in neutral barrels and the Syrah in new barrels. Notes of blueberry, blackberry, smoked earth, cured meats and truffle all emerge from this full-bodied, rich, gorgeously textured and layered Grenache. It has fine, polished tannin, notable purity and freshness and will drink well for 7-8 years.


2013 Site Wines Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyards
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 94
Another top notch wine from Weintraub is the 2013 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard, which saw 15% stems and 20 months in new oak. Sporting classic Bien Nacido notes of liquid blackberries, pepper, herbs and marine-like salinity, this full-bodied, fresh and lively effort has good concentration and a tight, slightly closed feel, all suggesting it will benefit from short term cellaring. Give bottles a few years and drink over the following decade.


2013 Site Wines Red Wine Larner Vineyard
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 92
The 2013 Red Wine Larner Vineyard is the same blend as the 2014 (75% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 5% Viognier) and saw 10% whole clusters and 20 months in mostly new French oak (the Grenache saw only neutral puncheons). Giving up lots of plums, blackberry and blueberry fruits, violets and sappy herbs, it’s medium to full-bodied, elegant and graceful, with good acidity and a clean, fresh finish. The purity of fruit is first rate and it should see its 10th birthday in fine form.


2013 Site Wines Roussanne Stolpman Vineyards
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 91
The 2013 Roussanne Stolpman Vineyards is terrific. Checking is as 100% varietal and fermented and aged eight months in a combination of new and neutral French oak puncheons (with some lees stirring), it offers classic white currants, licorice, toasted nut and spice notes on the nose. There’s a healthy kick of oak here, but this will largely integrate in the next couple of months. Medium to full-bodied, ripe and nicely textured, it’s a beautiful Roussanne that will evolve nicely over the coming 3-5 years.


2013 Site Wines Viognier Larner Vineyeard
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 91
An impressive Viognier that has real varietal typicity, the 2013 Viognier from Site Wines comes all from the sandy soils in Santa Barbara County’s Ballard Canyon and saw eight months in neutral barrels. Made in a big, rich style, with lots of white peach, buttered lemon, orange peal and vanilla cream, it’s medium to full-bodied, textured and lively, with a clean finish. It should drink nicely for 2-3 years.


2012 Site Wines Red Wine Larner Vineyard
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 94
The first red wine from Site Wines, the 2012 Red Wine comes from Ballard Canyon and is 75% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 5% Viognier that saw a touch of stem inclusion and 18 months in 75% new French oak. It’s inky purple color is followed by gorgeous notes of blackberries, licorice, vanilla bean and smoked meats. Full-bodied, pure, elegant and layered, it’s a stunning Syrah that has fruit, texture, structure and elegance. Give it a year and drink bottles through 2024. Bravo to winemaker Jeremy Weintraub for a terrific wine.


2012 Site Wines Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyards
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 94
Possessing slightly more minerality than the Red Wine cuvee, the 2012 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard gives up lots of classic cool-climate Syrah notes of smoked meats, crushed rocks, liquid smoke and graphite on the nose. This carries to a full-bodied, fresh and focused Syrah that has noteworthy purity, building richness and a great finish. Fermented with 10% stems and aged 18 months in 80% new French oak, it’s another serious red that will have 10-12 years of overall longevity.


2012 Site Wines Grenache Larner Vineyard
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 91
Incorporating 15% Syrah, the 2012 Grenache is another beautiful wine that sports a deep, inky color to go with lots of darker fruits, charred wood, cracked pepper and wood smoke. Aged 18 months in neutral oak, it’s medium-bodied, has excellent purity and sweet tannin. It took some time to open up and should be at its best from 2017-2022.


Fred Swan Wine

2013 Site Viognier Larner Vineyard Ballard Canyon
Rating: 95
Drop-dead gorgeous with flavors and aromas of beeswax, white flowers and tangerine pith. Medium+ body with soft, fine-grained texture so lovely I didn’t want to swallow.


2013 Site Roussanne Stolpman Vineyard Ballard Canyon
Rating: 95
Very, very fine and unctuous on the long, full-bodied palate. Elegantly dried-apricotted. Crazy good.


2013 Site Red Wine Larner Vineyard Ballard Canyon
Rating: 96
Bacon fat, smoke & rich but restrained dark fruit. Medium+ body with soft, fine-grained texture. Super long. Syrah 75%, Grenache 20%, Viognier 5%


2013 Site Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
Rating: 94
Full-bodied but fresh with fine-grained texture and long, concentrated flavors of black olive, dark plum and Chinese five-spice.


Vinous.com

2013 Site Wines Roussanne Stolpman Vineyards
Review by Josh Reynolds
Rating: 92
Bright yellow. Toasty, mineral-laced aromas of fresh orchard and pit fruits, with a suave floral element emerging as the wine opens in the glass. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering juicy pear and peach pit flavors and an exotic twist of iodine. Anise and smoke note linger impressively on the gripping finish.


2013 Site Wines Viognier Larner Vineyard
Review by Josh Reynolds
Rating: 91
Light, vivid gold. Textbook varietal scents of ripe pit fruits, violet and ginger, with a touch of smoky minerals adding vibrancy. At once rich and lively, offering sappy nectarine and melon flavors that tighten up and become spicier with aeration. Shows very good clarity and lift on the persistent finish, which leaves floral and peach pit notes behind.


Purely Domestic Wine Report

2012 Site Red Wine Larner Vineyard
Review by Doug Wilder
Rating: 95
A nose of black licorice, sweet hints of pineapple with espresso, carbon and layered black fruits. The palate is exceptionally polished blackberry, currant, coffee bean, chocolate and lavender. This is a don’t miss wine! Drink 2015 – 2024.


2012 Site Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard
Review by Doug Wilder
Rating: 93
Showing deep aromas of blackberry, brown spice, dark cherry, florals and sweet whiff of cognac-dipped currant. The palate is concentrated blackberry and carbon with nuances of sweet black fruits. Supple in the mouth with beautiful balance and depth. Drink 2015 – 2024.


2012 Site Grenache Larner Vineyard
Review by Doug Wilder
Rating: 92
A nose of deeply scented blackberry, java, raspberry and lavender with notes of olive and tomato. The palate entry is fairly firm with a core of black raspberry liqueur, carbon and Asian spice. A bit of bottle aging will help this blossom. Drink 2016 – 2020.


International Wine Cellar/Vinous.com

2012 Site Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard
Review by Josh Reynolds Dec 2014
Rating: 92
Opaque ruby. Heady dark berry liqueur, olive paste, woodsmoke and floral aromas are complemented by anise and cracked pepper. Classic syrah, offering broad, sweet black and blue fruit flavors and a suave violet pastille quality that gains strength in the glass. This sappy, penetrating wine finishes with strong thrust and velvety, late-arriving tannins. There’s 15.5% alcohol here but I don’t get any undue heat.


2012 Site Grenache Larner Vineyard
Review by Josh Reynolds Dec 2014
Rating: 92
Brilliant ruby-red. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes red fruit preserves, incense, smoky minerals and lavender. Coats the palate with intense raspberry and floral pastille flavors that are sharpened and lifted by a zesty mineral nuance. Rich but lively and precise, showing strong finishing cut and cling and silky tannins that add shape. This sexy grenache benefits a lot from aeration.


2012 Site Red Wine Larner Vineyard
Review by Josh Reynolds Dec 2014
Rating: 91
Saturated ruby. Powerful dark berry, floral pastille and violet aromas are complemented by olive, cola and woodsmoke. Plush, expansive blueberry and black raspberry flavors show very good depth, picking up a spicy element with aeration. Rich yet lively and focused, with fine-grained tannins lending grip and punch to the strong finish. Give this still-young wine some air or a few more years of bottle age.


Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

2012 Site Wines Roussanne
Review by Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 92
The 2012 Roussanne is totally gorgeous! Seeing 8 months in 35% new French oak, it has fabulous richness in its stone fruits, salty minerality and brioche-styled bouquet. Full-flavored and layered on the palate, with terrific purity, it’s a serious Roussanne to enjoy over the coming 3-4 years. Another new producer for me, these wines are made by Jeremy Weintraub, who’s also the winemaker at Adelaida in Paso Robles. Both of these whites were excellent.


Purely Domestic Wine Report

91 – 2012 Site Vignier, Ballard Canyon, Larner Vineyard
A nose of baked honeycomb, pear, dried lemon flesh, jasmine and spice. The palate is wholesome and richly textured with no edges. The core is oily banana, with gardenia and vanilla bean essences. A beautiful wine. Drink 2014-2018.

90 – 2012 Site Roussanne, Ballard Canyon, Stolpman Vineyard
The nose is beeswax, rich lemon-infused oil, salt, buttercream and whiffs of petrol. The palate entry is slippery, spicy with a light mid-palate impression leading to a rich saturated finish of warm spice. Slightly nutty on the end. Drink 2014-2018.


Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine

Viognier is capable making simple, forthrightly fruity, easy-to-gulp wines, but, as the best have shown, such as those reviewed in this issue from DuMol, Larner, Thacher, Site and Pride, it can yield wines of great richness and beauty as well.

90 SITE Larner Vineyard Ballard Canyon 2012Santa Barbara County.
This wine, hailing from the same site as the Larner wine above, matches that worthy effort in charm and depth as well as in the enthusiastic recommendation that it has garnered. If anything, this one is a touch less fleshy and thus is a touch lighter in styling but comes with the same admirable sense of varietal focus and balance.


The Wine Enthusiast

2012 Site Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard
Review by Matt Kettmann
Rating: 93
Made by Adelaida’s winemaker Jeremy Weintraub, this bottling shows asphalt, concentrated violets and lilacs, black peppercorns and dried blueberry on the nose. Similar elements arise on the dynamically dark palate, along with black tobacco, boysenberry, leather and beef-char flavors. The structure is strong but not in the way.


2012 Site Wines Grenache Larner Vineyard
Review by Matt Kettmann
Rating: 93
Dark violets, sagebrush, olallieberry and a touch of smoked plums greet the nose on this bottling by Jeremy Weintraub, winemaker for Adelaida and formerly Seavey, who is focusing this project on renowned vineyards. The palate is high and tight at first with sanguine and iodine elements, opening toward black pepper, licorice, black and red currants and broader cherry flavors.


2012 Site Wines Red Wine Larner Vineyard
Review by Matt Kettmann
Rating: 93
Wet, hot concrete, blueberry paste, olallieberry jelly and black-fig aromas swirl on the nose of this delicious boutique bottling by Jeremy Weintraub, also winemaker at Adelaida. The palate is evenly measured, showing a solid structure with grippy black fruits, espresso, cola and Dr Pepper flavors.


2012 Site Wines Viognier Larner Vineyard
Review by Matt Kettmann
Rating: 92 Editor’s Choice
From an area better known for red wines, this bottling by Paso Robles-based Jeremy Weintraub shows the strong white wine potential of this new Santa Barbara County appellation. Aromas of peach, cherimoya and white truffle cream lead into a waxy, restrained palate that shows golden flesh fruit, beeswax, a bit of yogurt and a minerally snap.