2009 Tatomer "Vandenberg" Santa Barbara County Riesling

SKU #1084166 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Riesling Vandenberg is a gorgeous, well-delineated wine graced with lychee, apples, quince and pears. There is a slight element of botrytis that adds wonderful sweetness, weight and texture. The finish is striking for its beauty and understated elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.  (8/ 2011)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright yellow. Expressive aromas of peach, honeydew and pineapple. Becomes spicier and smokier with air, offering juicy tropical and pit fruit flavors and a kick of bracing acidity. Finishes smooth, sappy and persistent, with subtle lingering florality. This would be fantastic with pungent cheeses or spicy food.  (10/ 2011)

K&L Notes

Graham Tatomer is a rising star winemaker in Santa Barbara County, specializing in the unexpected: Riesling! Graham's wines are dead-ringers for the rich yet chiseled styles of the Wachau, thanks to his incredible talent combined with three years working under respected Austrian winemaker Emmerich Knoll. Our domstic team loved the wines so much on their Central Coast buy trip earlier this year they brought them in immediately for us to try, and we're hooked! These are wines for serious Riesing lovers, and Graham Tatomer is a winemaker to watch. (Chiara Shannon, K&L Personal Sommelier Service) Additional notes from Wine Advocate: "The Vandenberg is aged in steel and neutral oak, while the Kick-on Ranch is aged exclusively in neutral oak. This is a young operation. It will be interesting to see where things go from here." (08/11)

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By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/9/2013  | Send Email
If you desire a richer style, the botryized and off-dry 2009 “Vandenberg” is more generous and rich in the mouth than the 'Kick On Ranch', yet still gorgeous and vibrant. It's laden with lush tropical and lychee fruit aromas and a flavors and a finish that lingers...perfect for spicy exotic fare or a sumptuous fruit dessert. Very impressive form for Riesling from as unexpected a locale as Santa Barbara! Graham Tatomer is a winemaker to watch.

By: Jeff Garneau |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/22/2013  | Send Email
This botrytis-inflected offering is the richest of the Rieslings produced by young Santa Barbara County winemaker, Graham Tatomer. A big style, but with exceptional balance and character. Well worth seeking out.

By: Jim Boyce |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/18/2013  | Send Email
This wine consists of 90% Kick On Ranch and 10% Sisquoc grapes. This is definitely the biggest wine of the three Tatomer Rieslings we tasted with persistent notes of lychee, apple, and pear, floral notes, and a spicy kick and lingering finish. Aged in stainless steel and nuetral oak, this wine is fresh with bright acidity while the botrytis from the second picking gives it a hint of sweetness and weight.

By: Sarah Covey |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/17/2013  | Send Email
Graham Tatomer worked with Austrian Winemaker Emmerich Knoll for three years, and this Vandenberg Riesling shows the quality and signature of Austrian riesling. The Vandenberg is 90% fruit from the Kick On Ranch, and 10% fruit from the Sisquoc Ranch property. There was botrytis in the second pass of picking of this fruit, so the wine has an interesting apricot/honey/Botrytis notes to it- though the wine is dry. Citrus, white flowers, apple, green fruit with a pretty perfume and clean finish. Medium plus juicy acidity. Delicous for Riesling lovers worldwide!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Riesling

- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Sants Inez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, chardonnay and pinot noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.