2009 Palmina Santa Barbara County Nebbiolo

SKU #1226283 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors’ Choice* Not only is this appellation blend the cheaper Nebbiolo offered by Steve Clifton's Italian varietal-focused winery, it's the best right out of the bottle. Bright strawberry, sweet rose, leather, star anise, cardamom, black-cherry-laced gingerbread and vanilla show on the rich and full nose. The tannins part to open dried strawberry, plum, rose hip and earthy flavors, proving both manly in presence but feminine in delicacy. (MK)  (7/2016)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Vibrant red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by notes of zesty minerals and fresh lavender. Poised and focused on the palate, with energetic red fruit flavors joined by musky licorice and rose pastille. Silky tannins are smoothly folded into the spicy, energetic fruit, adding firmness to the finish. (JR)  (11/2013)

90 points Vinous

 A rich, ample wine, the 2009 Nebbiolo blossoms on the palate with striking depth. Orange peel, leather and spices meld together in a mysterious, exotic Nebbiolo with tons of complexity. A slightly oxidative note lingers on the finish, but here it also complexity and nuance. The 2009 spent one year in French oak followed by three years in cask. The straight Nebbiolo is a blend of fruit from all four sources Palmina works with; Stolpman, Sisquoc, Alisos and Honea. (AG)  (6/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Showing consistently with the review a few years ago, Clifton's entry-level 2009 Nebbiolo is fully mature on the nose and reveals lots of tobacco leaf, spice-box, licorice, dusty pebble and savory Nebbiolo fruit. It lacks a touch of freshness on the nose, but has solid depth and density on the palate, with bright acidity, the tannic grip of the variety and a good finish. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. At the price, it's well worth checking out. Palmina is Steve Clifton’s label focusing on Italian varieties grown in California. He has released a number of interesting and noteworthy blends in 2012 and 2013. As I commented in 2013, I think his value-priced wines give you the most bang for the buck, but he certainly produces the best example of Nebbiolo I have tasted outside of Italy. (JD)  (8/2015)

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Price: $34.99
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- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.

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.


- 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 Santa Ynez 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.