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Welcome to As Drunk By Exotic Wine Travel, a new weekly column where we feature wines that are worthy of your attention. The wine reviews featured in this series may be written by either one or the both of us. The featured wines can be from obscure or more well-known wine regions. Sit back, grab a glass, and discover new and exciting wines with us!
Tercero, The Climb 2010
Ahhhh, Santa Barbara County. We spent one week tasting through Lompoc, Los Olivos, Buellton, and Santa Barbara. It was a memorable experience. The weather was perfect and the wines were divine.
Nearly every producer is making at least one exceptional wine, and many producers have multiple great wines in their portfolio. We’ve tasted more than 200 wines and will be releasing an e-guide entitled Sipping Santa Barbara in the coming weeks.
While traveling in Los Olivos, California, we chanced upon this wonderful producer called Tercero. The owner and winemaker, Larry Schaffer, is the president of the Santa Barbara County chapter of The Rhône Rangers. The Rhône Rangers is a non-profit group that promotes American-grown Rhône grape varieties. Many people in the wine industry feel that Santa Barbara County may be the best place in California for these varieties.
We knew nothing about Tercero before arriving in Los Olivos. One highly esteemed winemaker in the area recommended that we should visit the Tercero’s tasting room. Both Charine and I love Rhône grapes so it didn’t take much convincing before we fell in love with Tercero.
Do you like Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Mourvedre, or Syrah? Have your pick of them at this winery.
Larry Schaffer ages his red wines in used French Oak to mitigate any wood flavors in the wine. He’s also a huge champion of screw-cap enclosures—not a single one of his wines uses cork. The Tercero wines show off the Californian sun while having real, Old World restraint; they are ripe but not candied or jammy.
Tercero The Climb 2010 is a blend of 67% Syrah and 33% Petite Sirah. It is styled after a wine from Napa Valley (Shafer Relentless) that Larry adores. This is our favorite wine from Tercero winery. The meatiness of the Syrah really comes through on the palate. The wine is already showing aging notes of tomato leaf and V8 juice. The red and dark fruit flavors are bright with balanced acidity. The wine finishes with minerally characteristic and a touch of black peppercorn. Rich and extremely delicious. Wine lovers will rejoice at this effort!
4.2/5 (You can find out more about our scoring system on the START HERE page.)
Check out our wine travel guide to Santa Barbara Wine Country.
The ideas expressed in this article are personal opinions and are not associated with any sponsors or business promotions.