In continuing our Saturday Fedora and wine tasting story, our next stop was Kynsi winery. Kynsi is Finnish for “Talon” and the winery’s tasting room was originally the milk processing room of a dairy in the 1940s. Kynsi’s logo is a barn owl, the story behind it is one of our favorites and we got the inside scoop from Kayla, one of the owner’s daughters a few years ago.
When they got the property it hadn’t been cared for in years and had a not your average garden gopher infestation but a plague of historic proportions. Because the family wanted the winery to be sustainable they researched how to organically deal with their varmint problem and discovered that the best rodenators are Barn owls (they can eat up to 40 gopher’s a night!), so they promptly went out and bought some wooden boxes and put them in the barn. Initially no barn owls came and they couldn’t understand why…then they discovered they had an ancient one eyed, Great Horned Owl residing in the barn. They are barn owl predators, which put a crimp in the barn owl situation since it’s illegal to capture or kill a Great Horned Owl, fortunately or unfortunately the Great Horned Owl died shortly after and the barn owls arrived. Within a couple weeks they had a nesting pair move in, who had babies and have been there hunting gophers ever since. And Allison the tasting room manager, said they recently discovered 2 weasels living on the property too!
Allison was pouring for us, and she started us on the 2009 Santa Maria Pinot Blanc out of Bien Nacido vineyard this is a great seafood wine it’s crisp with a white peach and melon nose. The finish is clean and tastes of honeysuckle, melon and Meyer lemon.
The 2009 Chardonnay is a Clone 76 from Edna Valley and is aged in stainless steel and finished for 4 days in new French oak to give it some Oomph. The aromas are buttery, with citrus and pineapple and very light oak. It has a nice mouth feel that tastes of creamy butter and honey, tropical mango, and honeydew.
The cool thing about the 2010 Pinot Noir Rose aside from the fact that it is known as Barn Owl Blush is that a portion ($1) of all the sales proceeds is donated to breast cancer awareness and research. This wine is bright with red fruit and a strawberry nose. It is dry with low acidity while showing guava, and peaches. It’s also sweet even though it has 0% residual sugar, because all the sweetness comes from the fruit. This is a pretty wine both visually and experientially and perfect for an evening in the hot tub.
Kynsi got a Wine Enthusiast 91 point editor’s favorite pick on their 2008 Pinot Noir. This wine also comes from the Bien Nacido vineyard in Santa Maria. It is chewy and has a really nice mouth feel with cherry on the nose and mouth with additional flavors of clove, allspice and black raspberry.
The second Pinot Noir from Kynsi is another 2008 but this time it’s an estate wine, grown in the Stone Corral vineyard. This wine had strawberry and rose petals on the nose and black cherry with dark berries and hints of spice on the palate.
Hutash is a Chumash word for “Harvest celebration” and also the name of the Harvest Cuvee GSP (50% Grenache, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Syrah) blend. This is a balanced wine and was really good. The nose was red plums and white pepper with a palate of red fruits like cherry, and bay leaf herb.
By the time I got to the Merrah a 65% Merlot from Santa Margarita Ranch and 35% Syrah from Edna ranch I’d hit the it’s good it’s bad point so the only notes I have on this one is it’s very tasty! But according to the tasting sheet it has aromas of dark plum and blueberries with all spice on the nose and palate with additional flavors of cola, and mulberry.
The last 3 wines we tried were all Syrahs, the first one was an Edna Ranch 2007 Syrah. This is a very fruity, red berry wine with scents of black fruits and vanilla that has a nice long finish.
The 2008 KALANNA is named after the 2 daughter’s Kayla and Anna and only 2 barrels were actually produced so this is a very limited vintage. I got a lot of blackberry on this wine with red currant and minerality on the nose and boysenberry with slight pepper on the palate.
The last one was the 2008 Syrah ZB (a noted block of the Bien Nacido Vineyards) from Santa Maria. This block is perched atop the ridge of the vineyard and has produced a wine that is good and very fruit forward. It has aromas of olalliebery and smokey earth, the taste is red plums and blueberries.
This winery is also where I got that luscious lobster red coloring, even though the tasting area is shaded we decided to sit at a table in the sun. Sun + no sun block = lobster red sunburn, I was having so much fun I didn’t notice until it was too late. So a word to the wise if you go wine tasting, even if you plan on staying out of the sun, some of the wineries have such lovely outside sitting areas that it’s hard to resist so make sure you put on sunblock to save your skin.
Kynsi is just a little off the beaten path on Corbett Canyon road but is still pretty easy to get to, so it is definitely worth taking a ride over to the winery to check out the wine and the grounds.
Wine is bottled poetry. ~Robert Louis Stevenson