As we search for special wines to bring to our club members, we ran into Ernst Storm and his family at a Los Olivos community function. We struck up a conversation and arranged for a visit to his winemaking facility near Presqu’ile Winery to learn more about Storm Wines. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by his boxer, Jake, who we’re told also has a passion for wine. Ernst was kind enough to spend time with us tasting through a number of wines. What struck me is, as with many other winemakers in the Santa Ynez Valley, his authentic style, both personally and in his winemaking. There is no BS here…the focus is on selecting great vineyards, guiding the process, and letting the grapes shine. Of course, his Sauvignon Blanc is well-known and a favorite in the area, with refreshing citrus and acidity. We also had the opportunity to taste the very limited production Grenache Rose’, an excellent dry wine from Demetria vineyard, and a series of excellent Pinot Noirs: the SBC Pinot, The Presqu’ile Vineyard Pinot, the John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot, and my personal favorite, the Duvarita Pinot, made with three Dijon clones. Duvarita is a small, family-run vineyard in Lompoc off La Purisma Road, known for biodynamic farming practices. The balance of fruit with earthy undertones was excellent. We finished with the Slide Hill cool-climate Syrah from Edna Valley, which is owned by the same folks as the Duvarita Vineyard. We’re really enjoying the cool climate Syrahs that we’re seeing in the area, such as this one, which was very well-balanced with dark fruit, dried herbs, and pepper.
We look forward to featuring Storm Wines in an upcoming Club shipment soon! For more information, please see www.stormwines.com