This is the elegant, debonair wine of the group despite being made in a more opulent style that predicts the very rich nature of all of the Consilience reds. That velvety texture and finesse typical of Pinot Noir is enriched by dense, sweet, chocolaty dark cherry flavors with earthy overtones. Matured for 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, the fruit for this wine comes in part from the White Hills vineyard and from Ashley's vineyard in the now-becoming-famous Santa Rita Hills region.
Consilience was founded in 1999 when after years of planning the aspirations of two couples became a small reality. There of course is a long story, but the short of it began when winemaker Brett Escalera, his wife Monica, and the two of us, Tom and Jodie Daughters all met back in 1990 with many common values and interests. Wine and the lifestyle surrounding it were of particular interest to us, and after years of planning, education and good old fashioned perseverance Consilience started with a small production of 1997 Syrah from Santa Barbara County.
Our production has grown, but we remain a small producer of premium wines loosely focused around the typical Rhone varietals. It all starts with the grapes, and we have been fortunate to establish relationships with some of the best vineyards and growers around Santa Barbara County, from whom we purchase most of our fruit. This has been pivotal in our quest to reliably produce the big, intense wines that have defined our style.
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The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.