Sans Liege The Offering 2016
When you arrive the celebration is raging, much like the huge bonfire in the center of the crowd. You are met with scents of anise, mulling spices, kirsch and leather. A friend claps you on the back and hands you a bowl crafted from juniper proclaiming “wassail!” “Drink hail” you chorus with the rest of the group, taking a gulp and passing it on. Treats of olive tapenade and plums with cinnamon are shared as the merriment continues into the night.
Blend: 48% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre, 1% Viognier
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This thoughtful blend of 48% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 19% Mourvèdre and 1% Viognier is an excellent choice for less than $30. Aromas of game, leather, boysenberry and peppercorn kick off the nose, leading into a palate that blends savory charred meat flavors and hoisin sauce with black-plum and wild berry flavors. Editors’ Choice.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier, the pale to medium ruby colored 2016 The Offering features aromas of cherry candy, powdered strawberry, dried herbs, warm redcurrant, stewed rhubarb and candied blue fruits. It's medium-bodied with good fruit intensity, grainy tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long with a floral tinge.
Growing up in East Los Angeles, Curt was not a wine country kid raised among the vines. He got a glimpse of the wine world when coming to the central coast at the age of 20. He became enamored with winemaking and jumped right in.
His wine label Sans Liege (sahn leej) or "without allegiance" aptly describes his tenacity to pursue winemaking on the central coast unhindered by the trappings of any particular style. He is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of a winemaking region which is still shaping its history. For Sans Liege he focuses on Rhone varietals (especially Grenache) and favors character over notoriety when choosing vineyards for in diversity lies the promise of uncommon opportunity. He also crafts his foundational wines, Groundwork Wine Co. which are pure varietal expressions at an everyday price point.
With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.