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Sans Liege The Offering 2016

Rhone Red Blends from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WS94
15.4% ABV
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15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

48% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre, 1% Viognier 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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Distinctive, refined and well-built, offering expressive black cherry, cigar box, green olive and cured meat accents that build richness on the long finish. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier. Drink now through 2026.
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Sans Liege

Sans Liege

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Sans Liege, California
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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.

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Santa Barbara

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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.

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

BURST16OFFER_2016 Item# 520243