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TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • WE91
14.5% ABV
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4.0 2 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is a best-of-both-worlds wine. It takes two distinct expressions of Santa Barbara County and blends them into a balanced wine with depth and complexity. The first component of the blend comes from our North Canyon Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley at the northern edge of Santa Barbara. This vineyard yields a soft and silky Pinot with delicate floral notes and red fruit character. The lots from North Canyon Vineyard are complemented by grapes from our Fiddlestix Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, located at the southern end of Santa Barbara County. Fiddlestix Pinot Noir is big and lush; it lends structure and core of dark berry fruit to the blend.

The 2008 TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is a classic. The nose is rich and complex with aromas of wild strawberry, black tea, dusty cherry and cinnamon. The palate follows through with notes of red cherry, vanilla and clove.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
2008 was a great vintage for Tax, and this Santa Barbara bottling is a great value. It really delivers, offering a dry, elegantly structured and complex wine. The silky texture houses savory flavors of cherries, red currants, cola and sandalwood, with an umami taste of bacon. Just delicious for drinking now. Editors' Choice
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TAZ
TAZ, Central Coast, California
2008 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
TAZ Vineyards, like many artisan producers in Santa Barbara County, is located in a winemaker's cooperative warehouse in Santa Maria. Vision and fervent passion earned Bob "Taz" Steinhauer the Tasmanian devil nickname. From the vineyards to the scale houses, this nickname stuck as he feverishly led the development of some of California's most notable vineyards. While his legendary career spanned four decades of grape growing in the Napa Valley, it was the rustic spirit of Santa Barbara that stole his heart. Perfect soils and climate led him to this spectacular region to plant vineyards.

"Taz" Steinhauer is considered a pioneer whose unswerving dedication to unlocking the secrets of the Central Coast over the past several years has contributed directly to the rising acclaim for wines from the region. He shared his passion and his insights broadly with local growers, always pushing for higher levels of quality and an approach that allowed each vineyard to evolve to its fullest viticultural expression.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

SWS298983_2008 Item# 110591

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