2014 Star Lane Santa Ynez Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $45) SKU #1324474

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VN 95
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Praise for the producer from Antonio Galloni: "Tyler Thomas has done a remarkable job since taking over at Dierberg and sister property Star Lane in 2013. In short, Dierberg focuses on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, while Star Lane focuses on the Bordeaux varieties that do so well in Happy Canyon. At their best, the Dierberg and Star Lane wines possess striking purity and plenty of site-specific nuance." (06/2016)

Staff Reviews

  • Mari Keilman
    By: Mari Keilman
    K&L Staff Member
    It makes complete sense that the Dierberg family would create two different labels and have two different properties to differentiate between the Bordeaux varietals that go to Star Lane Vineyards and the cooler climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that are labeled as Dierberg Vineyard. Even though the vineyards are only about 20 miles apart, they are two extreme climates for growing grapes and the Star Lane Vineyard in Happy Canyon is the perfect terroir to grow Cabernet Sauvignon and all its supporting characters. Warm enough to reach phenolic ripeness but planted with elevation for right amount of stress and diversity, the vines at Star Lane Vineyard produce the perfect balance of rich, concentrated purple and black fruit along side a full bodied but grippy palate. There's a beautiful pure, rawness to this wine in that it tastes like a Cab, but not some overly polished, overly manipulated wine that's lost a little bit of its soul but an authentic Cabernet Sauvignon that is true to its terroir and place. This is Happy Canyon Cab.
  • Anthony Russo
    By: Anthony Russo
    K&L Staff Member
    Yummy stuff here; cherry cola, vanilla, crushed plum, and a touch of leather make up the nose. The alcohol is very well integrated, you can take a big sniff without burning your nose. On the palate, this Cabernet is very elegant, balancing it's elements of fruit and spice. I like it because although it would match a meal perfectly, you don't NEED food to enjoy it.
  • Ryan Moses
    By: Ryan Moses
    K&L Staff Member
    I've enjoyed Star Lane Cabs for over a decade now and am thrilled to see them getting some long overdue mainstream recognition. Not only are the wines better than ever, but the pricing is stunning - basically the same on our shelves as they were back in the day. That probably won't be the case for long considering what's in the bottle with the 2014 vintage. Beautiful bright acidity carries red and black fruit to go alongside a chalky tannin that's almost reminiscent of Bordeaux. But the brightness and concentration shows a sense of place and a home in California. Drink now with a healthy decant, or follow over the next 10 to 15 years. (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec)
  • Greg St. Clair
    By: Greg St. Clair
    K&L Staff Member
    It’s not often that I taste a California Cabernet that I think is in balance, for I am not a fan of the super unctuous, dripping and oozing types that others might like. Although this isn’t a low alcohol Cabernet it is in balance and that is the first thing I look for in a wine. The nose is full of wild herbs, hints of leather and spice interspersed with bursts of cinnamon and wild cherry, a more Bordeaux like aromatic. Yet in the mouth you can tell this is a California wine, the texture takes over with a supple and richly textured palate feel. The flavors repeat the nose but with a more saturated denseness to them, the wild cherry deepens and lifts the spice. The wine has a restrained and elegant feel to it, lots of acidic lift, super fine grain tannin to give boundary to the Cabernet’s richness. An elegant and balanced take for California Cabernet.
    Drink from 2017 to 2022
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    K&L Staff Member
    I don't think I could have named you one producer in the Santa Barbara region making Cabernet until I tasted the Star Lane this past week, but I was surprised by much more than the anomaly of such a thing. This is real deal Cabernet with structure and secondary flavors of earth and tobacco, not just some fruit-forward or simple bottle of California red. Star Lane vineyard, as I would later learn, is planted to 200 acres of Bordeaux varieties and the vineyard differentiates itself from other parts of Santa Barbara County by sustaining warmth. In a region dedicated to cooler climate varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, that's important. The vineyard also has elevations ranging from 750 to 1550 feet above sea level throughout Happy Canyon, meaning that different grapes grow in different microclimates, creating a diverse crop of fruit. You can taste that character in the wine as the flavors range from dark fruited and powerful, to herbaceous and savory. It's a California wine with the heart and soul of a Bordeaux. Give it time in a decanter and cook up a nice meal. You won't be sorry.


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