As many of our readers know, we are always on the look out for some special and many times surprising wines . We found one when we visited Babcock Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley made by renowned winemaker
Bryan Babcock.

One of California’s stars in winemaking is Bryan Babcock. He was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the “Ten Best Winemakers of the Year”. Since 1984 Bryan has been producing wines of from his family owned winery located on the far western edge of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County.

The James Beard Foundation chose Bryan as one of the “Top Ten Small Production Winemakers in the World,” the only American chosen. In choosing Bryan for this award, David Moore wrote, “Bryan Babcock best exemplifies the traits I look for in a great winemaker. The quality of Bryan’s wines speak for themselves, yet it is his personal commitment to excellence that stands out so much. His relentless experimentation, his willingness to explore the possibilities with so many grape varieties, and his aesthetic are a world apart from the usual American approach to winemaking.” And we could not agree more. Bryan is an exceptional talent.

We visited Babcock wines right in the middle of the harvest buz and saw the winery in production. The tasting room was filled with guests sampling many of the well known Babcock wines and one guest suggested we experience something very special . We travel the Sta Rita Hills often and it is not very common to find a Cabernet. So we were very intrigued.

Babcock “NUCLEUS” Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Estelle Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley

The nose of this wonderful Cabernet showed hints of violets spice and vanilla. In the glass it was medium bodied and on the palate it exploded with fruit and casis with a long silky elegant finish.

The cool climate of Santa Barbara County pushed Cabernet Sauvignon to the background. Since 1996 Babcock winery has been fine tuning a Bordeaux-styled red blend called FATHOM. Once Cabernet Franc based, with the recent development of the warmer “Happy Canyon” area of the eastern Santa Ynez Valley, the program now includes a greater percentage of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and maybe other Bordeaux varietals.
The result has been so successful that Cabernet Sauvignon is now one of the key varietals at Babcock Vineyards. “New Epoch Reserve”, “Classic Rock Cuvée” are offered annually. Vineyard designated bottling are available under the limited production “Terroir Exclusives” wine club program.

For more information on Babcock Winery and directions to their tasting room please visit