Fun Santa Barbara County Syrah

Today’s Story: Black Sheep Finds

Black Sheep Finds (Holus Bolus and The Joy Fantastic) is a family owned and operated winery established by husband and wife Peter Hunken and Amy Christine in 2003 in Lompoc, California. Peter began his winemaking career in 2001 with Stolpman Vineyards, and also co-founded Piedrasassi where he remained until shifting all his attention to Black Sheep Finds in 2008. Amy has an impressive wine resume as well, earning the Master of Wine designation in 2013 and working with Kermit Lynch in Southern California.

Until 2015, Peter and Amy sourced all fruit for their wines from organically farmed vineyards in Santa Barbara County. In 2016, however, they completed the first harvest in their own estate vineyard named The Joy Fantastic which they began developing in 2014. The Joy Fantastic Vineyard is certified organic (CCOF) and consists of 5 acres planted to Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, though Black Sheep Finds does continue to work with select vineyard partners as well. The partners include Bien Nacido Vineyard (where they source Roussanne), Presqu’ile Vineyard (where they source small amounts of Syrah), and John Sebastiano Vineyard (where they source Syrah for Holus Bolus).

Today’s Wine: 2017 Holus Bolus Franc de Pied Syrah

100% Syrah; 13.5% ABV

The 2017 Franc de Pied Syrah is opaque medium to deep purple in color. Once this opens up, the nose showcases aromas of blueberry, black cherry, plum, violet, pine, pepper, underbrush, and light smoke. On the palate, I get notes of blackberry, black plum, forest floor, purple florals, cracked pepper, and gravel. A delightful wine overall, this is medium-bodied with medium acidity, medium tannins, and a medium length finish.

Price: $28 (averages closer to $40). For $28 I paid, I think this is a great value. It’s no doubt a young wine, but is certainly approachable right now and honestly I don’t think this will be incredibly long-lived. Even if found closer to $40, I think this is worthy of try.

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