Santa Rita Hills Roundtable – Part 3

Wes Hagen of Clos Pepe Vineyards

Today, in part three of our five part roundtable series, Rick, Peter and Wes talk about those incessant comparisons to (gasp!) Burgundy, the wines at hand, varietal character in the wines, and background on the SRH.

A few facts: although the Santa Rita Hills AVA is naturally cool and windy with more of a maritime climate than the Santa Ynez Valley, the fog adds an additional cooling element to the local vineyards. This permits lower temperatures for a longer duration of time, which in turn allows a longer hang time for the fruit – both of which are advantageous for the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Links to todays guests:

Santa Rita Hills Wine Growers Alliance:

Rick Longoria, Longoria Wines:
Wes Hagen, Clos Pepe Vineyards:
Peter Cargassachi, Point Concepción Wines:

Sponsor: The Beaches of South Walton:

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Show #100
(39:57 min 18 MB)

6 Responses to “Santa Rita Hills Roundtable – Part 3”

  1. 1 Rick Jul 27th, 2006 at 4:58 pm


    The velvet mouth feel or textured that was discussed is an interesting topic. Did they suggest that this was from the tannins? I experienced this twice. Once in a Castle Rock Pinot Noir from Russian River. The other time at a wine tasting shop in Geyserville. There was only one of the seven or eight Pinot Noir’s to be tasted that had this velvet mouth feel. So how does the winemaker produce this texture? What is the wine making method for the velvet mouth feel?

  2. 2 Rick Jul 27th, 2006 at 5:35 pm


    I read many of the tasting notes from wineries on the Sta. Rita Hills website. Many revealed a silky texture as follows: “The palate impression is plush, pliant and silky smooth providing excellent texture and mouth-feel with a long, spicy finish.” Is this the way to talk and write about the velvet mouth feel discussed in part 3?

  3. 3 Brian Stump Jul 28th, 2006 at 6:12 am

    Dear Jay, Eric, and Brian,

    Just finished listening to the first three installments of the Santa
    Rita Hills Roundtable and wanted to give you three a big thank you
    for the format.

    I am relatively new to wine and particularly like the extended
    discussions with the growers and winemakers from this exciting area.
    It provides an opportunity to better understand some of the decisions
    and planning that goes into vineyard management and wine making from
    start to finish. These segments have been interesting to me in terms
    of the intellectual and stylistic decisions that are available.
    These discussion will certainly make my tasting experiences of these
    wines more interesting in the future and improve my wine appreciation.

    This is my first email to you but have enjoyed your program for about
    18 months. I remember an earlier programs such as the one with Jeff
    Thompkin that also provided some of these in sights as well. My vote
    is for more of these kinds of discussions. The extended format
    really allows these to develop.

    Take care and thanks to all three of you for your work.

    Brian Stump

  4. 4 GrapeRadio Bunch Jul 28th, 2006 at 8:11 am

    Rick, most Pinot lovers refer to this velvety texture with great pride – as if it were the very reason they are so into Pinot. It has to do with the fact that Pinot Noir has lower levels of tannins than say, Cabernet or Syrah. This makes it slightly softer and more supple in the mouth.

    Brian, we’re glad you find this format useful – it was something of an experiment for us, and despite the higher degree of post-processing, we do love doing this type of show.

    There’s no question that when you sit down with folks for 2-1/2 hrs you’re going to get some good material. Little did we know we’d get the full 2-1/2 hrs worth!


  5. 5 Wes Hagen Jul 28th, 2006 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for all the comments!

    The velvety mouth feel is something I associate with older Pinot Noirs, where the finest tannin molecules polemerize, form chains, and lay across the tongue to produce this effect.

    Young pinots have monomeric tannins, single molecules that spike the taste buds and cause a tart sensation that helps structure the wine, but as these tannins form chains as the wine ages, the wine smooths out and creates that velvety texture that makes me yearn for Epoisses or duck confit.

  6. 6 Mel Hill Jul 30th, 2006 at 4:59 pm

    I vote for more of these kind of roundtable podcasts. I also like being able to hear more than one show a week!

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