Sanguis Pilgrim 2011, Santa Barbara County, California
This wine is comparable to its more famous cult counterpart Sina Qua Non, but at 1/4 of the price! It is made by Matthias Pippig, a German born Bavarian who moved to the U.S. at age 18 with dreams of becoming a professional rock-and-roll drummer. His plans changed over time and he got involved in the L.A. food scene and in time met Manfred Krankl, with whom he’d work with for several years at La Brea Bakery. Krankl moved on to launch his own wine label Sine Qua Non in the mid 90s. Mathias too became interested in winemaking and began a journey of his own that would lead to founding of his label, Sanguis.
A Rhone-inspired 98% Syrah, 2% Viognier blend, it has spicy aromatics with a hint of tar, blackberries and cassis on the palate with licorice, herbs and a brooding smokiness.
The fruit for Pilgrim comes from the famed Bien Nacido vineyards in Santa Maria Valley. A dash of whole cluster (25%) and extended aging of 30 months in 300L French barrels went into this deeply brooding wine. It was racked once and no fining or filtering occurred.