Tercero Wines Larry Schaffer is a long time wine industry renegade. He doesn't make wine for critics. He doesn't chase scores and he epitomizes the spirit of a Rhone Ranger. That's why every time I get the chance to taste something that isn't only oh so Rhoney from him, I jump at it.
Yesterday I popped by to taste some of his wines as I was in the area having grabbed lunch at Panino and then a hug from Maeapple Chaney at Refugio (can't miss a hug from MAC when I'm nearby). Larry took me through his wines, including his Mourvedre Rose for 2017 which continues to be more Bandol like than anything made in Santa Barbara County. But what really stopped me and caused an "oh wow" moment was his long talked about, but rarely seen Cabernet Franc. I could have sworn I was drinking a well made, youthful and fresh Loire red.
Having been a fan of the Habit Cabernet Franc for a few vintages I was really delighted to see another wine from Santa Barbara County take on the Loire. While there have been some good Cabernet Sauvignons and red blends of late from the region like The Pairing and Happy Canyon, up until now I've always leaned in the direction of Jeff Fisher and Habit for Cab Franc. Now there is Larry's. Schaffer calls it Aberration, as the year's before was a different wine from different grapes. In my mind he should name this "Harbinger" for if this is the direction he wants to head, it will be the "shape of things" to come.
Full of fresh fruit. Lots of balance. Good, elegance and structure. It's a complete wine that the wine geeks who hang out at wine bars love to drink, talk about and yet at the same time, you can throw it back and and not think about it. It's my kind of non-Rhone wine I like as a change of pace from the bigger, more heavy Reds. In a word it's "delightful."