Though the grapes for this gem came from Santa Barbara County, the guiding hand behind this wine came from vine-yard owners in Malibu. Yes, Malibu.
The Admirable Family Vineyards estate is owned by Beatrice Cointreau and her son, Alex. She was born in France, just north of Bordeaux. Beatrice is obviously a force of nature, with master's degrees in law and business to complement her oenology degree from the Bordeaux In-stitute of Oenology.
Beatrice found Malibu to be similar in climate and topography to the south of France. She isn't alone. Believe it or not, there are over 50 wineries and vineyards in the Malibu AVA (American Viticultural Area), and more are being added. Be-cause of the mountainous terrain and proximity to the ocean, Malibu has be-come a hot new area in California wine-making, with many of the wineries here crafting very sought-after and highly rated offerings.
Our selection, however, comes from grapes grown in Santa Barbara County - one of the more established wine areas in California. Santa Barbara has been her-alded, and rightly so, for being one of the best appellations for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But today, a few wines from the Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc have escaped and shocked the wine world. In a good way.
This is a very complex wine, offering op-ulent flavors of raspberry, blackberry and cranberry. The palate is full and rich and the finish is mesmerizingly long.