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Monday, March 19, 2012

Foxen 7200: Santa Barbera County Winery Visit

foxen 7200

Foxen Winery was founded in 1985 by Bill Wathen and Dick Dore. Since that time they have focused on making small production, vineyard designated wine in northern Santa Barbara County.

Foxen has two tasting rooms, one at the solar powered winery and the other just down the road at the original “tasting shack.” Looking for a unique experience, we opted to go to Foxen 7200, the site of the original winery and its humble wine shanty.

The day was bright and sunny and the informal nature of the shack led Santa BarbaraCounty 046to a sun-spangled, California country vibe for our tasting. We opened with the 2009 Vogelzan Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. In general we prefer Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc over its California counterparts, but the Foxen 7200 was certainly a treat.

The Vogelzan Vineyard is in the warmest part of Santa Barbara County in the Santa Ynez Valley. The wine has a nice crispness with citrus and green apple flavor notes. The acidity is dialed in to provide just the right balance.

The 2008 Volpino is an 80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot proprietary blend that is aged for 22 months in once-used French oak barrels. This is a well balanced blend with sour cherry and a polished finish.

inside foxen7200The 2009 Range 30 West is a 58% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon blend from the new Happy Canyon of Santa Barbera County AVA. It’s a happy mixture with a palate of blackberry and spice.

The Tinaquiaic Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley is the source of fruit for the 2009 Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is dry farmed – no irrigation – and so smaller grapes with intense flavor concentration are produced. This results in a big full bodied wine. Only 150 cases of this wine were produced. The flavor notes are of cherry and black pepper. A true winner.

Santa BarbaraCounty 043Happy Canyon is also the AVA for the 2009 Grassini Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. It has big tannins and is a berry, berry big wine. The flavor profile are of blackberry and cherry with a dash of tobacco. This is an ideal wine for a thick steak with gorgonzola cheese.

Foxen 7200 is a cool place to sample outstanding wine. The original Foxen winery stands on this location in a barn and the location served as a stagecoach stop years ago. Just a short distance away is the main Foxen winery which serves up some of the best Pinot Noirs in the region.

Foxen 7200 adds up to an outstanding and unique wine experience.

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