Wine Reviews: Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards


Wild Horse “Unbridled” Chardonnay 2011, Santa Maria Valley
Shimmering gold color. Aromas of sesame, coconut and apple, both crisp and a touch nutty, are joined by persimmon at the edges. Flavors of oak are present but not overwhelmingly so, and a melon pith character gives depth to the distinct mineral and crunchy apple flavors. Hints of orange and honeysuckle on the finish. Well-balanced and bright, this is excellent now and shows lots of potential. Drink now - 2019.

Wild Horse “Unbridled” Pinot Noir 2011, Santa Barbara County
Translucent cranberry in color, with aromas of spiced cherries, spice cake, red plums, hints of mountain-berry cobbler, and, at the end of the nose, a hint of flowers and a whiff of tar that anchors the higher toned aromas. On the palate, crystalline, filigreed red berry fruit has a gently tart edge and a clarity that almost shimmers on the tongue. This is all about the red-fruit end of the spectrum, with those cranberry colors finding their full expression on the palate. Hints of roses and tomato vines, a subtle hint of herb (think tarragon), as well as oolong tea notes complicate this all beautifully. Lively and fresh, with a finish that just barely hints at mushrooms. Drink 2014 - 2022.

Wild Horse “Cheval Sauvage” Pinot Noir 2010, Santa Maria Valley

Aromas of brambly red fruits are limned with spice and a hint of cola, as well as a sous-boil-like earthiness that still remains somehow fresh. Intriguing and very complex. On the palate, the sweet fruit here tastes almost dusted with cinnamon and dried flowers, and is deepened with cherry and cherry skin, twigs, a bit of forest floor, porcini powder, and a silky, elegant texture, feminine in its delicacy. This wine pulses with very nice acid and fine-grained tannins, both of which promise a long life ahead. Exotic and savory on the finish, with a hint of distinct Chinese five spice and dried violets. Excellent wine. Drink now - 2028.