21 Dec Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Turning Tides Wines 2021 Red Blend, Santa Ynez Valley
First the label caught my eye and made me smile. A girl is standing on rocks, surrounded by water, holding a flower with the wind blowing. That is the label of Turning Tide Wines. But then I took a sip of the wine. Light and fresh but with depth and complexity, this was a pleasurable and drinkable wine that is perfect for any setting, from a picnic to a casual dinner. And that is why the Turning Tides Wines 2021 Red Blend from the Santa Ynez Valley is the Please The Palate wine of the week.
About Turning Tide Wines
Turning Tide Wines is owned by Alisa “AJ” Jacobson. She launched Turning Tide Wines in 2018 in the Santa Ynez Valley after a 25 year career in Napa Valley. After graduating from UC Davis in 2001 with a degree in viticulture and enology, AJ worked in sparkling wine houses in California, followed by a year in Australia. When she returned to California, she worked at Joseph Phelps where she first fell in love with Rhone varieties. In 2003, AJ became the first employee of Joel Gott Wines. In her 15+ years with Joel Gott, AJ helped the brand grow from 1000 case production to more than one million cases annually.
AJ has a love for viticulture and believes that the healthier the soil and environment, the better the wines. “Grape growing”, AJ explained “is like a time capsule. Everything you do in the vineyard will change the way the wine tastes.” An avid environmentalist with a focus on eco-conscious farming and regenerative agricultural practices, AJ works with vineyards that are organic or sustainably farmed. She also seeks vineyards that are distinctly influenced by oceanic fog, which provides a cool, slow-ripening environment.
AJ’s first wine under Turning Tide Wines was a Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. She makes a single wine from Oregon and the rest of her wines are made in Santa Barbara County. She was drawn to the Santa Ynez due to its proximity to the ocean, the natural water supply within the soil, and its reduced exposure to wild fires. In 2020, she purchased two vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Estelle Vineyard is home to 17 acres of 13 different varieties. The other vineyard was a former apple orchard on Baseline Avenue. Here she planted 7 acres, primarily to Sauvignon Blanc.
AJ’s vineyards, as well as all vineyards she works with, are farmed in an environmentally conscious manner to protect water purity and to encourage soil and vine health. Chemical herbicides are never used. Biodiversity of native plants and beneficial insects are promoted in the vineyards.
In addition, the label on her bottle is made from recycled paper with compostable ink and she does not use foil in order to minimize her environmental impact.
The Turning Tides Wines 2021 Red Blend from Santa Ynez Valley is a blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, both from her vineyard. This is a field blend and the grapes are picked together and fermented together. The percentage of Grenache and Mourvèdre will vary year to year but the 2021 is 78% Grenache and 22% Mourvèdre. AJ’s style is to pick at lower brix (sugar levels) to produce wines with lower alcohol and higher acidity and to make balanced, food friendly wines. The 2021 Red Blend is aged for short time in neutral oak and does not undergo any racking. It is only 12.5% ABV. The wine is in a screw cap bottle in order to preserve the freshness of the wine.
The 2021 Turning Tides Red Blend is just that. It is fresh and bright with juicy red berry, floral, spicy, and pepper notes. The wine is soft and silky with a bright and spicy finish. The fruitiness of the Grenache and the depth of the Mourvèdre give this wine complexity while also being fun and fresh.
Food Pairing Suggestions
The Turning Tide Wines is so fresh and enjoyable that is can be paired with just about anything. Enjoy it with a cheese board, pizza, a salad, or a sandwich. This is the wine you want to enjoy at lunch or on a picnic. It is a wine that can be enjoyed anywhere.
Where To Purchase
The Turning Tide Wines 2021 Red Blend is well-priced at $25 and can be purchased, along with other wines, on the Turning Tide Wines website.