Founder Craig Jaffurs was ready to retire; Green hopes to inject new life into esteemed brand
Craig and Lee Jaffurs have agreed to sell Jaffurs Wine Cellars in California's Santa Barbara County to their neighbor Daniel Green, the winemaker and co-owner of Conarium Wines. Terms were not disclosed, but the acquisition includes the Jaffurs tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara, the winery and all inventory.
Weed, Augustus. (2018, Oct 15). Eight Santa Barbara Charmers: New reviews of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and more from Southern California. Wine Spectator.
"A robust, medium-bodied white, with pineapple, pear and melon flavors that have crunchy acidity and a spicy accent. A slightly waxy texture lingers on the finish. Drink now." — MaryAnn Worobiec on the 2017 Grenache Blanc, Thompson Vineyard
Weed, Augustus. (2018, Nov 26). Nine Winter Whites from California: New reviews of Rhône-style wines from Napa, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. Wine Spectator.
"Intensely fruity, with a mix of pear, mango and peach flavors and a hint of tomato leaf. Crisp and refreshing, with plenty of intensity on the juicy finish. Drink now." — MaryAnn Worobiec on the 2017 Viognier, Bien Nacido Vineyard
Weed, Augustus. (2014, June 30). Nine Bold California Reds: New reviews of Rhône-style wines from the Central Coast. Wine Spectator.
"A pure, dense, richly flavored style, with a mix of blueberry, blackberry and wild berry flavors. Jammy without being weighty. Ends with a burst of raspberry and spice notes. Drink now through 2022. 231 cases made." — James Laube on the 2011 Syrah, Thompson Vineyard
"Centered on ripe berry and spicy peppery notes that are deep and persistent, this firms midpalate and ends with a spicy, layered finish and good length. The tannins are chewy. Drink now through 2022. 367 cases made." — James Laube on the 2011 Syrah, Verna's Vineyard
2016 Grenache, Santa Barbara County 91 pts
Sleek and spirited, with floral raspberry and spiced cinnamon aromas and elegantly layered cherry and smoky, sweet anise flavors. Drink now through 2023. 500 cases made. — Tim Fish
2016 Petite Sirah, Thompson Vineyard, Santa Barbara County 93 pts
No one could mistake the 2016 Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard from Jaffurs for anything but a Petite Sirah, but it's also remarkably elegant, wafting from the glass with aromas of plum preserve, tar, inky black fruits and licorice. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and velvety, with good concentration and sappy fruit, deep and richly tannic without ever becoming overbearing. — William Kelly
2015 Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills 90 pts
The 2015 Chardonnay from Jaffurs is quite characterful and attractive, offering up aromas of citrus pith, buttered apples and honeycomb, framed by light reduction. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, glossy and nicely concentrated, with almost chewy extract buttressed by good acidity and energy, concluding with a precise finish. — William Kelly
Antonio Galloni on the 2015 Syrahs
2015 Upslope, Santa Barbara County 93 pts
The 2015 Syrah Upslope, a blend of the best barrels in the cellar, packs a serious punch. Bold, racy and exuberant, the 2015 will prove nearly impossible to resist upon release. The 2015 is composed of four barrels of Bien Nacido, 2 of Larner and 1 of Thompson. As good as the wine is, and it is outstanding, I am not sure it is meaningfully different from the vineyard designates. That said, the Upslope is super appealing just the same. The 2015 was fermented with around 28% whole clusters and drops of Viognier. I am not sure the wine needs the 40%+ new oak, but the wood works well here.
2015 Thompson Vineyard, Santa Barbara County 91 pts
The 2015 Syrah Thompson Vineyard is powerful, dense and super expressive. Inky blue/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, tobacco and licorice all flesh out in the glass. Even with all of its power, the Thompson retains a distinctly mid-weight sense of structure. The 2015 was done with fully destemmed fruit and spent 18 months in barrel.
2015 Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon 93 pts
The 2015 Syrah Larner Vineyard is another super-expressive wine from Jaffurs. Bright floral notes perk up the red-toned fruits nicely. Persistent, energetic and gracious, the Larner has so much to offer. Beams of tannin extend the mid-palate and finish effortlessly in this gorgeous Syrah from Jaffurs.
2015 Kimsey Vineyard, Ballard Canyon 93 pts
The 2015 Syrah Kimsey Vineyard is a bold, authoritative wine, as Syrahs from this site always are. Dense and meaty through the middle, with terrific richness, the Kimsey has a lot to offer. There is plenty of density to the dark cherry and plum fruit, but it's the wine's distinct structural profile and the personality of this Ballard Canyon site that speak with the greatest eloquence.
2015 Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley 93 pts
The 2015 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard is silky and polished, with no hard edges and tons of the personality that is such a signature of this Santa Maria site. Inky red fruit, lavender and spice nuances fill out nicely. A touch of Viognier adds perfume and attractive notes. This is the first vintage of the Bien Nacido Syrah done with whole clusters, an approach that worked beautifully
2017 Jaffurs Syrah Upslope, 99 pts
The flagship Syrah from Jaffurs is always a selection made from the single vineyards, and the 2017 Syrah Upslope is 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier that was 55% destemmed and brought up in 50% new French oak. Deep purple-hued, with killer notes of jammy blackberries, ground pepper, bouquet garni, and smoked game, its flawlessly balanced and medium to full-bodied on the palate, with polished tannins, brilliant purity, and a great, great finish. Pure class with a Côte Rôtie—like character, this incredible wine should be snatched up by readers and enjoyed over the coming 10-15 years. Hats off to the team at Jaffurs!
2018 Petite Sirah, Thompson Vineyard 92 pts
A year-in, year-out smoking value, the 2018 Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard reveals a deep purple color as well as a big nose of blueberries, bouquet garni, chocolate and gravely earth. Rich, full-bodied, and packed with fruit, it still has good acidity, terrific balance and a great finish.
Jeb Dunnuck on the 2015 Syrahs
2015 Upslope, Santa Barbara County 96 pts
The flagship is the 2015 Syrah Upslope and in 2015 it includes 2% Viognier and is from a mix of Bien Nacido, Larner, and Thompson vineyards. Its inky ruby/purple color is followed by a beautiful, ethereal, yet full-bodied Syrah that has oodles of blackberry, cassis, bacon fat, lavender, violets, and peppery herbs. Deep, concentrated, yet seamless and weightless, it's a sensational Syrah, and one of the finest version of this cuvée to date.
2015 Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley 97 pts
The 2015 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard (there's 3% Viognier) is one of the inkier wines in the lineup. Aged 22 months in 28% new French oak, it boasts knockout notes of blackberries, smoked duck, lavender, bacon fat, and ample marine-like minerality and seabreeze notes. Gorgeously pure, full bodied, concentrated, and expansive, it's a brilliant, brilliant Syrah that has everything you could want from this variety. It opens up with time in the glass (I followed this bottle for two days) and can be drunk today or cellaring for 10-15 years.
2015 Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon 95 pts
The 2015 Syrah Larner Vineyard is similarly deeply colored, and it saw 1% cofermented Viognier and 22 months one-third new barrels. Clean, pure and elegant, with rocking notes of crème de cassis, bacon fat, leafy herbs, and lavender, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a more tight, reserved texture, solid mid-palate depth, and a great finish. This is another sensational wine from this estate.
Matt Kettmann on the 2015 Syrahs
2015 Upslope, Santa Barbara County 94 pts Cellar Selection
Bright and snappy violet aromas lead into black peppers and charred blackberry on the elegant nose of this bottling, created from the winery's best-barrels released each vintage. The palate is taut and grippy with firm tannins and perfectly primed acid, which will carry the dried herb and pepper flavors into the deep future. Drink 2020–2030.
2015 Thompson Vineyard 93 pts
Candied boysenberry, white pepper and thyme-crusted roast aromas show on the nose of this bottling from a seminal vineyard in the Los Alamos area. Tightly woven on the palate, the wine is very expressive and floral, with flavors of violet, elderflower and black-plum skins.
2015 Larner Vineyard 93 pts
Black currant, charred berries and a hint of diesel show on the nose of this dark and intense bottling from Ballard Canyon. The dark-fruit flavors continue on the sip, but are lifted by rosemary, bay leaf and chalky tannins.
2015 Kimsey Vineyard 92 pts
Snappy black-raspberry and green-peppercorn aromas meet with black-plum paste and purple flowers on the nose of this bottling. It's a lively wine, fresh, floral and medium bodied on the palate, where thyme, rosemary and fennel flavors decorate the dark fruit.