The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2015

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44  /  the tasting panel  / august 2015 NEW RELEASES CELEBRATING AN UNBRIDLED RE-LAUNCH AT SANTA ANITA PARK by Jesse Hom-Dawson / photos by Adam James Wild Horse Winemakers Chrissy Wittmann and Todd Ricard. Off to the Races TASTING NOTES Unbridled by Wild Horse 2014 Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County (SRP $24.99) A distinct creaminess underscores unctu- ous peach nectar. Butterscotch interplays with lemon drops and a subtle oak finish. —Meridith May Unbridled by Wild Horse 2014 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County (SRP $24.99) Wild cherries and cinnamon are lithe and lively. Earthy tones come through a fine acidity. —M.M. T his summer, THE TASTING PANEL joined Wild Horse Winery to celebrate the re-launch of their Unbridled label with some classic horse races at Santa Anita Park, the historic Los Angeles race track. A new effort from the Templeton, CA–based winery, Unbridled—a separate entity from its Wild Horse label—will offer a 2014 Chardonnay and a 2014 Pinot Noir, with grapes sourced from nearby Santa Barbara County. Wild Horse Winery was named after the wild mustangs that wandered the hills east of the vineyard estate, so showcasing the two new offerings at the horse races was a match as perfect as the Kentucky Derby and extravagant hats. While watching the races and sipping on these new wines, Winemakers Chrissy Wittmann and Todd Ricard discussed how these wines will differ from the rest of Wild Horse's portfolio. "We just decided to go all out," says Wittmann. "Todd and I wanted to get creative and make a wine that really accentuates the intense fruit flavors, but still keeps the flavor profile elegant and acidic." Ricard comments, "We put a lot of thought and effort into how we wanted to produce these wines. Eighty percent of the Chardonnay blend undergoes malolactic fermentation to enhance its flavor, and we selected wider-grain oak barrels to age the wines in, to allow more oxygen." The refreshing wines were the perfect antidote to the hot day, which culminated in a race sponsored by the Unbridled team. The Wild Horse team didn't horse around with their generosity, giving a few bottles of the equine wine to the winners of the race, who we raised a toast to before we bid the track good-bye and entered our own race into L.A. traffic. Unbridled will be available for both on- and off-premise accounts in California and New Jersey for the next year, with a national expansion planned for July 2016.

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