Dorianne and I opened a 2001 Rancho Sisquoc Cabernet Sauvignon(LINK) last night – a bottle that we got at the winery (LINK) in about 2006. The wine had been stored in our small wine refrigerator. We are thinning out our cellar in anticipation of moving (that will be covered in other posts) and having no fixed address for some time, so the Rancho Sisquoc was opened.

2015-01-15 20.00.19

The first thing I noticed was that the cork was completely dried out – the extraction process took a while and a couple of implements, and most of the cork came out in tiny pieces. This, I thought, does not bode well. I had really made a mess on the counter top – most of the cork was dust. Finally, I got to the bottom of the cork, and those pieces fell into the wine (of course).

The first sniff of the bottle was promising, so I poured a bit through a screen in my Vinturi Wine Aerator (LINK), which caught most of the cork bits.

Well, the wine was wonderful – rich, dark purple in color, with nice fruit (dark cherry mostly) on the nose and palate, and just a touch of minerality and leather. The wine was well-balanced and drank beautifully. There was enough integrity to that devastated cork to keep things in good shape in the bottle, for which we are very grateful. We had the wine with a snack dinner of chevre, smoked salmon, prosciutto, and crackers. Life is good!


  1. Life is indeed good Jim. Thanks for the trip down memory lane of a winery that I suspect many overlook. I have told wine geek friends of mine that if I could only drink wines from one CA winery AND had to pay for them I would pick Rancho Sisquoc. They have a very large variety of estate whites and reds and they are almost always well made and reasonably (often inexpensive by current standards) priced.


    1. Thanks Steven. Oddly enough, we opened a 2005 Rancho Sisquoc Meritafe a couple of nights later – same problem with the cork, but the wine was superb.


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