The Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara is distinguishing itself as a premier location for cultivating Bordeaux varietals. This eastern edge of the Santa Ynez Valley benefits from its warm inland location, rolling hills, and mineral-laden soils; an ideal terroir for powerful yet approachable reds.
The 2014 Frye Meritage is a prime example of the region’s potential, revealed through its unique blend of 30% Petit Verdot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 11% Syrah, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec. Inky purple in color, the seductive nose is full of chocolate covered blackberry, melted licorice, and spice. The palate is rich in flavor and silky in texture, with deep black plum and fig notes laid out on a bold yet approachable tannin structure. The wine’s rich flavors persist through the finish with a soft creamy mouthfeel and flavors of cherry jam and fruitcake. Approachable today but built to age, the wine is best served after two hours in the decanter to fully express itself.