Tasting Notes: Wines from the Lompoc Wine Ghetto

Brewer-Clifton Mount Carmel Chardonnay 2007 ($68). This crisp chardonnay could masquerade as a sauvignon blanc, with its bright pear flavor and kick of lemony acidity.

Fiddlehead Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc 2006 ($25). Winemaker Kathy Joseph makes only pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, including this delicate wine, which offers hints of grapefruit and tropical fruit.

Longoria Sta. Rita Hills Fe Ciega Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 ($40). A robust cherry aroma with hints of gorgonzola cheese gives way to a darkly fruity, spicy, and slightly tannic flavor.

Palmina Honea Nebbiolo 2005 ($70). This wine, from a varietal usually grown in Italy's Piedmont region, delivers an intriguing earthy aroma and a well-balanced blend of black cherry and eucalyptus flavors.

Piedrasassi Syrah 2005 ($55). This deep, smoky, complex wine has jammy black currant flavors and a touch of woodsiness; it is made by Sashi Moorman of Stolpman Vineyards and Peter Hunken of Black Sheep Finds.

Samsara Melville Vineyard Syrah 2006 ($40). An inky, deep purple wine with a sweet, almost chocolatey nose and a flavor redolent of stone fruit and black pepper.

Sea Smoke "Southing" Pinot Noir 2006 ($60). This elegant pinot, one of three the winery makes, is the winemakers' favorite. With hints of smoke, oak, and red fruit, it is pleasingly balanced.

Stolpman Vineyards Sangiovese 2006 ($32). Light but full-bodied with notes of resin, dried cranberries, and currants.

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