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Railsback Frères 'Cuvée Spéciale' Santa Ynez Valley Le Counoise 2021


This Counoise comes from a single parcel in Santa Ynez Valley that’s wild with limestone and fossils. The cuttings of these vines actually come from the Beaucastel in Chateaneuf-du-Pape. After reaching out to several winemakers in Provence for their advice on growing Counoise, it was advised that Counoise is the grape of the future. In a world of ongoing climate change, the grape has natural acidity lending itself well to warm growing conditions. It’s floral and fresh, though structured and minerally, not unlike Cru Beaujolais. It spends ten months in neutral French oak.


The story of two brothers: even while still in high school, Eric was already collecting bottles of prized top dollar Burgundy and Chablis, hiding them under his bed when he started college. Lyle’s quest for knowledge landed him in Austria where he met one of his most important friends in the industry, sommelier Rajat Parr. After a decade of restaurant work, Eric returned to Santa Barbara to start his own project, Lieu Dit, inspired by the Loire. Older brother Lyle had also worn many hats in the industry, ultimately landing a job for one of the most esteemed importers Kermit Lynch, leading regional sales. After leading separate lives for some time, the brothers both felt a calling to merge their two paths, which is how Railsback Frères came to be born.

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