Tasting Notes with SB Wine Collective Wine Manager Wyatt Davidson
Graham Tatomer is winning wine lovers over with his Austrian-inspired Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. The Santa Barbara native began his career in the industry at sixteen at the Santa Barbara Winery. After four years and broad exposure to winemaking he became infatuated with everything viticulture. Graham traveled to Austria and trained under the illustrious Weingut Knoll for three harvests. From hand-sorting grapes at midnight to learning ancient Roman terracing methods, Graham absorbed invaluable Old World knowledge that would serve him well. It was there that he gained his passion and developed a vision for what grew into the Tatomer label. The challenge has been in adapting what he learned in Europe to California, and he has succeeded in spades.
Tatomer is known for the greatest expression of bone-dry Riesling and Grüner Veltliner in Santa Barbara County. The Kick-on Ranch 2018 Riesling ($38) is what I consider the crown jewel in the lineup. Graham gives this wine what he calls the full “Austrian Treatment,” which entails longer skin contact and aging in neutral oak, which gives it high ageing power. This winemaking style lends itself to a floral and mineral nose. On the palate, you will find sweet citrus rounded out with salted honey and a long, drawn-out finish.
I would recommend pairing it alongside baked brie or with a fresh farmer’s market pappardelle pasta topped with thin-sliced zucchini, multi-colored cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, light olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, and shaved Parmesan. Recommended film pairing: My Man Godfrey, 1936.