This has been a story I've been waiting to tell. Somehow, someway Craig Jaffurs and Dave Yates have been a part of my wine career almost since the beginning. As a young wine buyer, Craig explained the concept of Brix to me. I can't even tell you how many wine dinners I've been to with Craig. I do know that for each dinner, Craig's wines have brought out the best on some of my favorite Chefs, and closest friends. When I became a sales rep, one of the wines in my portfolio was Jaffurs. I know I sold a lot of their wine because I still always hear about the good ole days from these guys. When I decided to move to Ohio, Craig and Dave put me with Walt for a lunch at La Super Rica in Santa Barbara (You have no idea how great...). Walt eventually hired me, and again I was selling Jaffurs. As I was putting together the concept for ampelography, Dave and Craig were 2 of my first phone calls.
This is one of those phenomenon in this business that makes it so special. We are all members of our own mutual admiration society. And it is these types of relationships that can last a lifetime.
Oh, by the way, the wines are ridiculously good. I remember back in the day when we would speculate as to why the press hadn't wised up to these wines. Now, they are famous for the huge scores. The thing is, the style of these wines has remained the same all these years. The guys make Rhone wines in Santa Barbara. They make the best examples of nearly every single vineyard bottling they produce. I have had countless winemakers tell me that Jaffurs Roussanne is the absolute best White Rhone Wine from the U.S.! Their Syrahs all have a sense of place. Each single vineyard bottling has it's own personality, but all have that commonality of of balanced structure and minerality. These wines age as well as their Rhone counterparts. I'd rather drink Jaffurs Viognier than almost any Condrieu. I could go on, but I'll just say that we are thrilled to add Jaffurs Wines Cellars to the ampelography portfolio!