Thompson Vineyard is one of the great sites of Santa Barbara County.  Tucked back into Los Alamos Valley’s Alisos Canyon, the Syrahs from here are legendary, with a structure and precision rarely found outside of the Northern Rhone.

…The wine [2010 Luminesce Syrah from Thompson Vineyard] showed amazingly well, with white pepper, gravel, smoked meat, and blueberry on the nose, along with a poised, beautifully structured palate.  The overall balance in this wine could easily stand head to head with the greats from Hermitage or Cornas.

Under the Influence: Remembering An Inspired Night of Wine, Food, and Friends
Los Olivos Wine Merchant - Mar 03, 2014

…no spot is more synonymous with Jaffurs syrah, and therefore Santa Barbara County syrah, than Thompson Vineyard. “It is a remarkably consistent, bullet proof vineyard that produces tannic, pure syrah,” Jaffurs asserts. “By bullet proof, I mean that no matter what happens from a farming or weather perspective, the fruit is always great”

The syrahs from Thompson always seem perfectly balanced… “Interestingly, while Thompson Vineyard syrah is not our darkest wine, it has revealed itself to have bigger tannins that the others,” Jaffurs admits. “It is unique in this tobacco/cherry quality and surprises folks who equate blackness with power.”

That prized vineyard also provides the grape for one of Jaffurs’ pet projects — a brilliant, teeth-staining petite sirah. “My wife, Lee, calls it ‘Manifest Destiny in a Bottle’.”  Jaffurs again praises the site for this wondrous grape, claiming, “Without the Thompson fruit, we would not have a petit sirah program.

Making Syrah in Santa Barbara
KCET - Oct 28, 2014

Starting in the east, near the northern boundary of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, we find perhaps the area’s most acclaimed sub-region: Alisos Canyon. Running east of Highway 101 along Alisos Canyon Road, this area is paradise for Rhone varieties, though Cabernet Franc and Gamay also have potential. The canyon is home to the famed Thompson Vineyard, which has produced legendary Syrahs for 20 years.

…at Thompson, is Tierra Sandy Loam, an alluvial soil providing more textural breadth in the wines.  The Third Twin (formerly Los Tres Burros), Sine Qua Non’s site above Thompson, shifts into San Andreas-Tierra Complex, a much sandier, sandstone-derived soil.

Los Alamos Valley: An In-Depth Look At Santa Barbara County’s Unsung Treasure
Los Olivos Wine Merchant - Jul 21, 2014