Wine Review: Cordon of Santa Barbara Syrah 2014

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo

Etienne Terlinden knocks it out of the park with the wines he makes for Santa Barbara's Summerland Winery label.  But the wines under his pet project, Cordon, come across as especially personal.  The wines feature exceptional grape sources and employ classic, thoughtful, Old World-inspired methods -- a tip of the hat to Terlinden's Belgian and European upbringing and to an appreciation for wine that begans when he was young.

I recently got my hands on one of the last remaining bottles of the 2014 vintage of Cordon's White Hawk Vineyard syrah.  Only 90 cases were made, so this is a small-batch, hand-crafted endeavor through and through.  Sourced from an organically and sustainably farmed vineyard, and aged for 18 months in half-new/half-neutral French oak barrels, the wine is smooth and elegant and well-rounded in the mouth.  Rich earth notes are balanced by ripe dark berry flavors.  A perfect match for any grilled meats, especially lamb and filet mignon.

Look out for the 2015 rendition of this wine, coming soon.

  • Label: Cordon Syrah
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Source: White Hawk Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
  • Winemaker: Etienne Terlinden
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Price: $32 (though some shops with a few remaining bottles are pricing it under $20)

Find out more about Cordon of Santa Barbara at


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