Full of Life Flatbreads

This casual restaurant is a terrific source of spectacular pizza (sorry, I can’t get use to the term “flatbread”). Located on the approach to Los Alamos, a tiny one-horse village in the Santa Ynez wine region, they are only open Thursday through Sunday, and while they do have a good beer and wine list, most people BYOB. The quality of the ingredients in every dish – the heirloom salad, tomato soup, stuffed artichokes and exquisite pizzas - was sensational. Each dish was just bursting with flavor. It’s a shame that a place that is this good, this much fun and so casual with such an emphasis on high quality raw materials has to be 3,000 miles away from me.

The wines included a delicious 2008 generic Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Chardonnayand a young, magnificent 2003 Guigal Côte Rôtie La Landonne that was black as a moonless night and still needs another 5-6 years of bottle age. Revealing lots of earth, truffle, asphalt and meat juices, it worked wonders with the flatbreads. The 2000 Sine Qua Non Incognito remains one of the greatest, possibly THE greatest fully mature Grenache ever made in California. If I recall correctly, about 5% Syrah was blended with the Grenache, and the result is a magnificent wine boasting loads of kirsch liqueur, lavender, spice box, pepper and meat juices, a velvety, opulent texture, stunning purity and a singular personality. This phenomenal wine is fully mature, and is not likely to improve any further. Those lucky enough to have bottles in their cellars are advised to drink it up.

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