Welcome to Imagine Wine, where Ross Rankin and his wife Lyn Dee Rankin host their wine tasting room and art gallery. Inside this quaint tasting room you can enjoy assorted art and sculptures, including some from their son, Blake Rankin. Here you can sample some great tasting wine including one of their first releases, The Paradise Mountain Syrah.
On our recent visit to Santa Ynez, my boyfriend and I stopped in to say hi. Our last conversation with Ross at Imagine Wine was last year during our annual wine tasting trip. The tasting room was quiet that day (why we go on Mondays) and Ross spent a while with us explaining his history and passion of wine. We ended up taking home one of his 2007 Zinfandels and it was fantastic. It's not typical to have tasting rooms pour 2005s, 2007s and 2008s, but we love it and that's why we keep coming back.
5 of his wine bottles bear the very bare "Pearl," a semi-nude portrait of a beautiful woman painted by a famous Los Angeles artist in 1940. He believes it's the first nude label on a bottle of wine (allowed as a wine label because of the artist's historical significance).
A tasting at Imagine Wine will run you $10 and if you can't make it all the way to Santa Ynez, then we'll we bring it to you. Here are the some of the selections he poured for us that day and our video interview with Ross Rankin.
French Colombard was originally made in the sixties and seventies as "jug wine." The varietal eventually lost its popularity to Chardonnay and other white varietals, but it is still the second most planted white grape in California.
The label of "Winged" Paradise Syrah, based on Wing Series #2 (see above) is layered, slightly chewy and well-rounded. It's aged 6 years in 75% French and 25% Hungarian Oak. Delicious.
Ross describes this Cabernet Savignon as having feminine characteristics with medium tannins. It's aged 36 months in French, Hungarian and American Oak.
By: Maren Swanson • March 31st, 2014