When winemaker Steve Beckmen returned from Italy in 1997, he was convinced that his family's recently purchased hillside in Santa Barbara County would be perfect for growing Rhone varietals. His father Tom was skeptical, but since then, Purisima Mountain Vineyard has established itself as one of the finest sources of Syrah and Grenache in the Central Coast. Steve's ideas have been validated; the exposure, slope and precious limestone subsoil provide the perfect conditions for these Rhone vines. Biodynamic farming, practiced since 2006, hasn't hurt things either. The wines here range from estate to vineyard block bottlings, like the Syrah Block Number 6 Purisima Mountain -- in perennial competition with Syrah Clone No. 1 for the estate's top wine. We're also impressed with the effort the Beckmens put into their rose wines; these are much more than a destination for unwanted fruit.