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Professional Ratings: 89 Burghound.com, 88 Connoisseurs' Guide
Region: Santa Maria Valley, California
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Style: Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume: 13.5%
Item no. 106201
The grapes were hand harvested and cold soaked prior to fermentation to enhance fruit character, color and body. During fermentation, a combination of punch-downs and pump-overs ensured maximum extraction. The wine was aged for eight months in small French oak barrels.
The dominant themes are dark berries, cherries, rose petal, red plum, brown spice and smoke. This is a forward, approachable wine that displays the beautiful floral/mineral character typical of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir.
A very pretty nose features notes of sandalwood, red pinot fruit and a hint of cherry liqueur that introduces delicious, round and seductively textured middle weight flavors that culminate in a dusty, cool and balanced finish. This moderately complex and attractively stylish effort offers outstanding quality for the price and about the only real nit is a trace of backend warmth.
Given its entirely modest price, we would be more than happy with the clean and very precise fruit provided by this altogether engaging youngster, but the wine is about more than fruit and shows a sense of crafting and complexity that makes it an out-and-out steal. Its ongoing themes of ripe cherries are accented with hints of vanilla and a wisp of dried-flower sweetness, and it is as trim and carefully balanced as it is just plain delicious. We would not argue with those who would drink it right now, but its structure and very fine fit of pieces ensure that it will keep.