Testarossa Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2021
Dark red hue. Scents of cherry cola, roasted raspberries, and vanilla bean unite in this blend of our finest Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir vineyards. In the background there are some notes of grapefruit and orange-zest which provide an element of freshness. Once on the palate, these qualities continue and are accentuated by dried cherry notes. Fine tannins with incredible depth and richness offer a pleasing experience while the modest acidity maintains a youthful, lively, and refreshing finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Very young yet holding nothing back in the way of juicy, very well-defined fruit, Testarossa’s appellation bottling from the Santa Lucia Highlands is a solid and serious Pinot Noir that delivers the goods both on the nose and in its persistent, fruit-focused flavors. It tempts drinking now, and we would be loath to refuse a glass or two tonight, but, given a choice, we would hold off pulling its cork for another few years with absolute faith in its future
Testarossa Vineyards, located in the historic 19th century Novitiate winery of Los Gatos, was founded in 1993 by husband and wife team of Rob and Diana Jensen. The name Testarossa (Italian for "red-head") was a nickname given to Rob Jensen when he was a university student in Italy. It was there, also, that the Jensens further developed their passion for good food and wine. The Jensens are dedicated to making small lots of vineyard desgnated wines from only the best vineyards in the cool, ocean-influenced counties of Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”