Announcing the Release of 2010 Pinot Noirs
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Greetings from Santa Barbara Wine Country:
We are excited to announce the release of three new 2010 Pinot Noirs. Ever since the quick disappearance of the 2010 Presidio Vineyard Pinot Noir, we have been itching to get the rest of the 2010 Pinots in bottle. However, patience is one of the key ingredients in fine wine, and additional barrel aging creates complexity and enhances depth and integration. In December, we did exhaustive tastings of every barrel of Pinot Noir and determined that the time had come. And so in January we bottled three new wines. We have fulfilled our promise to the Wine Club that they get first crack at the new releases, and so we are ready to offer them to the wider public. As always, these Pinot Noirs are extremely limited and will sell out fast. Act now or, better yet, join the wine club and guarantee that you will get at least a few of these terrific Pinot Noirs.
2010 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills $42
This wine is a blend of top sites in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, where foggy mornings give way to windy afternoons with brilliant sunshine, perfect for Pinot Noir. This wine is composed of grapes from the dramatic, steep and windswept slopes of John Sebastiano Vineyard, with some additions from Cargasacchi, Fiddlestix, La Encantada and Zotovich. The grapes are hand harvested and sorted in the vineyard in the cold early mornings, destemmed without crushing, given a 4-7 day cold soak, carefully fermented (native yeast where possible), drained and pressed straight to barrel. After 15 months aging in barrel, without racking, the wine is painstakingly blended for complexity and balance. This wine is already exuberantly generous, and it will go fast as always. Only 300 cases made.
Our Tasting Note: The dramatic nose combines spicy dark black cherry and red raspberry notes with vanilla, cocoa, nutmeg and hints of fresh herbs. On the palate this fairly full bodied wine is substantial but measured, combining waves of fully ripe fruit (fresh and preserved cherries (Luxardo) and sweet raspberries) with hints of chocolate and brown sugar. Fresh ripe acidity and serious but pliant tannins result in a long, velvety-textured and satisfying finish. Pair with grilled lamb or beef, mushrooms, or savory sauced pork dishes.
2010 Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix Vineyard $54
The famed Fiddlestix vineyard performed terrifically in the tricky 2010 vintage. For the past several years, we have selected clones 113 and 115 from particularly well situated blocks in this expertly managed vineyard. The 113 gives spice and high toned red fruits, the 115 a deeper darker classic black cherry fruit with great structure. With partial whole cluster fermentation and 33% new French oak adding complexity, this wine has all the stuffing to improve for several years in bottle. Compared to the 2009 this wine is more vivacious and exuberant early on, showing lots of rich fruit flavors.
Our Tasting Note: On the nose, the wine shows classic Fiddlestix red fruits (cranberry, raspberry and candied cherry) with spice cake, a touch of cocoa and some minty herbal notes from the whole clusters. The palate is medium to full bodied, but never heavy, as classic Sta. Rita Hills black cherry, hints of cola and baking spices envelope ripe and refreshing acidity, and solid balancing tannic structure. Extremely limited, only 150 cases made.
2010 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, The Black Label $75
A remarkable blend of our best barrels of 2010, this is destined to the best Pinot we have made to date. The wine is comprised of 2 barrels of Cargasacchi Santa Rita Hills clone 115, 1 of Fiddlestix clone 115 and one barrel of La Encantada clone 667. The La Encantada barrel (new Francois Freres) was so deep, concentrated and complex that we simply had to consider making a reserve level wine. Blending trials confirmed that it married perfectly with Cargasacchi, and the addition of the spicy, higher toned Fiddlestix made it even better. This is the MJM of Pinot Noir, and so it received the Black Label. Less than 100 cases made.
Our Tasting Note: On the nose, dark, brooding, super black cherry and hints of game from the Cargassachi, classic high register red fruits, with baking spices from the Fiddlestix, and sweet black cherry, forest floor and vanilla from La Encantada. On the palate the wine is bigger and brasher than the “SRH”, with waves of fruit, baking spices (pumpkin pie, cinnamon), and hints of perfectly integrated toast. The texture is pure, silky and full bodied, and finishes long and sappy, with lift provided by round acidity and ripe tannins.
2011 Rose of Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills $20
Speaking of Pinot Noir, we made a tiny amount of Rose from the saignee of our fantastic 2011 Pinots. Juice is pulled from the fermenters after 24 hours of skin contact, transferred to neutral barrels and fermented to complete dryness. Substantial for a Rose, the wine drinks like a baby pinot noir, with cherry and cola notes, and luscious, lip smacking acidity. A warm sunny President’s Day weekend put a serious dent in our limited supply of 50 cases. Get some of this gem today.
Small Production Means Limited Availability
It is an old story at this point, but we sold out of 2008 and 2009 Pinots very quickly. Many of you were left disappointed. We don’t want this to happen to you! Order today.
Note to Wine Club members: You received the 2010 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills in the winter shipment and you will receive the Fiddlestix and Black Label in future shipments; however, if you want any more than your present allocation, you should order additional bottles now. Past history indicates that the Pinots will be gone and reorders impossible. You will have to trust us and your past experience and know these are beautiful, painstakingly hand crafted wines that will disappear in a flash.
As always, we thank you for your patronage and for joining us in our journey. We have been delighted by the critical and consumer response to our wines, and we promise to continue searching out the best vineyards, applying best vineyard management practices to our blocks, and meticulously working in the cellar to make great wines from this amazingly diverse, world class wine region. The best is yet to come, as we mature as a region and as a winery.
We look forward to seeing you soon and sharing our latest creations with you. Oh, and make sure you get some Pinot Noir before it disappears…