Wine of the Day, No. 457


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The number in the name of the Santa Barbara Winery Lafond Vineyard 2.3 Riesling 2016, Sta. Rita Hills, indicates the level of residual sugar left in the wine after fermentation, that is, 2.3 percent. This is, in other words, a moderately, lightly sweet riesling whose scrupulously balanced character and crystalline acidity keep it zesty, refreshing and exciting. The color is very pale straw-gold, and any sweetness is really a function of the intense ripeness of its peach and lychee fruit scents and flavors, highlighted by classic notes of rubber eraser, smoke and lime peel; from mid-palate back through the lustrous flint, limestone finish and grapefruit-inflected finish, the wine is bone-dry, the whole enterprise riding on an element of exquisite tension. 12.9 percent alcohol. We happily drank this bottle with a pasta loaded with red cabbage and bacon, abetted by a touch of cream and toasted walnuts. Winemaker …

Sipping SIP-Certified Pinot Noir


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




What connects these eight pinot noir wines, besides a general geographical position along California’s Central Coast from Monterey County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south, is that they are certified by SIP: Sustainability in Practice. (So, nothing north of San Francisco, no Russian River Valley, no Sonoma Coast or Anderson Valley or Carneros.) SIP is a not-for-profit organization that certifies wineries and vineyards that adhere to methods of preserving and protecting the environment and employing business practices that seek to ensure the viability of the environment for the present and the future. It is, then, a connection of philosophy and methodology rather than of actual winemaking regimen. You will see, for example, that the winemakers responsible for this roster vary widely in their use of oak barrels, from no new oak at all to a considerable amount. And obviously the terroir and climate differ markedly; …

Wine of the Day, No. 442


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Fiddlehead Cellars “Seven Twenty Eight” Pinot Noir 2013, Sta. Rita Hills, is the current release of this wine from an estate known particularly for pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. Derived from a variety of clones in the Fiddlestix Vineyard, the wine offers a medium ruby-magenta hue that shades to a wholly transparent rim; aromas of plums, red and black cherries and sour cherry are permeated by notes of sandalwood and sassafras and a hint of loam; a few minutes in the glass bring in touches of ink and iodine, graphite and damp flint. This pinot noir displays lovely poise and elegance, tone and presence; mild tannins, feeling lightly sanded and burnished, are animated by a lithe, supple texture and bright acidity that drives toward a finish wreathed in a burgeoning loamy-graphite element; these qualities bring restraint to a pinot noir that could have been succulent but instead displays admirable …

Wine of the Day, No. 442


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Fiddlehead Cellars “Seven Twenty Eight” Pinot Noir 2013, Sta. Rita Hills, is the current release of this wine from an estate known particularly for pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. Derived from a variety of clones in the Fiddlestix Vineyard, the wine offers a medium ruby-magenta hue that shades to a wholly transparent rim; aromas of plums, red and black cherries and sour cherry are permeated by notes of sandalwood and sassafras and a hint of loam; a few minutes in the glass bring in touches of ink and iodine, graphite and damp flint. This pinot noir displays lovely poise and elegance, tone and presence; mild tannins, feeling lightly sanded and burnished, are animated by a lithe, supple texture and bright acidity that drives toward a finish wreathed in a burgeoning loamy-graphite element; these qualities bring restraint to a pinot noir that could have been succulent but instead displays admirable …

Pinot Noir Day: California, Part I — 2014, ’15, ’16


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Twelve examples of pinot noir today, as I catch up on wines that I tasted throughout the last six months. This post is just the beginning. There will be at least one more in this particular series, a post devoted to pinot noir from Willamette Valley, and a series about individual wineries and producers. We range from Sta. Rita Hills in the south, in Santa Barbara County, to Anderson Valley in the north, in Mendocino. Ten of these wines rate Excellent, one Very Good+ and one Exceptional. The arrangement is alphabetical, not hierarchical. Enjoy! In moderation, of course.

These wines were samples for review.
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The Dierberg “Dierberg Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2014, Santa Maria Valley, is a really pretty pinot noir that exhibits a serious depth of sinew and underbrush. The wine aged 14 months in French oak, 20 percent new barrels. The color is a limpid, transparent medium ruby …

Weekend Wine Notes: Six Midwinter Rosés


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The weather outside may be frightful, but to sip a rosé wine is still delightful. These six examples can chase the mid-winter blues, not only with their delicate and elegant character but some with their savory elements of fruit compote, spice and earthiness. As usual with the Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew notations about history, geography and technical matters for the sake of quick and incisive mentions ripped, as it were, from the pages of my notebooks. Enjoy.
These wines were samples for review.
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Apaltagua Reserva Carmenere Rosé 2016, Maul Valley, Chile. 12.5% alc. Very pale coral-pink; delicately floral, delectably fruity (peach, strawberry), a fine-spun fabric of bright acidity and a scintillating limestone element; slightly earth finish. Delightful. About $13, representing Good Value.
Global Vineyard Importers, Berkeley, Calif.
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Chateau D’Esclans Rock Angel 2016, Côtes de Provence. 13.5% alc. 85% grenache, 15% rolle (the Italian vermentino). Very …

Three Appellation Pinot Noirs from Siduri Wines


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Sonoma-based Siduri Wines specializes in an array of single-vineyard pinot noirs from the range of West Coast regions. Winemaker and founder (in 1994) Adam Lee also produces pinot in broader appellation bottlings, which are the wines represented in today’s post, from Sta. Rita Hills (Santa Barbara County), Santa Lucia Highlands (Monterey County) and Yamhill-Carlton in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The wines are finished unfined and unfiltered and topped with screw-caps for ease of opening. Lee and his wife and fellow-winemaker Dianna Novy Lee sold the winery to Jackson Family Wines in January 2015, though he remains as winemaker. These wines, which I found extremely pleasurable, were samples for review.
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The Siduri Wines Pinot Noir 2015, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, derives from some of the appellation’s most distinguished vineyards, including Rosella’s, Garys’, Pisoni and Soberanes. The wine aged 15 months in French oak, 30 percent new barrels. The robe is …

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50 Great Wines of 2016


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




So, here it is, My Readers, the annual “50 Great Wines” roster, presently for the past year, that is, 2016. Not the “Greatest” of all wines or the “Best” of all wines, but a selection of 50 products that struck me as embodying everything we want in a wine: freshness, balance, appeal; depth, personality and character; an adherence to the nature of the grapes and, where possible, the virtues of the vineyard and climate. These are wines that leave aside the ego of the winemaker and producer for an expression of — not to sound too idealistic — an ideal of what a wine should be. I won’t belabor the process by which I arrived at this list of 50 wines, except to say that every wine I rated “Exceptional” during 2016 is automatically included. Did I leave out wines that I truly admired? Indeed, I did, because this list …

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Six-Finger Exercises: Etude’s Single-Vineyard Pinot Noirs, 2014


This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Etude Wines was founded in 1982 in Napa Valley by Tony Soter to focus on cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir made from purchased grapes grown in highly regarded vineyards. After a series of purchases, acquisitions and transformations, Etude is owned by Treasury Wine Estates, along with a rather astonishing roster of properties in California, Australia and other regions. The winery still concentrates on pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, usually produced from named vineyards in small quantities. Under review today are six of Etude’s single-vineyard pinot noir wines from 2014, touching AVAs in Carneros, Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills in California; Yamhill-Carlton in Willamette Valley; and Central Otago in New Zealand. Winemaker is Jon Priest. These are, let me just say, splendid examples of the pinot noir grape and the resonance rung upon it by specific locations. Priest sensibly employs a minimal amount of oak, as well as …

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LaMontagne Winery 2014 Marshall Vineyard Malvasia & 2013 Kessler-Haak Theron Pinot Noir


This post is by Dezel Quillen from My Vine Spot


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip features two wines from LaMontagne Winery. I was introduced to this winery through a virtual tasting put on by Protocol Wine Studio. The tasting highlighted small-production Santa Barbara producers for the entire month of February. You can join Protocol Wine Studio’s wine themed conversation every Tuesday at 9PM EST by following #winestudio on Twitter.

LaMontagne Winery was founded by foodie and wine lover, Kimberly Smith. Over the years, Kimberly had become quite fond of Pinot Noir, charmingly referred to as “the heartbreak grape,” for its temperament, fickleness, and delicacy. In 2006, that devotion led to college courses, hands-on-work at the highly-regarded Close Pepe Vineyard, and aspirants to become a winemaker. Her first vintage, which she says was an excellent growing season, would go into barrel in 2010.
“May each sip bring you joy!” ~ Kimberly Smith
Today, along with her son Alec, the winery …

Quick Sip: WALT Rita’s Crown 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir


This post is by Dezel Quillen from My Vine Spot


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hello Friends,

I recently had an opportunity to join the good folks at CellarPass for their 2014 kick-off episode which featured a live virtual tasting and interview with Steve Leveque, winemaker for Hall Wines in St Helena. Hall Wines is owned by Kathryn Hall and specializes in single-vineyard and limited-production wines with a focus on classic Bordeaux varieties. The tasting featured two Cabernet Sauvignons from Hall and a Pinot Noir from their WALT label. In this segment, we will focus on the Pinot Noir. The WALT label honors Kathryn’s parents, Bob and Dolores Walt – both dedicated winegrowers themselves. The WALT tasting room is located in Sonoma and specializes in crafting small-batches of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from top sites along the Pacific Coast. The wine I tasted was the WALT Rita’s Crown 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. The Sta. Rita Hills is a sub-appellation located on the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that’s making a name for itself with personality-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. I have a feeling that old Miles, the pinotphile from Sideways, would really enjoy this wine. For further information and where you can find this selection, please see my tasting notes below.

WALT Rita’s Crown 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Review: WALT Rita’s Crown 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir (SRP $65): This wine is medium garnet in color with inviting aromas and flavors suggestive of sweet black cherries, raspberry and spiced tea with underlying earth tones. The palate is full, generous, and flavorful with a velvety texture that’s balanced by elegant acidity leading to a nice vanilla bean accented finish. Overall, this is a delicious, riper style Pinot Noir that maintains very good balance throughout. It is both a fine solitary sipper and a good match for dishes like seared duck breast and herb-crusted rack of lamb. Region: Sta. Rita Hills, California. (Other info: ABV 14.6%, barrel matured in French oak, approximately 40% new, cork enclosure.) 92 Points. Click here to find this wine 
Enjoying a splash off the Chesapeake Bay [Maryland]
About CellarPass TV: #CellarPassTV is an informative weekly wine broadcast in which some of California’s top winemakers, winery owners, and people in the food and wine industry are interviewed by host Sarah Elliman. Their website, CellarPass.com, is a leading destination for online winery reservations that’s well worth checking out if you’re thinking about visiting California wine country. To view this episode of CellarPass TV, click here

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned …more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

My Vine Spot

2013 Wine & Fire Seminar: Digging Deep – Clone 115


This post is by GrapeRadio Bunch from GrapeRadio – Wine Talk Show


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. Rita Hills appellation. People mingled from late afternoon through dusk and into dark, sampling the various wines. Saturday morning, it was seminar time. We began with a seminar on Chardonnay, followed by a rousing discussion of Pinot Clone 115. The evening featured a grand tasting on the grounds of the La Purisima Mission.

Join us as we listen to the last of two seminars – this one on Clone (aka Cultivar) 115. Six producers from six different Pinot Noir vineyards located throughout the Sta. Rita Hills AVA share their insights as to why this clone is a precious resource in their cellar. The panel includes discussion of: Cargassachi Vineyard, represented by Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette Cellars; Rancho La Viña Vineyard, represented by Kris Curran of D’Alfonso Curran; Rancho La Rinconada Vineyard, represented by Steve Fennell of Sanford Winery; Rio Vista Vineyard, represented by Norm Yost of Flying Goat Cellars; La Montagne Kessler-Haak Vineyard, represented by Kimberly Smith of La Montagne; Clos Pepe Vineyard, represented by Adam Lee of Siduri Wines; and Sebastiano Vineyard, represented by Bill Wathen of Foxen Winery, with Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar doing the moderating.

For more info:

Sta. Rita Hills Wine Region: http://www.staritahills.com/
2014 Wine & Fire Event: www.staritahills.com/wine-fire/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

Click Below to Play the Show:

Show #356
(49:28 min 47.5 MB)

2013 Wine & Fire Seminar – There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills


This post is by GrapeRadio Bunch from GrapeRadio – Wine Talk Show


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. Rita Hills appellation. People mingled from late afternoon through dusk and into dark, sampling the various wines. Saturday morning, it was seminar time. We began with a seminar on Chardonnay, followed by a rousing discussion of Pinot Clone 115. The evening featured a grand tasting on the grounds of the La Purisima Mission.

Join us as we listen to the first of two seminars – this one on the future of Chardonnay in the Sta. Rita Hills. Could it be that this is actually better terroir for Chardonnay, rather than Pinot Noir? Panelists include: Steve Clifton (Brewer-Clifton), Ken Brown (Ken Brown Wines), Richard Sanford (Alma Rosa), Christine Bruce (Hilliard Bruce), Leslie Mead Renaud (Foley Estate Vineyards), and Antonio Moretti (Moretti Wines), with Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar doing the moderating.

For more info:

Sta. Rita Hills Wine Region: http://www.staritahills.com/
2014 Wine & Fire Event: www.staritahills.com/wine-fire/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

Click Below to Play the Show:

Show #356
(1:05:29 min 62.9 MB)

#DirtDontLie with Clos Pepe Estate Sta. Rita Hills 2009 Pinot Noir


This post is by Dezel Quillen from My Vine Spot


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hello Friends,

I recently had an opportunity to participate in a virtual “Tweet Jam” put on by Central Coast Wine and Food and Amy Corron Power, writer for Another Wine Blog. This Twitter-based tasting featured the Clos Pepe Estate Sta. Rita Hills’ 2009 Pinot Noir. Joining us online to answer questions, inform, and entertain, was Wes Hagen — vineyard manager and winemaker at Clos Pepe as well as a glowing YouTube personality. The catchy hash-tag we used for the Twitter tasting, #DirtDontLie, speaks to the producer’s minimal intervention approach to wine-making and desire to craft estate-grown wines that best express the vineyard, vintage, and grape variety.

#DirtDontLie Tasting w/ Clos Pepe

For Clos Pepe Vineyards and the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, those grape varieties are chiefly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Sta. Rita Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area) is located in Santa Barbara and is part of the greater (and generally warmer) Santa Ynez Valley AVA. The Sta. Rita Hills has a moderating maritime influence and its cool [overall] macro-climate, ample sunshine, and long growing season are well-suited to Burgundy’s two key grape varieties.

Wes wrote the original AVA petition and helped define the appellation’s boundaries. In 2001, the Sta. Rita Hills was officially recognized as an AVA. Since that time, area winegrowers, winemakers, farmers, and the quality of wine coming out of this small sub-appellation have assisted in putting the Sta. Rita Hills name on the Pinot Noir wine map – which, by the way, is fairly limited. Please see my tasting notes accompanied by a picture I snapped of the bottle and a link to the wine below.

 Clos Pepe Estate 2009 Pinot Noir

Review: Clos Pepe Sta. Rita Hills 2009 Estate Pinot Noir (SRP $62): This wine displays a beautiful (medium) crimson-garnet color in the glass with layers of fresh acidity over aromas of perfumed raspberry, black cherry, dried rose petals and brown spice with a trace of mineral undertones. The palate matches the nose with good depth of fruit, length, and a lovely texture. It’s drinking nicely now (especially with 30 to 45 minutes of air) and will continue to develop over time. Overall, this is a delicious and elegant Pinot Noir that begs for a table, good company, and a scrumptious meal (I’m thinking grilled lamb chops or seared duck breast). Approximately 900 cases of this wine were produced. (Other info: ABV 14.1%, cork enclosure.) 93 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Mother Nature’s Fall Artwork in Virginia

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned …more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Click here to get my blog posts delivered to your inbox!

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

My Vine Spot

Wine & Spirits April 2012 Pinot Noir Roundup


This post is by valleyfog from ValleyFogBlog


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Wine & Spirits April 2012 issue

We’re very excited about the inclusion of two different Waits-Mast Pinot Noir wines in Wine & Spirits Magazine’s April 2012 issue that just came out on newsstands today. The magazine, which is geared towards restaurants and retailers as well as consumers, published its annual roundup of the “Year’s Best Pinot Noir”, looking at Pinot Noir from California and Oregon appellations. After tasting through 914 new-release Pinot Noirs over the last 12 months, its critics rated 121 as “exceptional” or 90+ pts and another 62 as “best buys”.

The 2009 Waits-Mast Deer Meadows Vineyard Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley was in the top 10 California Pinot Noirs reviewed, received a rating of 94 points and this review:

Brian Mast and Jennifer Waits were wine drinkers and media/ communications professionals when they attended the technical conference at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival in 2000. By 2005, they had made their first wine and they began producing micro-lots of pinot noir under the Waits-Mast label in 2007 (the winery remains a part-time gig). This one comes from a southeast-facing vineyard at 1,600 feet in the hills above Boonville. It’s whole-berry fermented without stems, providing a rich red fruit flavor of tiny woodland berries, tart and fragrant. There’s a salty porcini note, a coastal forest feel, delicate and harmonious. (49 cases)

The 2009 Waits-Mast La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills received a 91 pt rating and this review:

A micro-cuvée from the team at Waits-Mast, this is more vinous than many pinots from the Santa Rita Hills. It’s clean and fragrant with mouthwatering, tart cherry flavor and root-like spiciness. There’s a chalkiness to the tannins balancing a sweet, gentle finish. Serve it with a gamey, heritage-breed pork chop. (23 cases)

So, we’re super-pumped about making it into this short-list of great wines. The Wine & Spirits tasting process is pretty rigorous. It is double-blind, with a selection panel made up of sommeliers, winemakers, retailers and other wine industry folks tasting the first round and then recommending about 20-30% of the wines to get to the next round. In the next round, a Wine & Spirits critic reviews the wines again blind (from a second bottle provided by the winery), and writes up the review and decides on scores. More on their tasting process can be found here.

09 Deer Meadows Review

For a super-small winery like ourselves to be included in this field of top producers, folks like Williams-Selyem, Hirsch, Flowers, Freestone and others is humbling and gratifying. We recommend that you go out and buy the hard copy of the magazine to see all the reviews and a great feature story on Anderson Valley.

So, we’ll momentarily savor the reviews and the wonderful adjectives and then move on to our winemaking and other tasks. We also look forward to seeing the smiles of people tasting our wines at the upcoming events this spring and summer.

New Holiday Special: Waits-Mast 08 Appellation 3-Pack


This post is by valleyfog from ValleyFogBlog


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Waits-Mast Pinot Noir Holiday Appellation 3-Pack

To keep things festive during this holiday season, Waits-Mast Family Cellars has put together a specially-priced three pack for California pinot noir fans, an appellation three pack. The three pack features a bottle of 2008 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from three different regions: Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley and Sta. Rita Hills.

Purchased separately, these three wines would total $135, but this special holiday pack is priced at $115 for all three bottles. Here’s the lineup of our 2008 pinot noirs included in the three pack:

2008 Hein Vineyard, Anderson Valley: from Mendocino County. Gold Medal, 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2008 Amber Ridge Vineyard, Russian River Valley: from Sonoma County. Silver Medal, 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition; 87 points, Wine Enthusiast.

2008 La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills: from Santa Barbara County. Silver Medal, 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition; 92 points, Wine Enthusiast.

Read more about each wine here. The Appellation Three Pack is available through December 31, 2010. This three pack also qualifies for our holiday shipping special, too. So order today, using the coupon code HALF, and you’ll get 50% off ground shipping. To order, go to our purchase page here. Cheers!

Fall Release: 2008 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir from La Encantada Vineyard


This post is by valleyfog from ValleyFogBlog


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2008 Waits-Mast La Encantada Pinot Noir

The new Fall release from Waits-Mast Family Cellars

The Fall release from Waits-Mast Family Cellars is our second vintage from Richard Sanford’s La Encantada Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills and the last of our three 2008 pinot noirs to be released. The 2008 La Encantada, bottled in September of 2009, is a well-structured wine. At first, it was tightly wound and needed some time. Now, a year later, it is unfolding and showing its colors and ready for your wine-drinking pleasure.

When we brought the grapes in from harvest they were probably the most perfect clusters we had ever seen. Small, tight clusters with small berries. We knew then and there that this wine was going to be a cut above.

No surprise, as this vineyard is well tended to by Sanford, and is certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). The hillside placement of this vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and the proximity to a mountain gap that exposes it to coastal fog and winds produces a low-vigor environment that delivers a lush cherry, raspberry and dark berry mix.

Okay, so after all that build up, how does it taste? All in all, the best way to describe this wines is “well-rounded.” The aroma speaks of classic central/south coast pinot noir – cranberry, cherry, plum and a touch of forest floor. On the palate, an intense but brooding red and dark berry flavor unfolds, with fine tannins, slight minerality and nice acidity. At this point, all the flavors are starting to integrate quite well, so there’s a lot to ponder in that glass.

With this type of structure and balance, it begs for food. One of our favorite dishes is a skirt steak simply marinated in garlic, soy sauce, maybe a touch of brown sugar and thrown on the grill. We also think that with Thanksgiving not far away, the cranberry and cherry notes in this wine will sing with your favorite holiday meal.

2008 La Encantada Pinot Noir

2008 La Encantada Pinot Noir

Oh, and did we mention that this wine also won a Silver medal in the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition?

To avail yourself of such a wonderful wine, you can go online today and purchase it in our webstore. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can find it at Pleasant Hill Wine Merchants and soon, other local retailers and restaurants. We also still have just a couple of cases left of our 2007 La Encantada, so start building your vertical (yes, we have a 2009 La Encantada still in barrel) now.

Technical specifications:

Harvest: October 6, 2008

Clones: 115/667/777

Alcohol content: 14.2% by volume

Fruit: 100% whole berry (no stems)

Fermentation: RC212 yeast

Barrel aging: 12 months in French oak, 33% new (Francois Freres, MT)

Bottled: September, 2009

Production: 25 cases

Drink now through 2017

Price: $47/bottle (750ml)

Release date: September 16, 2010

Barrel Tasting the 2009 vintage: February Notes


This post is by valleyfog from ValleyFogBlog


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




After a busy holiday season and with our 2009 vintage resting comfortably in barrel for over four months, we were ready to check in on its progress. Each of the five different Waits-Mast vineyard-designate pinot noirs made in 2009 are doing quite well and each exhibits its own personality and distinctive flavor profile. Here are some tasting notes on how each is coming along, as of February 19, 2010:

2009 barrel tasting: five barrels, eight glasses, one spit cup

Amber Ridge vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County (clones: 115, 667, 777; two barrels, one new (Francois Freres), one neutral): the first word I wrote down was “awesome.” The fruit leaps out of the glass and is juicy and dark, with a candied raspberry finish. This will mellow, for sure, but this will definitely be a wine that will be very drinkable, very soon.

Deer Meadow Ranch vineyard, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County (clones: 115, Wadenswil; two barrels, one new (Cadus), one neutral): This is Rich Savoy’s higher elevation (1600 ft.) vineyard (official vineyard designation to-be-named) in Boonville. We’ve tasted this twice in the last month and we are very excited about this one. We feel it will deliver that complex, earthy Anderson Valley pinot noir that we love so much. Definitely some funky earth on the nose, with a mix of red and dark fruit. The tight-grained French Cadus oak is very restrained on the nose.

2009 Oppenlander vineyard from Comptche: vibrant and violet

Oppenlander vineyard, Comptche, Mendocino County (clones: 114; two barrels, one new (Remond), one neutral): Whoa! Crazy violet-tinged color on this one. I remember that color from the bottom of the bin after we dumped the grapes into the press. Chris Nelson, our winemaker, said the Oppenlander shows some of that classic “oceanic acidity.” Indeed, and some firm tannins, too. This will be a vibrant wine and we’re eager to see how it progresses as it comes together.

Hayley’s vineyard, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County (clones: 114; one barrel, 33% new French oak, Francois Freres): Hayley’s is on the valley floor, or benchland, where a lot of fog sits late into the morning. A lighter wine in comparison to some of the others, with nice red cherry fruit. Floral on the nose, with a distinct wild vanilla and coconut aroma, reminiscent of Malibu Rum (oh, the days of yore…).

La Encantada vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County (clones:115, 777; one barrel, 33% new French oak, Francois Freres): last but not least, this 100% organic vineyard always delivers beautiful and exciting wines. The 2009, our third vintage in a row with La Encantada, is showing an exotic herbal and spicy nose (consistent with previous vintages) and nice tannins. Should be another winner – so far, so good!

We’ll be back with more barrel tasting notes throughout the spring and summer and remember, we still have two different 2008 pinot noirs yet to be released. So stay tuned to our blog or sign up at our website to get on our mailing list for the latest news.