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 Vintage2008 Label 1 of 124 
ProducerBelle Glos (web)
VarietyPinot Noir
VineyardLas Alturas Vineyard
SubRegionCentral Coast
AppellationSanta Lucia Highlands
UPC Code(s)855622000019

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2011 and 2015 (based on 5 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 90.8 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 90 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Stevere on 11/26/2015 & rated 92 points: Full nose of red cherries leads to a flavor of cherries galore. This was just a pleasure to drink. Intense. Not for light wine drinkers. (312 views)
 Tasted by KarenMcD on 5/8/2014 & rated 91 points: Cherry, spice and nice oak. First drank this wine in 2011 and still delicious in 2014. Very good medium bodied Pinot. (2627 views)
 Tasted by clarktoews on 3/20/2014 & rated 92 points: continues to be consistent, more delicate than most cally pinot's (2686 views)
 Tasted by clarktoews on 1/18/2014 & rated 92 points: lots of fruit with some depth and weight, a very nice example of cally pinot (2950 views)
 Tasted by clarktoews on 1/5/2014 & rated 91 points: consistent with my last btl (2970 views)
 Tasted by Grenik on 12/25/2013 & rated 88 points: Tasted blind with the majority of people rating it poorest of the four wines tasted. Bottle is likely past prime. Nose is still bright and fresh with sweet cherry, vanilla, cola. Palate is starting to sour. Classic pinot cherry that is fading and there is nothing to take its place and support the mid-palate and finish. Comments like "weak", "confusing", and "sour" dominated the tasting sheets. Better when young. (2724 views)
 Tasted by rcurlee on 12/19/2013 & rated 89 points: Quite drinkable. Very juicy and lots of bing cherries. (1129 views)
 Tasted by clarktoews on 12/16/2013 & rated 91 points: improved over the hr it was open. a nice example of a fruit fwd cally pinot without any jammy characteristics. decent length in the finish. (1051 views)
 Tasted by Renot on 8/10/2013 & rated 92 points: Had held up surprisingly well - showed its best stuff after being open an hour or so! (1515 views)
 Tasted by Bowmanifesto on 4/19/2013 & rated 93 points: Every once in a while a marvelous surprise emerges from my cellar. My records indicate I had consumed all the 08 Las Alturas. But no! There was another somehow hiding away. Mmmmmmm. Delicious surprise!! Bright cherry-ruby color and medium legs. That trademark nose of ripe cherries, summer flowers, elegant oak, and fall spices. The palate distinctively Belle Glos: fresh berries and cherries, distinctive terroir, and full mouth feel. Marvelous finish that lasts and lasts. Maybe I'll come across another hiding gem soon. :-) (2131 views)
 Tasted by rwilk_2000 on 3/23/2013 & rated 89 points: Good daily drinker Pinot if purchased for less than $30. Expressive nose with a sweet floral bouquet. I found it a little hot at first, but alcohol claimed after 30 minutes or so. Cherry and some oak. Would buy again. (2122 views)
 Tasted by hld1970 on 2/15/2013 & rated 92 points: Fantastic- paired with crabcakes, wild rice and asparagus. Served slightly chilled and it offered rich stone fruit and smooth, lingering finish. (2260 views)
 Tasted by Grenik on 12/14/2012 & rated 90 points: Sweet cherry nose with floral backdrop. Pleasant drink with sour cherry, anise, clove. Bright and fresh with good acidity and a pleasant, medium finish. A good representation of the region's style. (2531 views)
 Tasted by Wine Canuck on 11/13/2012 & rated 91 points: The quintessential ripe new world pinot. Nose of juicy ripe cherries, kind of a cherry pie filling aroma. With some air a touch of spice came through. I don't think this is quite as good as the Clark & Telephone. Palate is sweet on entry certainly a touch of RS, with tangy acids and a cherry jam finish. I'm starting to lean away a bit more from this style but can still appreciate it. Good to have around for ultra-modern palates. (2347 views)
 Tasted by Bowmanifesto on 10/14/2012 & rated 92 points: My last bottle of this beauty from this vintage. All the Pinot power I expect from Belle Glos; yet all the sophistication I love from Las Alturas. At the pinnacle of its perfection right now. (2203 views)
 Tasted by mrmedoes on 6/11/2012 & rated 92 points: It really is at the peak of singing to me now, not that I don't think you could squeeze two to three years from it... I just don't understand why you would. I had an internal argument on 92 vs 93, but decided the extra point probably comes from drinking it in Aruba, where I didn't expect access to good, and well stored, wines. (2656 views)
 Tasted by Elise on 4/20/2012 & rated 89 points: Strawberries, rhubarb, cream, oak, vanilla (2829 views)
 Tasted by cartime on 3/23/2012 & rated 90 points: Ripe red fruited profile with baking spices. Decidedly New World, but with enough acidity to prevent it from coming across as overripe or overextracted. (2822 views)
 Tasted by dkfinancial on 2/28/2012 & rated 91 points: Nose of cherry compote -- red & black cherry, cinammon stick and black pepper. Lush, sweet fruit and acidity to back it up. Medium body, acidity, tannins. Medium plus alcohol (but not harsh or unpleasant). Long morello cherry and pie crust finish. Delicious now through 2014. (2953 views)
 Tasted by GlenviewGSW on 2/11/2012 & rated 91 points: a well balanced pinot that is probably a little more to the dense side but still with a purity of fruit including cranberry, cherry and cola - nice finish went well with monkfish wrapped in bacon with a rouge beurre blanc sauce (3021 views)
 Tasted by Bottledrainer on 2/9/2012 & rated 91 points: Great deep red color. Nice bouquet of red fruit with some floral notes. Smooth texture with tastes of berries. Nice finish.
5+12+17+7+50=91 (2892 views)
 Tasted by Elise on 11/18/2011 & rated 90 points: Nose of incense, spice, dark berries, light toasted oak, sage

Palate is medium body, light minerality on the back-end and has cherries, spice, bittersweet cocoa, short to medium finish with noticeable alcohol.

I will give it another couple of years before trying again. (3885 views)
 Tasted by dannyk8232 on 11/15/2011 & rated 87 points: Enjoyable, but overripe and hot. (3771 views)
 Tasted by leonardo_de_araujo on 10/21/2011 & rated 91 points: Very fruit forward. Fruit bomb.
Cherries caramel and spices
On the back end it has oranges (strange but true ) . You know, that tingling sweet feeling in your mouth after eating a orange? ginger
Smoke wood
Let it breathe.
Great wine
 Tasted by Grayvino on 9/14/2011 & rated 91 points: - Crimsom color with slow forming legs with a medium/full body with a long finish. (4344 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (6/25/2010)
(Belle Glos Pinot Noir Las Alturas Vineyard) Tart cherry, baked cherry nose; big, tart cherry, baked cherry palate; medium finish  89 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Belle Glos

Producer Website

The vineyard locations can all be described as coastal, but the climate differences are significant, depending on the amount of fog, wind, sunlight, and soil type at each site.
Each wine is crafted to distill the purest essence of the vineyard into elegant expressions of California Pinot Noir.
Winemaker Joseph Wagner chose the name Belle Glos (pronounced BELL GLOSS) to honor his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards.

http://www.meiomiwines.com/' Producer website

Meiomi, (pronounced May-oh-mee) , has a separate website.

Prince of Pinot Article on Belle Glos

Belle Glos: Caymus Genes
Belle Glos (pronounced BELL GLOS) is owned by the Wagner family of Napa Valley Caymus Vineyards fame. Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Mer Soleil Chardonnay, and Caymus Conundrum are well know wines, but the winery has a long history with Pinot Noir, producing some excellent examples from relatively warm locations of the Napa Valley (Rutherford) in the late 1970s and 1980s. They even produced a Pinot Noir Blanc wine labeled “Eye of Partridge.”
The Pinot Noir program was revived in 2001 with the release of Belle Glos Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir and the wines have improved every year since. The name comes from Charles J. (Chuck) Wagner’s mother, Loma Belle Glos Wagner, a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards. Joseph Wagner, a fourth generation winemaker whose family’s roots in the Napa Valley date to 1906, has been the label’s vineyardist and winemaker since 2002. Belle Glos is a separate label from Caymus Vineyards, much like Mer Soleil and Conundrum, made independently from wines Chuck Wagner makes at Caymus Vineyards, referred to as “by the Wagner Family” rather than “by Caymus”, but distributed by Caymus Vineyards.
Caymus farms Pinot Noir in three coastal regions including the Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands and produces vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from the estate vineyards in each region. A fourth Pinot Noir, Meiomi, is a value-priced wine found in wide distribution and restaurants. A distinctive and excellent rosé, is also produced that revives the name, “Oeil De Perdrix,” sourced from the Yorkville Highlands of Mendocino County. The Gambit Series of Pinot Noirs debuted in 2008 at Pinot Days San Francisco. These limited production single-vineyard wines with no added sulfur were intended to offer the rich and voluptuous nature of raw Pinot Noir grapes. I have not seen or heard of these wines since, but they are briefly described on the Belle Glos website.
Caymus acquired a portion of the historic Santa Maria Hills Vineyard in the 1990s. The land, on a west-facing slope of the Santa Maria Valley foothills, had been planted to Pinot Noir from 1972 to 1974, so the vines were almost ancient by California Pinot Noir standards. The vines were own rooted and the clone uncertain, but probably Martini, an heirloom clone that was one of the first Pinot Noir selections to grace California coast lands. I first reviewed the 2001 Belle Glos Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir in the July 7, 2003 issue of the PinotFile, and the wine was generally well received by the wine press. At the time, little was known of the label. Bob Hosmon of the Miami Sun Sentinel wrote, “To say that this is one of the best United States produced Pinot Noirs I’ve ever tasted is not an overstatement... if you’re looking for something truly special, you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately no website, mail, e-mail or phone orders.” The website is still very basic and offers no opportunity to purchase the wines. With the 2002 vintage, winemakers Joseph Wagner and Jon Bolta (Conundrum) took what was already a low-yielding 76-acre vineyard and reduced the crop even more radically by regular thinning to increase the flavor concentration of the berries. When the grapes were hand harvested, they ended up with just over one ton per acre. The quality was so high and the flavors so distinctive they felt the wine deserved to be named for the vineyard that produced it which was located at the intersection of Clark & Telephone roads.
The 10-acre Sonoma Coast Taylor Lane Vineyard was planted near the town of Occidental in 1995. While Joseph Wagner was in middle school he helped develop this vineyard, clearing trees and rocks from this previously unplanted land, and laying out and planting the vine rows. To get the grapes to ripen in this cool seaside climate, the trellis system was converted to “Trentina,” named after the region in Italy where it originated, which maximizes sun exposure on the leaves. There is a very consistent diurnal temperature variation at this vineyard site which insures a good balance between ripeness and acidity. The first Belle Glos Taylor Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir was in 2002.
The Las Alturas Vineyard is located in one of the highest plantable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, at altitudes of 540 to 1,210 feet. The site has warmer afternoons and tamer winds than the northern portion of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. This 15-acre vineyard was planted to match various Pinot Noir Dijon clones to different soils and slopes of the vineyard. Yields are kept deliberately low. The inaugural vintage from this vineyard was 2004.

Belle Glos Pinot Noir Las Alturas Vineyard

My goal with each of the Belle Glos single-vineyard Pinot Noirs is to express the uniqueness of each vineyard site and to craft a genuine style of California Pinot Noir that is layered, complex, fruit-forward and rich. Our Las Alturas Vineyard is an ideal location for growing such a robust, opulent and full-flavored style of Pinot Noir.

The Vineyard: The Spanish term “Las Alturas” means “the heights,” which is a fitting name for this vineyard because it’s located on one of the highest grape-growing benches within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. At this elevation, the sunny but very cool climate creates a wine with the hallmarks of this coastal region: robust, expressive and full-bodied, balanced by a firm acidity. Nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountain Range and the western side of Salinas Valley, Las Alturas benefits from the cooling effect of the early morning fog that rolls in most days from Monterey Bay, burning off within a few hours once the sun heats up. Gusty winds also funnel in from the bay throughout the afternoon, moderating the overall temperature and contributing to one of the longest growing seasons in California. The high winds also result in smaller berries with very thick skins, giving us more color concentration. Another attractive characteristic of this particular site is the low-vigor, free-draining subsoil, made up of a calcareous base underneath a layer of sandy loam. This compliments our farming techniques to further reduce our yields per vine to augment the fruit’s intensity.

The Cellar: We harvested early morning to bring the fruit into the winery while the grapes were still cool so we could de-stem, but not crush the berries. Each tank then underwent a cold-soak to soften the skins, allowing for adequate extraction during fermentation, which in some cases was up to two weeks. The maceration process took
place during fermentation in both closed and open-top, stainless steel fermenters that are fully jacketed, using punch-downs and pump-overs to extract color and tannins, but also to control the temperatures and maximize flavors. We only barreled the free-run, discarding the press, in 100% French oak (60% new, 40% seasoned) for up to nine months. We racked the wine twice, once after malolactic fermentation, and then again when it came time to make the final blend.

Tasting Notes
Intense ruby red in color, it is an intriguing aromatic mix of sunbaked blackberry, bright cranberry, ripe plum, black licorice and hints of candy apple. Complex red and black fruits unfold on the palate; blackberries, raspberries and warm cherry pie filling, with a wonderful dark chocolate characteristic. Cedary oak and soft vanilla undertones on the mid-palate further enhance the wine. The overall impression is rich and silky with a firm acidity, refined tannins and explosive layers of ripe fruit.

- Joseph Wagner, Owner and Winemaker

2013 Las Alturas
Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County
Belle Glos Pinot Noir | www.belleglos.com

Soil: Gloria sandy loam
Climate: Cool, very sunny
Growing Season (bloom to
harvest): 5/20/13 – 10/10/13
Avg. high temp: 78.9°F
Elevation: 540 – 1210 ft.

2013 Growing Season: Santa Lucia Highlands is known for its arid climate and windy conditions, with the Pacific Ocean’s influence cooling the desert-like environment. 2013 exemplified this climate in an extreme way with very little rain. Overall, it was a very even, warm growing season, free of any heat spikes. The dry winter stressed the vines early on, which also helped with the wonderfully intense flavor development in the fruit.

This wine is named in honor of my grandmother,
Lorna Belle Glos Wagner.

Pinot Noir

Varietal character (Appellation America) | Varietal article (Wikipedia)
Pinot Noir is the Noble red grape of Burgundy, capable of ripening in a cooler climate, which Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will not reliably do. It is unpredictable and difficult both to grow and to vinify, but results in some of the finest reds in the world. It is believed to have been selected from wild vines two thousand years ago. It is also used in the production of champagne. In fact, more Pinot Noir goes into Champagne than is used in all of the Cote d'Or! It is also grown in Alsace, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Austria, and so forth, with varying degrees of success.


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Central Coast


Central Coast AVA Wikipedia

Santa Lucia Highlands

Appellation: Wine Artisans of Santa Lucia Highlands | Winegeeks article
AVA Website

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