One of our largest blends (381 cases produced in this vintage), the La Rochelle Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands wonderfully symbolizes our goal of creating wines of complexity and balance; wines that reflect a winemaking philosophy and the region that produces the fruit that goes into it. In the dark cherry and raspberry fruit notes, the subtle aromas of soy and forest floor, Sarmento and Tondre Grapefield are revealed. In the wine’s red cherry entry and persistent finishing acidity, Paraiso Vineyard and White Sage are evident. From the intensity of the wine at entry through the silkiness of its mid-palate to its broad and balanced tannins on the long finish, the 2009 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands shows its world-class pedigree. This wine will age effortlessly for 5-7 years if stored correctly. 381 cases produced
Steven Kent Wines tasting; 2/17/2013-2/18/2013: One of the hardest things to do when reviewing wine is to take your personal preferences and beliefs out of the equation, and evalaute it for what it is, amongst similar, peer, wines.
This is one of those wines, for my personal palate. I will be upfront and say that I struggle with Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) Pinot Noir style. Quite popular in the market, SLH Pinot is bigger, more brooding, darker fruit, higher alcohol...I think of it as the 'butch' side of feminine Pinot Noir. So in that backdrop, I compare this wine.
Pinot Noir was only first produced in SLH starting in 2001.
Generous use of French oak: 40% new, 60% second year. 31 months in barrel. Since the winemaker is experienced and talented, SLH must need a strong oak program, as those #s can rival some cabs.
Color: Dark in color, more than you expect for Pinot but inline with SLH Nose: Toasty oak, black cherry, dark raspberry On The Palate: Full bodied but not overpowering. Bolder dark berry fruit, but not syrupy or lush. Good structure but not excessively tannic. The finish is clean, with a hint of vanilla.
This is a well made Pinot, big but not hot, at 15.2% Alc., the sign of a well balanced wine.
Another year in the bottle should reward patience with more oak integration with the fruit, if you are the cellaring type. At $38, 381 cases only, its a quality, Pinot Noir at a fair price, and more balanced than most SLH Pinot Noir I have had.
If you are a bigger red drinking venturing into Pinot Noir land, or just like your Pinot a bit less girly and with more oomph, this wine is for you.
The wine is a bright ruby red color. The dark and enticing nose has cherries, earthy underbrush, wood smoke, cola, minerals, warm baking spices, black raspberries, dark chocolate, and a touch orange zest. This has medium body, ripe, velvety tannins, and very good acidity. Earthy cherries, baking spices, and minerals grab the palate initially, slowly allowing some cola, black raspberries, and spicy oak to add considerable depth. The finish has very nice length with earthy fruit and spice slowly fading away. This is very young and deserves some cellar time to open and fill out.
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