Santa Rita Hills
Aromatically the most interesting pinot we have made to date. Not to say there is anything wrong with the fruity aromas of our previous efforts, but the point of the quest to make great pinot noir is to match the aromatic and flavor heights that great Burgundy achieves. When I smell a glass of this wine, I am transfixed; there is something about it that doesn’t remind me of American pinot noir, and that is good. It is not that the wine is Burgundian–it is emphatically Californian–but it possesses a deep, exotic fruit that is wonderfully indescribable.
Make no mistake, this is an esoteric wine and will never be a “blind tasting” winner. On its own, the wine still has substantial tannins, but, paired with a succulent, oven-roasted, herbed chicken, this wine shines. The acidity and tannin cut through the richness of the food, and there is a drinkability that has you grabbing for another glassful.
Clos Pepe vineyard is one of the new generation of vineyards planted in Santa Barbara County’s cool Santa Rita Hills appellation, and this first pinot from the vineyard shows the promise that the area holds.