Santa Barbara County
This is our second offering from La Cote vineyard, a new site on the far western edge of Santa Rita Hills that we are very excited to work with! At just 12 percent, this has the lowest alcohol level of any pinot we have produced, making for a terroir-driven wine with loamy earth and mushroom-y aromas that meld with the soft flavors of cherry, green-tipped strawberries, and a spicy, vinous quality from the partial whole-cluster fermentation. This exceptionally light red wine is a perfect accompaniment for any picnic in the warm summer sun. 90 cases produced.
Domaine de la Cote is a new venture of my first employee Sashi Moorman and the esteemed sommelier Rajat Parr near Lompoc. The Property consists of six vineyards planted on clay, diatomaceous earth and shale soils with vines spaced at a very tight five feet by three. Organically farmed from the start by the talented Chris King, this vineyard has produced extraordinarily unique wines, unlike anything else from the Sta Rita Hills appellation. Sashi and Raj offered me a small amount of the fruit from the interesting La Cote site in 2013 and I didn’t hesitate to take it, having driven by the vineyard numerous times on my way to Fe Ciega. The ideal aspect of the vineyard, the shale and clay soil, the smart farming and close planting of the vines informed me of the seriousness of intent here—I knew the wine made from these vines would be quirky and profound. And we produced a wine that is immensely aromatic and at the same time unusually delicate and fine. Perfect for these dog days of summer when heavier reds come across as ponderous, this wine drinks a bit like a white wine—all perfume in the aroma and mineral and refreshing on the palate.
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2014 Pinot Noir La Côte Vineyard is one of the more translucent, gracious wines in the range this year. Dried flowers, mint, chalk and white pepper are some of the signatures. The La Côte will appeal most to readers who like aromatic, light to mid-weight Pinots. It will be interesting to see how the 2014 ages. I would have preferred to see a bit more depth in the mid-palate, but the 2014 is very nicely rendered just the same. Sweet floral and mineral notes add the closing shades of nuance.”- AG 92 Points
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The second vintage for this cuvee, the 2014 Pinot Noir la Cote was harvested in mid-August and has a distinct marine-influenced bouquet of salty sea breeze, mushrooms and red currants. Soft, medium-bodied and low in acidity, there’s some charm here, but it’s certainly the most bizarre wine in the lineup, and I admit to struggling to wrap my head around it. I would give bottles a year or two in the cellar and see where they’re headed.”- JD