2009 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1066420

92 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Pinot Noir is a beautiful, understated wine. It emerges from the glass with soft, seductive Pinot red fruit, sweet spices and licorice. This is a striking, attractive red graced with exquisite class. A clean, mineral-laced finish intermingled with small bursts of fruit leaves a lasting impression." (Aug. 2011) 91 points Wine Spectator: "A great value in affordable Pinot Noir. Fresh, snappy and vibrant, with a tight core of mineral-laced wild berry, blueberry, spice and gravel flavors. Full-bodied, complex and layered." (08/11) 91 points and an Editors' Choice, Wine Enthusiast: "A lovely, sophisticated Pinot Noir, marked by a modest alcohol level and the transparent, silky texture the variety should have. With crisp acidity and fine tannins, it shows dry, complex flavors of berries, cola, pomegranates, sugared herb tea and dusty spices." (09/11) The fruit for this wine comes from some of the best vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley--Rancho Ontiveros, Solomon Hills and Bien Nacido, aged in 11% new and 89% neutral French oak for 16 months. Incredibly sultry Pinot Noir on the nose, with blue and blackberry scents accented by pencil lead. With some air, licorice and sweet herb begin to fill out the bouquet. Firm tannins frame a palate lush with black cherry and strawberry fruit, bergamot, black tea and tobacco flavors.

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Price: $23.99
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Staff Image By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/28/2011 | Send Email
I review the 2008 Alta Maria Pinot Noir. Now, on to the 2009. This was beautiful, understated wine. The fruit was more on the back end of the wine. Very delicate with a mineral-laced finish. Would pair this with some Chanterelle mushrooms from the Pacific Northwest!

Staff Image By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/27/2011 | Send Email
Minerality, fruit, spice, are all coexisting in a fine balance in the Alta Maria Pinot. The fruit expresses itself in the dark blue to purple realm, black berry, and dark cherry. The plate is focused with spice and earth, but supple and inviting. Roast chicken, pork, grilled veg, all of these would walk hand in hand happily with this wine.

Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/31/2011 | Send Email
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Even better than the previous vintage! Complex, with more body than the 2008. Nearly as structured as a french Burgundy with dary ruby fruits on the palate and earthy spices. An excellent buy at this price and sure to please discerning pinot noir palates.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some RhĂ´ne blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9