2010 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1093589 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Enticing, spice-accented aromas of red berries, candied cherry, rose oil and star anise. Suave, silky and expansive, with juicy, sharply delineated flavors of redcurrant, raspberry and candied flowers. A strikingly long, sappy, impressively focused finish shows alluring sweetness, resonating florality and only a hint of tannins.  (11/2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Brewer-Clifton’s 2010 Pinot Noir opens up with striking, beguiling aromatics from the use of 100% whole clusters. It is an utterly impeccable, layered Pinot endowed with tons of clarity and finesse. The 2010 impresses for its energy and sheer brilliance. Simply put, the 2010 is a fabulous wine for the money. It remains one of the highest quality and easiest to find Santa Rita Hills Pinots. The vineyard sources are Mt. Carmel, Machado, 3-D, Sebastiano and Ampelos. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015. Steve Clifton describes the 2010 harvest as 2-3 weeks later than normal. The Pinots were brought in during the second and third weeks of September, in between the heat spikes, while the Chardonnays were harvested later, once temperatures cooled off . The 2010s are beautiful, transparent wines that capture the essence of the vintage and their respective sites. The single-vineyard wines can be hard to track down, but to tell the truth, I am increasingly drawn to the straight appellation Chardonnay and Pinot, as they are less expensive, relatively easy to find and full of personality.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "This bottling is a veritable symphony of diverse Pinot Noir vineyards from within the AVA. Mount Carmel, 3-D, Machado, Ampelos, Zotovich and Sebastiano all contribute to the wine which exhibits a drive, richness and pedigree expressive of our special growing area coupled with the purity of fruit and firm structure which have been the trademark of Brewer-Clifton. Dark plum, anise, and Pu-erh tea aromatics set the stage for the flavors of dried cherries, dried wild mushroom and baker’s cocoa flavors that follow. Tender and cohesive in the mouth with a very firm and savory palate impression and finish."

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Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/27/2013 | Send Email
A great introduction to Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir in general and to the Brewer Clifton wines in particular. These are beautifully balanced wines that offer generous ripe fruit on a solid frame of bright acidity and fine tannins. Ripe red cherry and cinnamon spice notes. This cuvee is produced from Pinot Noir grapes sourced from some of the best vineyards in the region, and is ready to drink tonight.

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/19/2013 | Send Email
This wine is a clear expression of what Santa Rita Hills pinot noir is really all about. It's the coolest growing climate in California, and as a result, the pinot noir is very special. Red cherry, raspberry, cranberry, mineral, with hints of smoke and cedar. Medium plus acidity and medium plus tannin. Enjoy with food & air- I'm thinking grilled salmon in wild greens salad with goat cheese crumbles, dried cranberries and pomegranite seeds. YES!
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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 Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5