2011 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Starting off the reds, and a blend of multiple vineyards (mostly Machado), the stunning 2011 Pinot Noir dishes out meaty, mineral-laced aromas and flavors of black cherries, underbrush, rose petal, mint and sappy, flower garden-like qualities. Perfumed, supple and gorgeously perfumed, it’s an elegant, layered Pinot that will evolve gracefully for upwards of a decade or more. Drink now-2021+. A benchmark estate in the Santa Rita Hills, these first rate efforts are made by Steve Clifton and Greg Brewer. The wines are all handled identically in the cellar, so what you get is exactly what the vineyard delivers. In addition, this estate is moving to only estate-farmed vineyards, with Gnesa, Machado, 3-D and Hapgood being the only single-vineyard releases going forward. These 2011s are fantastic and should not be missed!
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep, bright-rimmed red. Vibrant raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by Asian spice and candied floral qualities. Offers sappy red berry and bitter cherry flavors that are enlivened by white pepper and rose nuances. The long, spicy finish features silky tannins, a hint of blood orange and slow-building florality.
Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, licorice and spices all waft from the glass in the 2011 Pinot Noir. Stylistically, the 2011 is perfumed and ethereal, but clean veins of minerality keep the flavors focused and bright. This is a terrific entry-level Pinot from Brewer-Clifton. The main vineyard sources are Machado, 3-D, Ampelos and Mount Carmel. Drinking window: 2013 - 2019 Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton suffered the same fate as most of their colleagues. The spring frost took with it a whopping 40% of production. At the end of the day, that may have turned out to be a silver lining, as a full crop load would have never ripened during a growing season that was long and cold. The 2011s are quite rich on the palate, but they are all backed up by the insistent salinity that is the hallmark of the year. The 2011 Chardonnays spent about 10 months in neutral oak. After harvest, the Pinots were given a 7 day cold soak. The wines were fermented with just under 100% whole clusters and spent about 28-40 days on the skins. Racking took place in June, which is also the first time the wines were sulfured. The 2011 Pinots were bottled in early December after about 13 months in barrel.
Exhibits full-bodied wild berry and raspberry flavors, with a touch of spice and anise, gaining depth and body on the finish. Drink now through 2020. (Web Only- 2013)
From the winery: "This bottling is comprised of 100% estate pinot noir from three vineyards within the AVA. Mount Carmel, 3-D and Machado 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. Pomegranate, 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."