2011 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1132468 92 points 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!  (8/2013)

92 points 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.  (12/2013)

Antonio Galloni

 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.  (7/2013)

Wine Spectator

 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)

K&L Notes

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."

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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 Sants Inez 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