2008 Banshee Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1057110

Banshee Wines is not your normal wine company. It is a band of wine industry insiders dedicated to producing benchmark wines without the cult wine prices. These folks specialize in finding hidden gems in other wineries' cellars and then blending those barrels to create killer wines. For every barrel they take, they pass on 15 more that don't make the cut. The secret is that today, high-end wineries can't sell all the wine they make and they don't want to lower prices because they don't want to diminish their brand. They would rather sell some of their wine to us and protect their luxury prices. Fine by Banshee and even better for you. You'll find Banshee on some of the best restaurant lists in the world and in the cellars of the wine cognoscenti. You know, those people that tend to know these types of things. The goal is to deliver distinctive wines that beat the pants off many costing twice as much. With its nose of fresh blackberry, volcanic ash, fried sage and porcini mushroom and deep rich flavors of kirsch, Asian plum, finely cracked white pepper and a touch of tarragon, there may not be a better Pinot for $20 this year.

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Price: $19.99

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By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/9/2010  | Send Email
Banshee is right - this Pinot just SCREAMS "drink me!" The polar opposite of thin and astringent, this is ripe, luscious Santa Lucia Highlands fruit wrapped up up with a spicy new oak bow. A great gift for a CA Pinot lover (especially if her palate leans toward the more expensive Santa Lucia Highlands efforts like Lucia or Roar) or for someone who just simply likes smooth, fruity red wine with a lot of character.

By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/13/2010  | Send Email
“Banshee,” as in you will make out like one if you are sage enough to grab a few bottles of this wine. Coming from two young, but seasoned, wine professionals Steve Graf and Baron Ziegler this brand spanking new project sure excited me. Basically they went into a very popular, undisclosed winery, tasted every barrel of Pinot Noir they had and came up with three different appellation blends, Santa Lucia Highlands, Sonoma Coast and Sonoma County. While all three bottlings are delicious I thought that the Santa Lucia Highlands bottling was really the overachiever here. With its giving, forward nature, ripe fruit and long spicy finish a Pinot like this is rare at the $20 price point, especially from the skyrocketing appellation of Santa Lucia Highlands. With its nose of fresh blackberry, volcanic ash, fried sage and porcini mushroom and deep rich flavors of kirsch, Asian plum, finely cracked white pepper and a touch of tarragon I don’t know if I’ve seen a better Pinot for $20 this year. (Bryan Brick, K&L)
Top Value!

 By: Ian |  Review Date: 7/7/2010 
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I don't know what happened here. I felt like this was a pinot mixed with an inexpensive California zinfandel. We ended up spraying argon over it, corking the bottle, putting it back, and opening up a 1er cru from Burgundy. Much happier with the Burgundy. I don't know... maybe it was a bad bottle but it really tasted like too full bodied and sweet for a pinot.

Additional Information:

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 Lucia Highlands