2008 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1058399

93 points and an Editors' Choice, Wine Enthusiast: "This is quite a notbaly structured Pinot Noir. It's tempting to describe it as thin, because it trades opulence for dryness and a certain spicy minerality. But that would seriously underestimate its considerable appeal, not to mention the subtle hints of wild cherries and raspberries. The more you sip, the more you like it. At this price, a terrific value." (09/10) From Robert Parker: "The 2008 Pinot Noir exhibits the tell-tale vintage character, with underbrush, distinctive earthy, spicy notes, and autumnal, vegetative/forest characteristics. The fruit is pushed to the background in this dark ruby, very Burgundian style of wine, which displays loads of complex aromatics in a more leafy, vegetative style in this particular year. This medium-bodied Pinot should drink nicely for 3-4 year." (08/10) James Ontiveros and Paul Wilkins h worked long hours and made sacrifices to become veterans in their fields, even at a young age. They moved away, lost touch, and many years passed. Luckily for wine drinkers everywhere, these two got together again to create this fairly new label and to put Santa Maria right where it belongs: one of the world's premier sites for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir!

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Price: $22.99

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By: Scott Beckerley |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/7/2011  | Send Email
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This pinot has it all. Cherries, spices, slight hints of earth and tobacco. Medium-bodied, nearly Burgundian and quite complex. Stunning bow but, will cellar well for the next 3-4 years. Great stuff!

By: Adam Parry |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 11/27/2010  | Send Email
This Pinot Noir is a complex little creature. It has a fantastic spicy minerality, with subtle hints of wild cherries and raspberries. I enjoyed itwine with my Thanksgiving dinner, and it stood up to every dish on the table. It's a tough little guy with a heart of gold!

By: Illya Haase |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 11/18/2010  | Send Email
With Thanksgiving just around the bend, I figure we need a wine that will make it alittle easier on all of us. Alta Maria Pinot Noir, for the price, is the perfect wine for holiday food fare. Nice fruit, medium body and spice--it's perfect for all the Thanksgiving day food. Gooooo turkey!

By: Christie Brunick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/25/2010  | Send Email
If you want a Pinot Noir with fruit, structure, balance and under $30, look no further! This small production Pinot is full of opulence and elegance, with its bright blue and red fruit characteristics, followed by spicy minerality and a lengthy finish. Not too weighty and not too light...its just right!

By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/7/2010  | Send Email
Possibly the single best wine I tried over the last month was the 2008 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir. This wine has the perfect combination of high quality, reasonable price and hopefully great demand. From James Ontiveros’, if the name sounds familiar it is because wineries like Loring, A.P. Vin, Dain and Hug use his estate vineyard Rancho Ontiveros. With a denser, riper take on Pinot that has become so welcomed by Central Coast Pinot drinkers this exudes a wonderful blend of black fruits, an herbal streak to add dimension and highlight the ripeness here and balancing earthy tones. Simply put this is an outstanding value.

 By: The Queen |  Review Date: 4/4/2011 
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Good but nothing stood out for me.

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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 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 (%): 13.9