2012 Sante Arcangeli "Split Rail Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1150809 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* With a pale color and mouthwatering acidity, this delicately structured Pinot goes well beyond its immediate flavors of raspberry tea, pomegranates, persimmons, orange peel, exotic spices and oak to offer a Burgundian touch of earth and mushrooms. There’s also a firm, stony minerality on the palate. This gorgeous Pinot was produced in tiny quantities of 300 cases and will drink well over the next six years.

K&L Notes

Wine critic Steve Heimoff had an advance sip of this wine: "I've tasted only about 700 wine for Wine Enthusiast from the 2012 vintage...but based on what’s come in so far, this is going to be a hugely successful year for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir....a few early Pinots show the vast promise of the vintage. Santa Arcangeli made a 2012 Split Rail Vineyard, from the Santa Cruz Mountains, that knocked my sox off..." (steveheimoff.com, 11/2013) This wine comes to us from the Benedetti family in the historic coastal community of Pescadero, California--you know, Duarte's Tavern? They're right next door. Here's the winemaker's opinion on the 2012 vintage: "While still made in a lighter, more restrained style, she's slightly darker than her sister wine. The fruit is still vibrant and fresh - strawberry with dark cherry underpinnings - with earthiness that is still present, though more subdued. There are hints of espresso and caramel underneath. Unfined and unfiltered. This wine is elegant, and will gain complexity and depth with patience. Drink now through 2020."

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Price: $32.99

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By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/13/2014  | Send Email
One of the most exciting things that happens in this job is when new wines come across your desk that come out of nowhere to knock your socks off. The 2012 Sante Arcangeli "Split Rail Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir ($32.99) was exactly that, a wine that floored me. The delicacy of this pinot is something that is rarely seen these days. With a color lighter than most Rosés these days, this packs a myriad of complex flavors and aromas into a wine that looks like it is Vin Gris. Orange peel, rose hips and lemon blossom combine in the fresh and overtly floral nose. That same freshness is transposed on to the palate with tons of flavors like cranberry, wild strawberry, fern fronds and white cherry. Juicy and plush yet weightless this is truly a wine that has to be tasted to be believed.

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 Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1