2005 Sea Smoke "Ten" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1030598 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Ten is Sea Smoke’s biggest Pinot, a barrel selection chosen for sheer volume. It easily handles its 100% new oak coating. Needs decanting; even 15 minutes in the glass brought a unifying process, integrating the cedar and smoke with the explosive blackberry, cherry and chocolate fruit, and revealing the rich, dense, satiny texture.  (12/2007)

93 points Vinous

 Deep red. Exotically perfumed nose offers a wild array of dark berry, cherry, incense and floral scents. Spicy red and dark berry flavors are refreshingly bitter but became sweeter with air, gaining a white pepper and baking spice character. Really stains the palate, finishing with outstanding cling and length. I was looking for oakiness but didn't find it. Curran noted that she's as meticulous as possible with her winemaking, leaving as little as possible to chance. As she put it: "Spontaneity isn't a good idea when you're making red expensive wine." (JR)  (11/2007)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 Ten takes its name from the number of pinot noir clones planted at Sea Smoke's estate vineyard at the west end of the Santa Rita Hills. The wine feels buff in its youth, sitting firmly in its oak for now. But after a day of air that youthful vigor begins to shine, revealing flavors of persimmon and exotic spice, as well as aromas that recall the coastal chaparral of Santa Barbara County. It's a big wine, with an intriguing blend of cool and warm, much like California's south coast. Built and balanced for several years in the cellar.  (4/2008)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Bold, intense, big and expressive, yet for all its size this is well-proportioned, with a mix of ripe berry, plum and earthy mineral notes that unfold gracefully. (JL)  (9/2007)

90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A distinctly ripe yet not surmature nose features hints of spice, black currant and noticeable but not dominant wood influence that continues onto the big, rich, bold and sweet flavors that possess excellent volume on the delicious, sappy and chocolaty finish that has both a subtle tang and more than a touch of warmth. What elevates this beyond the ordinary though is the fine sense of underlying complexity as well as the much better than average length. In sum, this is no ballerina and it's not my style but it does make a statement.  (10/2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Intensely fruity (black cherry, red berry, mulberry) and lush, though with keen acidity and complex graphite, mint and earth notes. Mouthcoating tannins. Rich yet moderated. 17.5/20 Points (LM)  (11/2007)

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Price: $144.99
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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.
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.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez 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 (%): 15