2012 Paul Lato "Suerte - Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1164520 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Even better, the 2012 Pinot Noir Suerte Solomon Hills Vineyard has a vibrant, perfumed and beautifully clear personality that has more than a passing resemblance to a Grand Cru Burgundy. Darker berry fruits, spice-box, licorice, mint and exotic floral nuances are all present here, and it hits the palate with a voluptuous texture that carries bright acidity, ripe tannin and full-bodied richness. From a cool site that lies within sight of the Pacific Ocean, it has both richness and freshness, and will have over a decade of longevity. It’s a fabulous bottle of Pinot Noir! One of my favorite producers in the Central Coast, Paul Lato continues to make thrilling Pinot Noirs and Syrahs that have texture, richness and depth while never seeming heavy or cumbersome. These are gorgeous wines across the board and you can’t go wrong here. (JD)  (8/2014)

93 points Vinous

 The 2012 Pinot Noir Suerte Solomon Hills Vineyard has lovely depth and density to it. Plum, black cherry, lavender, menthol and spice notes flesh out in a supple, resonant wine with good depth and body. Lavender, graphite, mint and blueberries linger on the pretty, nuanced finish. (AG)  (7/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Intense cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated by cola, mocha and smoky Indian spices. Chewy and precise on the palate, offering bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors and an invigorating jolt of peppery spices. Closes sappy and long, with a hint of bitter chocolate and smooth tannins. (JR)  (12/2014)

K&L Notes

This Pinot has consistently scored 93-96 points in Wine Advocate for the past seven vintages, and as we all know, 2012 is being called a blockbuster vintage up and down the coast of California. From the winery: "Solomon Hills is a stunning, one-of-a-kind property, and this wine captures that in its distinction amongst my Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noirs. Highly complex,compact and uniformed, notes of strawberry, rose petal, and gunpowder work together wholesomely. The ripe fruit flavors of wild raspberry are supported by beautiful acid: intensity meets elegance. From day-one of harvest, this fruit impressed me tremendously, and it remains multifaceted in the bottle. Great Wine."

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Price: $79.99
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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.

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.


- 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