2013 Paul Lato "The Prospect-Sierra Madre Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1207313 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Slightly darker in color and richer than the Duende release, the 2013 Pinot Noir The Prospect Sierra Madre Vineyard comes all from Dijon clones planted in the sandy loam soils of the Sierra Madre Vineyard located in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley. Seeing 15 months in 53% new French oak, Paul calls it his Marilyn Monroe. I found it lively and fresh, with bright acidity and a crystalline feel in its black cherry, black raspberry and spring flower aromas and flavors. Picking up subtle minerality and forest floor with time in the glass, it has beautiful fruit yet stays classy, balanced and elegant. It should be at its best from 2017-2025. (JD)  (8/2015)

93 points Vinous

 Dark red cherry, plum, violet, lavender and mint are some of the many notes that inform the 2013 Pinot Noir The Prospect Sierra Madre Vineyard. Weightless and wonderfully nuanced in the glass, the 2013 offers plenty of power and intensity in a translucent style that holds considerable appeal. With time in the glass, the 2013 turns more delicate, showing off its impeccable balance. Shades of cinnamon, cloves and violets add the final dimensions of nuance. Paul Lato's wines are essays into the unique personalities of some of the best Central Coast vineyards. The wines are always racy, with a good deal of oak influence, and textured, sensual personalities. Vintage 2013 seems to favor Chardonnay and Syrah, while the Pinots - although excellent - rarely hit the same highs. (AG)  (8/2015)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "After looking for a very special site planted with the Wente clone, I was lucky to find a most enchanting part of the historic Sierra Madre Vineyard established over 30 years ago. It was the late Robert Mondavi who reshaped the fate of this vineyard in the early 1990’s. This small parcel has gentle southern exposure, producing small yields of medium-bodied Chardonnay with nuances of citrus and minerality. Silky with bright acidity and structure reminiscent of fine white Burgundies, This Chardonnay is remarkably food-friendly. I also produce a full-bodied, generous and equally wholesome Pinot Noir from adjacent blocks using clones 115 and 667. Owner Doug Circle’s commitment to providing me with the best of the best grapes from his vineyard is highly important to the success of my wine."

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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. 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 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.