2014 Foxen Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1264370 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Spice, underbrush, wild herbs and assorted red fruits all emerge from the charming, medium-bodied, supple, forward 2014 Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley. It's geared for drinking over the coming 3-4 years, but offers incredible quality for not much buck. Note, this is a mix from Bien Nacido, Riverbench and Solomon Hills vineyards, and spent nine months in old French oak. This Santa Maria estate is run with incredible talent and passion by Bill Wathen and Dick Doré, who have been making wine together since 1985. They completed construction on a new winery in 2009 and they fashion a number of whites, numerous single vineyard and appellation Pinot Noirs, two Syrahs, and three Bordeaux blends. The wines are always impeccably made and shine more for their elegance and nuance than sheer power and richness. (JD)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

The team behind Foxen has found a recipe for success: take top-notch fruit from great vineyards, don't mess with it, and then sell it at an affordable price. Antonio Galloni praised the producer and their 2014 vintage: "Proprietors Bill Wathen and Dick Doré are at the top of their game... The Pinot Noirs are made with fully destemmed fruit and spend around 17 months in French oak barrels, usually less than 50% new, with the exception of the appellation wines, which are bottled after about nine months in neutral oak... All of the wines see minimal handling and are bottled with no fining or filtration... These are some of the most expressive, singular wines being made in Santa Barbara County today." (06/2015)

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Price: $32.99
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By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/1/2016 | Send Email
The 2014 sings with red fruit - bright strawberry on the nose tempered by baking spice through the palate with balanced acid and a subtly earthy finish. This is rich California Pinot to be sure, but Foxen’s deft winemaking and Santa Maria’s cooler climate make for a more nuanced version. Plus the winery is always worth a visit!

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 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 (%): 14