2010 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright red. Enticing, spice-accented aromas of red berries, candied cherry, rose oil and star anise. Suave, silky and expansive, with juicy, sharply delineated flavors of redcurrant, raspberry and candied flowers. A strikingly long, sappy, impressively focused finish shows alluring sweetness, resonating florality and only a hint of tannins.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Brewer-Clifton’s 2010 Pinot Noir opens up with striking, beguiling aromatics from the use of 100% whole clusters. It is an utterly impeccable, layered Pinot endowed with tons of clarity and finesse. The 2010 impresses for its energy and sheer brilliance. Simply put, the 2010 is a fabulous wine for the money. It remains one of the highest quality and easiest to find Santa Rita Hills Pinots. The vineyard sources are Mt. Carmel, Machado, 3-D, Sebastiano and Ampelos. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015. Steve Clifton describes the 2010 harvest as 2-3 weeks later than normal. The Pinots were brought in during the second and third weeks of September, in between the heat spikes, while the Chardonnays were harvested later, once temperatures cooled off . The 2010s are beautiful, transparent wines that capture the essence of the vintage and their respective sites. The single-vineyard wines can be hard to track down, but to tell the truth, I am increasingly drawn to the straight appellation Chardonnay and Pinot, as they are less expensive, relatively easy to find and full of personality.
From the winery: "This bottling is a veritable symphony of diverse Pinot Noir vineyards from within the AVA. Mount Carmel, 3-D, Machado, Ampelos, Zotovich and Sebastiano all contribute to the wine which exhibits a drive, richness and pedigree expressive of our special growing area coupled with the purity of fruit and firm structure which have been the trademark of Brewer-Clifton. Dark plum, anise, and Pu-erh tea aromatics set the stage for the flavors of dried cherries, dried wild mushroom and baker’s cocoa flavors that follow. Tender and cohesive in the mouth with a very firm and savory palate impression and finish."