2012 Brewer-Clifton "Machado Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1169427 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Incredibly delicious aromas of blackberry syrup, strawberries, cherry pie and cinnamon sticks make for a very juicy introduction to this single-vineyard bottling by Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton. The veil of ripeness carries to the palate, but it proves more serious and restrained, with graphite minerality, bergamot and sage elements. It’s complex and yet easily enjoyable.  (7/2015)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Even better, the 2012 Pinot Noir Machado has sappy, grippy texture to go with notions of rose petal, earth, underbrush and both blackberry and raspberry-styled fruit. Medium to full-bodied, rich, textured and beautifully balanced, I love the overall energetic vibe here, and it should evolve nicely for upward of a decade. (JD)  (8/2014)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Rich and ripe, this combines firm, dense red and dark berry fruit with pretty floral and spicy notes that gain depth, hold focus and offer persistence on the finish.  (11/2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Very fresh, intensely perfumed aromas of red fruit liqueur, potpourri, smoky minerals and Asian spices. Smooth, dense and energetic, offering sappy red fruit and floral pastille flavors lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity. Finishes very long and sweet, with supple, harmonious tannins that fade smoothly into the wine's juicy fruit.  (12/2014)

90 points Vinous

 Exotic spices and dark red stone fruits meld together in the 2012 Pinot Noir Machado. This is one of the more overt wines in the Brewer-Clifton range. A late-ripening vineyard, Machado often yields racy, ripe Pinots with a distinct element of sweetness, as is the case in 2012. This supple, expressive Pinot is likely to offer its finest drinking sooner rather than later. Never content to stay put, Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton continue to push the envelope on quality in the Sta. Rita Hills. Over the years, Brewer and Clifton have had an enormous impact on the region, both directly and indirectly, in giving advice to newly arrived owners and developing a number of vineyards they no longer farm. The most recent development at Brewer-Clifton is a move towards working exclusively with vineyards they themselves farm, a decision that is the natural closing of a circle that started in 2011, when the winery began to focus exclusively on vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills. As these notes show, the 2012s are pretty special across the board. Readers will note the addition of a few vineyards to the lineup, including Acin and Hapgood. The Chardonnays are rich and textured in style, with considerable transparency and impeccable balance. All of the Brewer-Clifton Pinots are made with 100% whole clusters and aged in neutral oak.  (7/2014)

K&L Notes

From Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton. The 15-acre Machado Vineyard is adjacent to the famed Clos Pepe Vineyard, and boasts sandy clay loam soils that produces lovely Pinots every vintage. Meaty aromas, with fragrant rose petal scents and blackberry fruit. On the palate it's firm and fresh, with black plum, blackberry and baking spice notes.


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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 (%): 14.5