2004 Sea Smoke "Southing" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1023025 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Sea Smoke is one of those wineries that sells out immediately and hits the secondary market at astronomical prices, with good reason. The wine is as fine as coastal California Pinot gets, with ripe cherry pie, cola and chocolate macaroon flavors that are captivating in their youthful ebulience. With fine, ripe tannins and mouthwatering cool-climate acidity, this is elegantly balanced.  (4/2007)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Tremendous richness, depth and concentration, with a gush of blueberry, wild berry and blackberry fruit that offers intensity, lively acidity and enough tannins to merit short-term cellaring. (JL)  (10/2006)

91 points Vinous

 Good medium red. Super ripe aromas of candied raspberry, plum, spices and flowers. Fat, spicy and sweet, with a deep core of rich red fruits. Finishes with sweet tannins and excellent length. (ST)  (9/2006)

90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Like both its stable mates, this is quite stylish with moderate oak framing very ripe and spicy dark berry fruit notes with ample violet nuances that leads to rich and somewhat fresher middle weight flavors that are finer and underpinned by finer and more sophisticated tannins as well though they sacrifice the muscle and power of the Botella in the bargain. This coats the mouth with ample dry extract and the finishing balance is the best of the three and the only nit here is a touch of warmth. Otherwise, this is stylish, balanced, complex and the class of the cellar.  (7/2006)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2004 Pinot Noir Southing, which takes its name from a south-facing hillside vineyard, is a packed and stacked effort with a dense ruby/purple color as well as a restrained, but promising nose of black currants, cherries, and raspberries with forest floor/earthy undertones. This is a full-bodied, powerful Pinot revealing striking elegance, purity, and seamlessness. 90+ (RP)  (8/2006)

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Price: $99.99
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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.