2005 Ojai Vineyard "Clos Pepe Vineyard" Sta.Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1038671 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 A gorgeous Pinot, all silk and satin in the mouth, showing great structural refinement and finesse. Yet there’s nothing shy about the flavors. This is sheer California fruit, intense in cherries, red currants, licorice and cola. It’s so opulent it tastes sweet, but the finish is bone dry.  (5/2008)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Explosively perfumed, exotic bouquet of red berries, cherry, fresh rose and minerals. Gracefully balanced strawberry and raspberry flavors gain weight and take on a darker character with air, but retain impressive urgency and clarity. Finishes with impressive brisk persistence and an echo of raspberry. (JR)  (11/2007)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A ripe and slightly exotic nose of spiced tea, violets and deeply pitched red berry fruits merges into round, rich and generous medium weight plus flavors underpinned by a solid tannic spine and good acid/fruit/structure balance. There isn't quite, at least not yet, the same sheer depth as the Fe Ciega but it's not far off and both are very high quality efforts.  (10/2007)

91 points Vinous

 The 2005 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard, a library release, impresses for its density and sheer power. Amazingly, it also still needs time! This is an example of a wine that is neither young nor mature, but somewhere in the middle, and that can be a tricky state of affairs. Ideally, the 2005 should be cellared for another few years to allow the aromatics to blossom fully. Today, it is the structure that dominates. Overall, the 2005 comes across as a bit heavy, especially when tasted alongside the Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard (Early Harvest). (AG)  (7/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe again was the more complete wine, with deeper fruit, more flesh, succulence, and lovely black cherry and raspberry fruit, with hints of gaminess and sweet, subtle earth. This is a beauty... (RP)  (12/2008)

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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.

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.


- 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.