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2006 Sea Smoke "Ten" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1039269 96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Only a Burgundian ideologue would find anything not to like about this mouth-filling Pinot that captures the essence of Santa Rita Hills. It’s as voluptuous as any Pinot in California, offering waves of ripe, fleshy cherries, red currants, licorice and smoky vanilla that just don’t stop in palate appeal. For all that, the wine is elegant, silky and refined. Delicious now, although a little tannic, and will benefit from decanting and aging. Bring on the steak.  (12/2008)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Nothing short of a powerhouse Pinot that is unstinting in both deep fruit and rich oak, this very plush, full-bodied bottling pulls back from the brink of runaway excess and shows remarkably good balance for the very big wine that it is. *Two Stars*  (10/2008)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep, bright red. Sexy raspberry, blackberry and kirsch on the nose, with fresh rose and vanilla scents adding complexity. Broad and deep, offering sexy dark berry and Asian spice flavors, with velvety tannins lending shape. A big, rich Pinot, but with gentle acidity adding cut and lift to the back end. Finishes with suave blackberry liqueur and bitter cherry notes and excellent persistence. (JR)  (11/2008)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Combines a mix of bold, ripe and richly flavored black cherry, wild berry, plum and blackberry fruit with touches of spice, cedar and wild berry. Ends with a long, elegant, detailed finish. (JL)  (9/2008)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The medium ruby-colored 2006 Pinot Noir Ten (which signifies the 10 different clones from which it is produced) reveals a sumptuous perfume of raspberries, black cherries, strawberries, underbrush, and spice. Volnay-like in the mouth with loads of red fruits, medium to full body, sweet tannins, and good acidity. (RP)  (12/2008)


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Price: $159.99

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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.