2008 Lucia Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1059740 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Pinot Noir (which utilizes about 40% new oak) comes from above the Pisoni and Garys’ Vineyards, two of the top sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The wine has a perfumed bouquet of blue, red, and black fruits along with some forest floor, underbrush, and subtle background oak. Velvety textured, deep, full-bodied flavors cascade over the palate with a sweetness and purity that are admirable. About 10-15% stems were used in the fermentation, but they don’t show in the wine, although I am sure the nicely integrated, tannic structure of the wine is a result of them. (RP)  (8/2010)

K&L Notes

A true California wine family, the Pisoni legacy began back in 1979 when Eddie and Jane Pisoni purchased the land that is now Pisoni vineyards. Their son Gary and his children, Mark and Jeff, have carried on, farming the famed vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands and venturing into winemaking. Lucia launched in 2000 as an outlet for small bottlings that represent the region. This wine comes from Garys' Vineyard, a partnership between Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni, planted to Pinot Noir and Syrah in 1997. The SLH Pinot Noir is like the aromatic equivalent of 4th of July fireworks, with aromas of strawberries, pomegranates, and bing cherries bursting in air. All of that continues onto the palate for an explosive, richly framed wine-drinking experiment, spiked with herbs and lingering, like smoke trails in the sky, on the finish.

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Price: $39.99
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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 Lucia Highlands