2009 Lucia Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1066151 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Pinot Noir is a big, full-bodied wine loaded with dark fruit. This is a fairly extroverted Pinot from this appellation, with layers of dark cherries, cola and spices, all of which come together nicely on a big, generous frame. The fruit was sourced from Garys’ (65%) and Pisoni (35%), and was fermented with 20% whole clusters. Another year or two in bottle should help soften the firm tannins. (AG)  (8/2011)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Pungent red and dark berry aromas are complicated by cola and mocha. Fleshy black raspberry and cherry flavors are firmed by dusty tannins and given lift by tangy acidity. Finishes gently spicy, with building smokiness and very good energy and focus. This wine got almost 50% new oak but it plays very nicely with the deep fruit. (JR)  (11/2011)

K&L Notes

Santa Lucia Highlands is complex, aromatic and intensely flavored. The wind and mountainous soils thicken and toughen the grape skins, darkening the color in what is otherwise a lightly hued wine. Winemaking techniques for the Pinot Noirs include native-yeast fermentations that reach high temperatures, hand punch-downs of the tanks, all French-oak barrel aging and minimal racking. The wines are bottled without fining or filtration. The 2009 Pinot Noir is equal parts fruit from the famed Garys' and Pisoni vineyards, adding the elegance of the former to balance the power of the latter. Its exuberant nose is defined by sweet berry fruit, with an earthy, sweet-savory undercurrent of black tea, sage and clove spice. It has the Santa Lucia Highlands concentration and intensity on the palate, balanced by the acidity of the 2009 vintage.

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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