2010 Foxen "Julia's Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1094402 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Pinot Noir Julia’s Vineyard is an attractive, mid-weight Pinot bursting with energy and sheer class. Dark red cherries, mint and spices are some of the notes that emerge as the Julia’s shows off its pedigree and pure class. There is good juiciness and inner perfume, but this remains a finessed style of Pinot built on length and minerality. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. I always look forward to tasting the Foxen wines, as they are loaded with class and personality across the board. The Chardonnays and the Pinots are the highlights among this set of new releases, while the 2010 Syrahs can’t quite match the superb 2009s. The 2010 Pinots in particular are well worth the effort of tracking down. Like all of the Foxen reds, they see minimal racking and are bottled without fining or filtration.  (8/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is classic Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, with its dark color, full body, ripe berry and currant flavors and, especially, the array of exotic crushed brown spices. New French oak brings lots of smoky, buttery, toasty richness. Great to drink now with tuna, salmon, lamb and beef dishes.  (11/2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes candied dark berries, incense and floral oils, with vanilla and cola accents. Lush and seamless on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry and cherry-vanilla flavors nicely braced by juicy acidity. Finishes silky and long, with gentle tannic grip and impressive vivacity.  (12/2012)

Wine Spectator

 Tight, firm and tannic, with rich loamy earth notes and mineral, dried berry and sage flavors. The blueberry and wild berry fruit underneath should shine with a little time. Best from 2013 through 2023.  (9/2012)

K&L Notes

From parcels in Julia's Vineyard planted with Pommard clones, this 2010 Pinot Noir bottling from Foxen Vineyard was harvested with particularly small berries and displays deeper color than other recent vintages. It was given a four day cold soak followed by 14-day fermentation and 16 months in 45% new French oak. From the winery: "Aromas of red peppercorns, black cherries, cardamom and sandalwood. Lots of cherries and boysenberry on the palate--all enveloped in Santa Maria spice (cinnamon, clove and cardamom)."


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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.