2010 Brewer-Clifton "Mt. Carmel Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1114282 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Pinot Noir Mount Carmel is gorgeous. A burst of dark red fruit makes a positive first impression, but everything about the 2010 speaks of balance. The use of whole clusters is not as evident here as elsewhere. Layers of flavors continue to flesh out on the broad-shouldered frame. The Mt. Carmel is a wine of exceptional balance and pure pedigree. It is easily one of the highlights among the new releases. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. Steve Clifton describes the 2010 harvest as 2-3 weeks later than normal. The Pinots were brought in during the second and third weeks of September, in between the heat spikes, while the Chardonnays were harvested later, once temperatures cooled off. The 2010s are beautiful, transparent wines that capture the essence of the vintage and their respective sites. (AG)  (8/2012)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Fresh red berries and star anise on the assertively perfumed nose, with a suave floral quality adding complexity. Juicy, palate-coating strawberry and raspberry flavors are firmed by juicy acidity and gain flesh with air. Finishes dry and nervy, with superb clarity and lingering floral pastille and spice notes. (JR)  (11/2012)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 An intensely floral and softly spicy nose also offers pretty and well-layered red berry fruit aromas. The rich, intense and well-detailed flavors are notably ripe but not nearly as ripe as the stated alcohol percentage would suggest, all wrapped in a firm, moderately austere and plum-suffused finish. This manages to carry its alcohol well and while there is some noticeable warmth, it's not really intrusive provided that the wine is kept at a proper serving temperature.  (9/2012)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "This spectacular and challenging site consistently delivers fruit that we find particularly compelling and difficult to describe. Very steep slopes of botella clay, diatomite and limestone planted to a quintet of Pinot Noir clones with diverse spacing. Raspberry, dried orange peel and spicy aromatics set the stage for the flavors of rhubarb, dried cherry and damp earth which follow. Extremely elegant and noble mouth feel supported by fine tannins and restrained richness."

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Price: $54.99
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Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/27/2013 | Send Email
The Mount Carmel Vineyard's cool, windswept site and old vine fruit produce taut, powerful wines with great potential for aging. This is a massive Pinot Noir with tons of red fruits wrapped around a firm, mineral core. Intensely spicy with fine, firm tannins that argue for a decade or more in the cellar.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/21/2013 | Send Email
This wine is stunning! Bright cherry, ripe raspberry, green tea, and fresh strawberry notes join the saline and mineral streak persistent throughout the wine. Fine, palate coating tanins round out the lingering finish. Approachable now with air but will reward a few years in the cellar.

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/19/2013 | Send Email
Maybe it was the turkey sandwich I was enjoying in the sunshine while sitting one of the Brewer Clifton vineyards, but this wine hit me like a ton of bricks. It's breath-taking. Red cherry, red roses, peppermint, licorice, red currant, wild herbs, with medium plus acidity and medium plus tannin. Rich, complex, well-balanced. A stunning wine to enjoy with a special meal in the near term, or to tuck away for 5-10 years.

Additional Information:


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 RhĂ´ne blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.9