2012 Foxen "John Sebastiano Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1166467 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 A powerful, brooding nose of black cardamom and crushed clove melds with pomegranate and cherry, resulting in an incredibly aromatic wine that hails from a popular vineyard on the eastern edge of the appellation. The flavors are also quite deep--sour cherry, mocha, more clove--atop layers of bitter plum peels and refreshing acid.  (2/2015)

92 points Vinous

 Vivid ruby. Spicy dark berries, cherry-cola and incense on the deeply perfumed nose, with vibrant mineral and floral notes adding energy. At once densely packed and vibrant in the mouth, offering intense blackberry and boysenberry flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes brisk and spicy, with the dark berry note repeating. In an extroverted, fruit-driven style, with the concentration and balance to reward patience. (Josh Raynolds)  (12/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Lacking the integration and class of the other Pinot Noirs, the 2012 Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills has a ripe, lifted bouquet of plum, violets and green herbs to go with a medium-bodied, bright and focused style. There’s solid ripeness here, and it’s certainly a very good wine, yet it never really comes together, so I’d lean toward drinking over the coming 3-4 years. I was blown away by these new Pinot Noir releases from Foxen, and they’re up near the top of the vintage. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same with regards to the Rhone blends, and these had superficial, mid-weight profiles geared for near-term drinking. As to the Bordeaux blends, these come from the eastern most AVA in Santa Barbara County and are labeled under the Foxen 7200 label.  (8/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Firmly tannic, with a tight grip around the vivid red and dark berry fruit, showing touches of anise and spice. Ends on a cedary note. Drink now through 2022. 1,500 cases made.  (9/2014)

K&L Notes

This comes from three blocks of the John Sebastiano Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills. Whole berry destemmed, aged 17 months in 100% French oak.

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Price: $49.99
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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 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14