2013 Foxen Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1188476 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Delicious aromas of ripe cherry pie and black cardamom are quite sexy. The palate is far more complicated and layered, with the tartness of plum skins, richness of strawberry, balsamic reduction and spiciness of black sage. (MK)  (7/2015)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (made from fruit grown in the Bien Nacido, Riverbench and Solomon Hills vineyards; no new oak): Bright red. Highly perfumed scents of spicy redcurrant, raspberry, fresh flowers and smoky minerals. Juicy red berry flavors pack a solid punch but come off as lithe. Brisk red berry skin and white pepper qualities dominate a long, lively finish firmed by dusty tannins. (JR)  (12/2014)


 The 2013 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley is a blend of fruit from Solomon Hills, Bien Nacido and Riverbench. Dried cherry, flowers, tobacco, cedar and leather are some of the signatures that flesh out. The slightly dried fruit and mid-weight structure both suggest the 2013 is best enjoyed within the next few years. This is a solid appellation level Pinot from Foxen. (AG)  (6/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Pleasantly balanced and easy to drink, but not simple. The flavors and profile are intense and persistent. (Web Only-2016) (JL)

K&L Notes

The team behind Foxen vineyards have found a recipe for success: take top-notch fruit from great vineyards, don't mess with it, and then sell it at an affordable price.

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/19/2015 | Send Email
On our recent trip to the Central Coast we tasted a myriad of Pinot Noirs--mostly great, a few exceptional, and maybe one or two that were just OK. Point being that there is tons of great Pinot Noir coming out of the area. Few were better, however-- especially if you consider pricing--than the 2013 Foxen Santa Maria Valley bottling. The lion’s share of this wine comes from the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard, and not any parcel but the same parcel that Foxen’s famed Block 8 vineyard designate comes from. Rounded out by fruit from Riverbench Vineyard and Solomon Hills Vineyard, the quality here, for an appellation bottling, is off the charts. A fresh and pithy nose of plum, violet, blueberry and crushed stone is unencumbered by oak, the wine seeing not a lick of new oak. Ripe and juicy on the palate, with plenty of berry fruit, this spices up as it goes along with pretty confectionary spices like nutmeg and allspice and gingerbread. Broad velvety tannins round out the back end with a streak of floral complexity that persists. I don’t know if we saw anything better for $30 Pinot on the trip!

Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2015 | Send Email
By far the best vintage of Foxen Pinot Noir I've tasted. And I've been drinking this wine for well over a decade! The aromatics just burst out of the glass and is so bright yet intriguing with underlying richness and supple texture on the palate. This is not to be missed! It will go fast.

Staff Image By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2015 | Send Email
Foxen is truly a special winery. Having gained some notoriety after their tasting room was featured in "Sideways," this excellent Santa Barbara County producer has avoided the homogenization that comes with a higher demand for larger production. Instead, they still manage to craft wines of extremely high quality and specificity. Showing the ripe red fruits that typify the Santa Maria Valley, it still deftly balances its richness with subtle notes of tea leaves, flowers, and a comfortable, lifted acidity that glides it through to a lovely finish. If you've not yet tried the wines of Foxen, this is a great place to start.

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/13/2015 | Send Email
This is truly the most well-rounded Pinot Noir I've ever had from Foxen. I typically look to Foxen for it's more approachable, upfront fruit style but I'm in love with the intense aromatics coupled by the elegant, sophisticated palate of the 2013 Santa Maria Pinot. Explosive aromatics of wild strawberry and black raspberry are coupled with warm baking spices and crushed flowers. What truly stands out is the beautiful, refined texture and persistently long finish.

Staff Image By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/10/2015 | Send Email
Faithful to a minimalist approach to winemaking, the 2013 Foxen Santa Maria Valley bottling is a fine example of the distinct and quality fruit that grows in this cool climate region. Powerful yet lean, the wine is laced with inviting scents of wild strawberry and cherries. On the palate the wine shows layers of red fruit, cinnamon, cloves and explodes with a fresh and bright intensity that makes this a pleasure to drink. Grab a couple bottles today as this is a keeper that should age gracefully for the next 10 years.

Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/9/2015 | Send Email
Incredibly balanced, Burgundian Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley! This elegant wine, grown from Pommard clones in the historic Bien Nacido vineyard is aged for 12 months in 2nd fill French oak. Full ripe cherry and strawberry aromas, give way to a pleasantly weighted body with fine, integrated tannin, and good acidity. The finish is long, and laden with baking spices. Eminently drinkable now, but should age beautifully.

Staff Image By: Mellyn Craig | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/8/2015 | Send Email
This Santa Maria Pinot Noir from Foxen is delicious AND the price is right! Aromas are bursting out of the glass of bright red fruit and baking spice. The fruit continues to the palate with crunchy strawberries and cherries, with great acidity and white pepper to create a lively balance. Great for barbeques, weddings and other parties as this Pinot will please many palates- as well as mine!

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 Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14