2013 Chanin "Los Alamos Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

SKU #1199411 93 points Wine & Spirits

 Herbal aromas and a light, rosy hue predict this wine’s delicacy. Gavin Chanin harvested the fruit from this sandy vineyard quite early in 2013-August 31-capturing pinot noir in a perfect state of ripeness. It’s fresh and exuberant, with just enough strawberry-red fruit to flesh it out, the structure deliciously silky yet firm at its edges. Decant it for sautéed mushrooms.  (4/2015)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Brilliant red. Spicy raspberry and blood orange on the nose, with cinnamon, allspice and tea rose qualities gaining strength in the glass. Juicy red berry flavors show excellent lift and clarity on the seductively silky, sharply focused palate. This graceful and appealingly sweet pinot finishes with sexy floral pastille and spicecake notes and very soft tannins. Gavin Chanin said that his initial fears that the 2012 pinots would turn out on the soft side and in need of relatively early drinking have turned out to be unfounded: "It (2012) has turned out to be a fantastic year, with more finesse than the wines showed initially and also more structure." He added that he thinks "the 2013s should be more approachable than the 2012s and will be great for restaurants and people who like extroverted fruit." Ten percent new French oak is used across across the board here.  (12/2014)

90 points Vinous

 Chanin's 2013 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard is soft, open-knit and subtle, with lovely balance to match its feminine, gracious personality. Dried rose petals, crushed flowers and herbs are all supported by beams of underlying salinity that give the wine its sense of energy. The Los Alamos is a bit linear, but very pretty just the same. Gavin Chanin's 2013 Chardonnays are superb. The 2013 Pinots are less consistent, although they are better than the 2012s. Overall, I find the 2012 Pinots lacking in depth and intensity, as if only about 75% of the vineyard-specific signatures are being captured in these wines. Perhaps the yields were a bit on the high side, but there is little doubt the 2013 Pinots could be and should be more distinguished for a producer with Gavin Chanin's raw talent.  (6/2015)

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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 (%): 13.47