2014 Gainey Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $30)

SKU #1315373 93 points Vinous

 Gainey's 2014 Pinot Noir is quite delicious. Sweet raspberries, flowers, mint, orange peel and spices give the 2014 much of its classic, Sta. Rita Hills profile. This is another hugely appealing, exuberant wine from Gainey. Gainey makes as many as twenty different wines in each vintage, many of them sold directly at the winery. These four offerings represent the core of the estate's production. Once again, I was quite impressed with what I tasted. The wines are made in an unfussy, middle of the road style that is sure to appeal to a broad audience. (AG)  (6/2016)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 A solid Pinot Noir for its price, this offers all the expected flavors and strikes a balance between richness and freshness. Wild cherry, anise, sagebrush and slate aromas lead into a palate that packs ripe red fruit upfront, followed by tangy elderberry, plum skin, hibiscus and rose. A touch of elderflower adds depth. *Editors' Choice* (MK)  (4/2017)

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Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/1/2017 | Send Email
Gainey's Pinot is a great representation of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA with its cherry cola, warm spice, tea leaf and tart cranberry notes. This is 100% Gainey estate fruit, harvested just 10 miles away from the Pacific Ocean so you get that cool, marine influence in the wine.​ It is medium in body and a great wine for people who want a Pinot that's not too heavy or light and will please a wide range of palates. Enjoy this wine now alongside roasted duck, chicken or grilled salmon.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/25/2017 | Send Email
The Gainey pinot noir is immaculately soft on the palate even though it's a wine with enough acidity and tannic structure to age for a few years in the cellar. It's lush and dark fruited up front, but soon that gives way into a earthier note that finishes with a bit of violet and dried herbs. The estate at Gainey has been in the family since 1962 when current winemaker Dan Gainey's grandfather first purchased 1800 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley for farming. They've been making wine on the property since 1984, but expanded their reach into new parcels under Dan's stewardship, all while continuing the family tradition of serious Central Coast pinot noir. The 2014 Santa Rita Hills is just another great example of that heritage of quality winemaking.

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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.