2015 La Honda "Sequence" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

SKU #1334351 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 There are a lot of intriguing and unique aromas on the nose of this bottling, from candied pomegranate and wild blueberry to olive, rosewater, cinnamon and carnation. Those deep fruits and exotic spices show on the sip as well, where a tense acidity leads into a tart cherry finish.  (10/2017)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/6/2018 | Send Email
"Sequence" is named for the series of vines along Skyline on the perimeter of Silicon Valley, planted in clay and sandy soils. There is a distinctive saline minerality in this wine that you might find in a Santa Cruz Pinot three times the price, and a concentration of fruit and balance of acidity that makes this wine a good candidate for extended cellaring, if you were inclined. That said, it's a wonderful quaffer now, with classic smoky aromas of black and white pepper, dried rose petal and violet, and flavors of pomegranate, black and Bing cherry, and tart and ripe raspberries.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/6/2018 | Send Email
This starts out rather husky, with earth tones, rhubarb and mushroom before brighter notes of red fruits fill the middle and finish. The wine is medium-bodied with lively texture and some intriguing hints of spice and forest. This is a satisfying and food-friendly bargain.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/4/2018 | Send Email
This is a great find from the Santa Cruz Mountains from vineyards exclusively farmed by La Honda Winery. This Pinot has great freshness and a juicy line of fruit backed by the 10% whole cluster, which adds just enough structure to this wine. I think they added the perfect amount of new oak to this wine, because while I get the texture and strength from oak aging, I don't taste any oak characteristics, such as vanilla or coconut, which leaves the fruit to be the shining star. This is a great value in Santa Cruz, a region that is quickly gaining recognition for its sophisticated Pinot Noirs. A great find and addition to our California portfolio.

Staff Image By: Adam Winkel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/14/2017 | Send Email
This is exactly the kind of Pinot Noir that I love having piled around the house. This example from La Honda is simultaneously savory and energetic with a persistence and juiciness that begs another sip. It has plenty of stuffing and a certain seriousness to the profile, but this bottle doesn't depend on cellaring to shed superficial baby fat. I find that to be a rare virtue, not a knock. The complexity here is really highlighted by the wine's purity. Such is the virtue of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which experienced particularly low yields of exceptionally high quality Pinot Noir in 2015. This bottle is equally fun for the SCM geek, or as a "gateway" wine for the uninitiated to get into the region's Pinots for a steal of an entry fee.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/8/2017 | Send Email
Highly perfumed crushed red berries. Brambly fruit, orange peel, Christmas cake spice. Lifted aromas of Redwood grove and fresh rain. Pure, long, elegant on the palate, weighing in at 13.7% alc. A lovely combination of fresh fruit and savory forest floor notes. It finishes clean, supple and bright with moreish acidity.
Top Value!

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 Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.