Sea Smoke Ten Pinot Noir 2013
This cooling influence makes extended ‘hangtime’ possible prior to harvest – allowing flavors and tannins to fully mature, while still maintaining lovely acidity. This results in wines that are lush, elegant and expressive. Because Sea Smoke is an estate winery and the California equivalent of a ‘Monopole’, the estate does not buy or sell grapes. Their obsession with Pinot Noir has its roots – literally and figuratively – in their estate vineyard, and this obsession is apparent in the way they farm. Striving for low crop yields and small grape clusters, the vineyard is planted with ten top-quality Pinot Noir clones on vigor-reducing rootstocks. Each vine receives individual care and handling from the vineyard crew at least eight times a year. The folks at Sea Smoke want to be good stewards of the land so they have been farming sustainably for over a decade, and in 2013 they went beyond organic and began farming the entire vineyard biodynamically.
Because lab tests never tell the whole story, the folks at Sea Smoke ultimately rely on their own taste buds to decide when to begin harvesting individual blocks. The east and west sides of each block are usually picked at different times, for example, and after hand harvesting, grapes are chilled overnight, pre-sorted, de-stemmed and then carefully table sorted. Meanwhile, they evaluate the clonal characteristics and tannin profile of every harvested block, tailoring corresponding fermentations accordingly. They keep each block and clone combination separate throughout fermentation and aging. This helps develop a deep understanding of the characteristics of each vineyard block, observing how each responds to specific barrel profiles and ultimately gives an array of flavors and characteristics to draw upon during blending.
|Appellation||Sta. Rita Hills|
Wine EnthusiastThis is a top bottling from one of the appellation's first superstar wineries. Aromas of baked red cherry and red plum are dusted with nutmeg, clove and a crushed-slate minerality. The palate is lively with dried fennel, white sage and an earthy mintiness, which all give spice to the underlying base of ripe raspberry fruit. It's extremely delicious and deeply layered.
Wine SpectatorA delicate style delivering firm raspberry, earth, graphite and cedar notes, with trim, taut tannins. Ends with a dry, cedary aftertaste. Drink now.