Thin, deep garnet and clear edges. A MASSIVE Pinot nose of dark cherry, dank woodsy loveliness and celery-stalk. Amazing proportions of earth and wood. Sharp and thin at first on the tongue, then deepens to solidly ripe fruit and lovely acids. Tasting through all of their Pinot offerings landed me on this one. We’re really splitting hairs here–they are all good, serviceable, if not above average Pinot Noirs.
This is a 2011 (as it SHOULD be–carrying a ‘Reserva’ label) and the fruit came from Riverbench and Sierra Madre or Bien Nacido–can’t remember which one and could be wrong on the latter. Solidly tannic caboose brings everything together neatly. This is a Pinot I can seriously get behind–not my palate’s *ideal*, but hits on all kinds of levels. A tad charming and ripe for my taste, but Santa Maria Valley pretty much EXCELS at *charming and ripe*!! This is top-notch stuff and begs to be trotted out in a nice line-up of The Usual Suspects.
2011 ALTA MARIA Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 14.1