Reviews:  Pinot Noir

Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir


Wine Enthusiast: Best of the Year 2016

“Tart cranberry, wild thyme, olive and Indian spices show on the nose of this appellation blend, a great representation of the cool-climate styles this winery is known for. Kalamata olive and Mediterranean spices arise on the palate, with baked fig, orange rinds, preserved lemon and chaparral combining for a tagine-like expression.”

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast, December 2016


“The 2014 Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley) is an attractive, lifted wine. Rose petal and bright red cherry notes give the 2014 good brightness. A greater reliance on Dijon clones and a reduction in whole clusters to around 20% has resulted in a more forward, fruit-driven style that is well suited to what most people probably expect from an appellation level Pinot.”

90 Points: Outstanding.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2016


“Primarily an estate pinot with a dollop of grapes from nearby Bien Nacido Vineyard, it shows dark black and blue fruit, spice and earthy loam on the nose. Then bright red fruit moves in, adding to the aromatic equation.  Red cherry, pomegranate, moist earth and brown baking spices are the immediate flavors and, with air, darker fruit comes into play: damson plum and dark, ripe black cherry. Initially popping the cork, you think it's not that concentrated (only 12.9 percent alcohol), but step aside and stand back - this wine blows up in the glass and will reward your patience. Surprise!”

- Dennis Schaefer, Santa Barbara News-Press, August 2016


Presqu'ile Vineyard Pinot Noir


“The 2014 Pinot Noir Presqu'ile Vineyard is striking for a number of reasons, chief among them the better integration of whole clusters... Even with the modest concentration of the vintage, the 2014 offers lovely integrity of fruit and terrific overall balance. Sweet red stone fruits, rose petal and sweet herbs grace the expressive finish. The 2014 was done with 75% whole clusters.”

91 Points: Outstanding.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2016


Wine & Spirits: Year's Best US Pinot Noir

“The 2013 vintage was a warm one in the Santa Maria Valley, so Presqu’ile winemaker Dieter Cronje included plenty of whole clusters in his pinot noir ferments to boost the savory qualities in his wines. This bottling, selected from top lots grown on the estate’s sandy soils, is laced with spice coriander and white pepper tones that perk up its smooth dark-cherry richness. Drink it with a country pâté.”

- Luke Sykora, Wine & Spirits, April 2016


“Black cherry and black raspberry notes meet crushed mint, wet slate, Mediterranean spice, blistered tomato and Kalamata olive on the nose of this estate bottling. Lively herbs including marjoram and thyme mark the palate, then the wine warms toward tarter cherry, cranberry and turned earth on the midpalate. It finishes with aromatically lifting menthol notes.”

92 Points: Excellent; Highly recommended

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast, June 2016


“The 2013 Pinot Noir Presqu'ile Vineyard is a little bit darker and richer than the Santa Maria Valley Pinot (which is also from Presqu'ile), but the vineyard's personality and the strong influence of the whole clusters attenuates the differences between the two wines.”

91 Points: Outstanding.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous, August 2015


“Different clones and a superior site. Dense and compact with forest floor flavors. Ambitious with both density and refreshment. Long and tense. Real vitality here! 2016-2021” 17/20 Points: Superior

- Jancis Robinson, March 2016


“Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of black stone and berry fruits with added scents of exotic spice, pine sap and subtle stem. An abundance of boysenberry fruit is complimented by notes of spice and floral intricacy. Luscious but light on its feet, with admirable balance and a berry-fueled finish of note.”

92 Points: Outstanding

- Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile, January 2016


Steiner Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir


Wine Enthusiast: Best of 2016

“From an extreme coastal vineyard three miles north of Cambria, this bottling kicks off with peppery spice on the nose along with strong black olive, bay leaf, dill and a black-raspberry element on the edges. Lively underripe fruit tones power the palate, as does Kalamata olive, North African spice, coriander and tomato leaf.”

94 Points: Superb; A great achievement

- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast, December 2016


“Dark cherry, plum, sage, leather and cloves are some of the notes that give the 2014 Pinot Noir Steiner Creek Vineyard its imposing, virile personality. The 50% whole clusters add salinity and aromatic kick, but the wine is mostly defined by its dark fruit profile and the mid-weight structure that is such a signature of the house style.”

91 Points: Outstanding. A wine of remarkable personality and breed that is well worth seeking out

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2016


“Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of dried flowers, river mud, and crushed berries. In the mouth, silky flavors of raspberry, dried flowers, and redcurrant have a wonderful aromatic sweetness to them. Gorgeous dried flower and raspberry notes linger in the finish. Quite tasty. Great acidity and length. Faint, fleecy tannins.”

Between 9 and 9.5 Points

- Alder Yarrow, Vinography, August 2016

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