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Reviews : Pinot Noir

2009 Presqu'ile Vineyard Pinot Noir

Blast from 2011 World of Pinot Noir

William Gaffney, Prince of Pinot (

Pronounced "press-KEEL," this small winery is located in the Santa Maria Valley. Presqu’ile is Creole for "almost an island," and was the gathering place for the Murphy family on the Gulf Coast until Hurricane Katrina ended an era. Four generations of the Murphy family have partnered in farming, forestry, oil and gas, and conservation. Today, two generations of Murphys joined with winemaker Dieter Cronje and vineyard manager Jim Stollberg to form the soul of Presqu’ile. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the San Rafael Mountains, near Solomon Hills Vineyard, the 73 acres of certified sustainably farmed vineyards are located on a 200-acre property. Production centers on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc both from the estate vineyard and top growers in Santa Barbara County. Farming includes intensive shoot and cluster thinning. Grapes are picked at relatively low brix, producing wines of moderately low alcohol. The wines are fermented exclusively with native yeast, and most wines are barrel aged in 75% neutral French oak barrels. The Pinot Noirs are bottled unfined and unfiltered. A stunning winery and tasting room are slated for completion in 2012 and will bring notoriety to the Santa Maria Valley. The wines are sold through a mailing list at I would suggest you hop on board as this will become a very praiseworthy addition to the stable of Santa Maria Valley wineries. (A side note: a friend, Francoise Gouges, who represents Tonnellerie Sirugue, and has a French oriented palate, enthusiastically urged me to try the Pesqui’ile wines).

On Presqu'ile 2009 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir: Lithe and seductive, with immensely satisfying dark fruit array on a medium-bodied frame, displaying the signature Santa Maria spice, and ending on a juicy note. Very good.

On Presqu'ile 2009 Presqu'ile Vineyard Pinot Noir: An exciting wine displaying considerable charm considering its young vines origin. More intense, intriguing and complex than the Santa Maria Valley bottling, offering aromas of plum sauce, blackberries and spice, and a discreetly concentrated core of Dr. Pepper and dark berry jam flavors. Full of energy and light on its feet. Very good (+).

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