88 points, Wine Enthusiast
Our annual Santa Lucia Highlands release of Pinot Noir under our “Appellation Series” highlights one of California’s most influential PN growing districts. With its close proximity to cold Monterey Bay, the S.L.H. boasts a long growing season, strong winds, and mountainside soils - perfect conditions for growing Pinot Noir. The Pinots grown in this small appellation are some of the most sought-after in the country. In 2016, we were fortunate to secure fruit from the Alarid family’s Tondre Grapefield.
11 months French Oak (37% New), 227 cases
From Tim’s tasting notes: Lots of strawberry and raspberry flavors accented with fresh red flowers and sage. On the palate, white pepper, a hint of spice, and decadent white chocolate complement the long finish. Pair with savory pork chops or a green lentil curry.
After a cold soak, fermentation began using yeast RC212 in small, open top bins. Manual punchdowns of the cap occurred three times daily prior to the wine being pressed and “barreled down” for eleven months aging in small French oak cooperage, thirty-seven percent of which was new wood. Just 227 cases were bottled in late August of 2017.
Tondre Grapefield, Santa Lucia Highlands
Tondré Alarid established a vineyard on his family’s historic ranch in Monterey’s Santa Lucia Highlands. In the hands of his son Joe Alarid, the estate has become one of the S.L.H.’s best known properties. Literally next door to famed Garys’ Vineyard, Tondre shares the same well-drained hillside soils and crop-limiting afternoon fog and cool winds from nearby Monterey Bay. The combination of a perfect site and meticulous farming makes for truly great Pinot Noir.
Cooperage: French Oak, 37% New, 11 months
Bottling Date: August 2017