Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills Ten 2009
An ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The seductive nose of the 2009 Southing exhibits fresh leather, rose water, black cherry, violets and hint of macerated cherry. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by Sea Smoke's estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity. Barrel aged in French oak (55% new). Alcohol 14.5%. Not yet reviewed; 2008 vintage rated 92 points by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
Beginning to show age in 2014. Tobacco, leather, musty raisins on nose and palate. Needed about thirty minutes to fully open. Deep cherry austerity. A regal wine, for certain.
Definitely a wine that needs time to open up. Great wine! Nice earthy aroma with dark fruit and some oak. As the wine opened up the good tannin showed through with decent acidity, red fruit and nice long finish.
Ever notice how your friends ask you if they should save the $10 bottle you just got them for a special occasion? What a silly people we Americans are. We think all wines are like this one—outrageously expensive and inaccessible when, in fact, there are a lot of great wines in our market that are cheaper per fl oz than a microbrew. This is not one of them. It is a great wine—subtle, soft, smooth, a touch of oak and spice, a touch of fruit—but I hesitate to recommend it for anything but the most special of occasions. Weighing in at well over $100, the law of diminishing returns applies in spades.
External Reviews for Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills Ten
The 2004 Pinot Noir Southing, which takes its name from a south-facing hillside vineyard, is a packed and stacked effort with a dense ruby/purple color as well as a restrained, but promising nose of black currants, cherries, and raspberries with forest floor/earthy undertones. This is a full-bodied, powerful Pinot revealing striking elegance, purity, and seamlessness. Although young and unevolved, it is well-balanced, and should drink well for 7ndash;10 years.
Spicy, peppery wild berry aromas carry over to the palate, with firm tannins. Tight and compact, this is an austere style thatrsquo;s rich and full-bodied, with enough depth and complexity to merit short-term cellaring. Drink now through 2012.
The most balanced of Sea Smokersquo;s three new Pinots, Southing was aged in about two-thirds new oak, which gives rich caramel, toasted coconut and exotic spice notes to the ripe fruit flavors. The wine explodes with cherries, raspberries, mulberries and even chocolate mint, finishing long and spicy, and leaving the impression of wholesomeness and completeness. Now showing its peak of youthful vivacity, this should develop for an additional six years.
The deep ruby-colored 2003 Pinot Noir Southing exhibits a complex bouquet of damp earth, underbrush, and sweet, smoky cherries in addition to a medium to full-bodied, velvety-textured palate, outstanding purity, impressive persistence, and a long, concentrated finish. It benefits significantly from 30ndash;60 minutes of airing. In fact, my score rose with each ten minute interval, a very positive sign. This 2003 Pinot should drink well for 5ndash;7 years. This wine was bottled about six weeks before I tasted it, which is usually a difficult period for many wines, even those bottled naturally. In any event, this up-and-coming Santa Barbara County producer demonstrates considerable potential.
Saturated red. Powerfully scented nose displays sexy red and dark berry liqueur, candied cherry and a musky floral quality. Deeply concentrated black raspberry and cherry flavors are energized by tangy minerals and pick up rooty licorice and sassafras with air. Finishes with notes of black pepper and smoky Indian spices and excellent persistence.
Produced from a south-facing hillside vineyard, the 2002 Pinot Noir Southing reveals a ruby/purple in addition to abundant aromas of sweet cherries, currants, and hints of plums and flowers. Made in a Cote de Beaune-like style, with sweet kirsch and black cherry flavors mixed with spicy wood as well as loamy soil notes, the Southing is more open and evolved than the Botella. Drink it over the next 5ndash;7 years.
Elegant, well-proportioned and full-bodied, with spicy sour cherry, fresh earth, mineral and dusty sage notes. Very tight, firming up on the finish. Should only get better. Best from 2010 through 2016.