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Alma Rosa Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, 2004

March 1, 2008

~$30US, 100% Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, California

Deep ruby in color. Mabe a hair darker than what I’d call “varietally correct”. Bursting with a signature Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir nose – Ripe raspberries, dried cherries and lychees, plus a little tomato skin. Some spiced vanilla notes eluding to some time in new oak barrels. Sexy mouthfeel – velvety, easy-drinking, and well-integrated for the most part, although a little aggressive oak and alcoholic heat peak out in the midpalate. Not the last word in complexity, but scrumptious fruit with fine tannins (ready-to-drink) and enough acidity to do well at the table with medium-bodied fare (veal, pork roasts and grilled white meats).

Overall, an exemplary Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir, produced by the man who pioneered the grape in said AVA. While the providence must be respected,  this is a casual wine – fun to drink and I’m certain that it would make both old Pinot fans and novices equally happy. Considering the other wines being made in the area, this stands out at it’s price point as a pretty good value – but for a tad more, you move into single-vineyard designates that may offer more individuality.

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