Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
Deep garnet color. Aromas of ripe plums, brown spices—ranging from cinnamon to cumin—and rich, freshly turned earth, with hints of sweet caramel and barbecue smoke. On the palate, the flavors extend and expand on the aromas, from the array of spices to cranberry, coffee and even ripe blackberry. The tannins are soft and supple. The wine's firm acidity is a constant characteristic, from the first sip to the very long, fruit-filled finish, laced with notes of sweet French oak.
Belle Glos Winery
Belle Glos showcases distinctive Pinot Noirs produced from top growing areas along the California coast: the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County; the Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County; and the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County. The climate differences are significant, depending on the amount of fog, wind, sunlight and soil type at each site.
Winemaker Joseph J. Wagner is a fourth-generation winemaker from a family with farming and winemaking roots in the Napa Valley since 1906. The name Belle Glos (pronounced BELL GLOSS), honors Joseph’s grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards.
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About Santa Maria Valley
Situated near the ocean in the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley appellation runs east to west. Pacific Ocean air funnels in to cool the vineyards, allowing the grapes to evenly ripen and reach their full potential. This unique climate paired with the region's well-drained soils helps create some sought-after grapes.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the most planted varieties in the AVA, which covers over 7,000 acres of land. Syrah is gaining more ground as it consistantly produces outstanding wines. Many vineyards are owned by growers and sold to wineries, so seeing a vineyard name on multiple producer's bottles is common. One of the better known vineyards, Bien Nacido, is found on the labels of some of the most prestigious wines of the area.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.