Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, California
Established in 1972, the Clark & Telephone Vineyard was planted "own root" to the Martini clone. This heirloom clone of Pinot Noir was one of the first to grace the California coastlands and has become something of a lost treasure. The site offers pronounced flavors that are augmented by the Martini clone, known for its characteristic brown spice (cinnamon, nutmeg and clove) and deep cranberry and raspberry flavors.
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.
4 ratings, 3 with reviews
- Smooth & Supple
Lovely wine. Great mouth-filling pinot flavor and very nice balance. More depth and structure than the Belle Glos Meiomi (which is also a great wine and half the price)
- Smooth & Supple
Young. Will cellar for a few years.
- Smooth & Supple
I first became acquainted with Clark and Telephone Vineyard's 2009 vintage of this wine at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, and am thrilled that the 2011 vintage excels at maintaining the taste that makes this a truly great California Pinot Noir. Deep, bold flavors of the earth blend to transcend the taste experience and conjure up thoughts of an artist's palate of colors, with a smooth finish that keeps the wine glass in your hand. The style rating that I noted could have gone with either the smooth and supple, or the Big and Bold, as they seem equally balanced in this fine wine.
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.