The Santa Lucia Bench in the Salinas Valley, where this Pinot Noir is grown, is becoming a prominent winegrowing region and we are lucky to have long-term contracts for grapes from this area. The deep, rocky loam soils and eastern
orientation make it ideal for growing Pinot Noir. The 1999 Pinot Noir appeared a bit reticent at first, compared to the 1998 and 1997 vintages. I should have had faith. Pinot Noir rewards faith. Upon bottling, it opened up; the color deepened and the fruit and flesh became visible. It was delicious! Mostly when you bottle Pinot Noir it turns dumb on you. This one hit the bottle and began to sing. Jammy flavors open to bright berry fruit and subtle cinnamon and spice notes.
Pinot Noir is a most useful wine at mealtime. There is virtually no food it won't match or contrast with well. When you don't know which wine to serve, Pinot Noir's the one to reach for. It rarely disappoints. It is a dry wine that
particularly loves grilled, smoked or salty foods. It's a little known fact that it pairs very well with Mexican food, though I'm sure a Burgundian would blanch at the suggestion.
-Larry Brooks, Consulting Winemaker