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A.P. Vin Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WS92
  • JD90
750ML / 14.6% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • WS91
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750ML / 14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Planted in 1998, the Clos Pepe Vineyard sits in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills. This special property is perfectly influenced by the wind, fog, low temperatures and cool summers that allow us to produce wines unlike any in the world. The East West valleys of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA pull cold air off the Pacific, and the sea-bed soils intensely limit vigor. Small vines, small clusters, small berries, and thick skins provide the perfect storm for producing exceptional Pinot Noir.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Elegant and minerally, with concentrated dark fruit flavors that are full of rich cocoa powder and creamy accents. The lusciously spiced finish features powerful slate and savory accents. Drink now through 2021.
JD 90
Jeb Dunnuck
From the Sta. Rita Appellation in Santa Barbara County, the 2016 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard is all clone 115 aged 11 months in 50% new French oak. Black cherries, spice, underbrush, and earth all emerge from this dense, concentrated Pinot Noir that's holding things close to its vest. Showing more base notes and forest floor with time in the glass, give it another year or two of bottle age, and I suspect it will drink nicely through 2025.
Rating: 90+
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A.P. Vin
A.P. Vin, California
A.P. VIN was established in 2003 to fulfill the dream of its owner, Andrew P. Vingiello. After taking his first sip of artisinal California pinot noir he set out to learn as much as he could about this unique style of bold, complex wine. In 2003 Andrew worked his first wine harvest and found that his passion for handcrafted wine extended beyond just consuming it. Andrew created the very first vintage of A.P. VIN in 2003 from Garys' Vineyard. While only 150 cases were produced, it was enough to win the acclain of well-known publications. The name A.P. VIN orginiates from Andrew's name (Andrew P. Vingiello) and the logo represents his signature on each bottle produced.

While managing to keep his day job during production of the first few vintages of A.P. VIN, it was in 2005 that Andrew decided to fully dedicate himself and his career to his passion for creating unique wines. Shortly thereafter, Andrew moved his production and winemaking from Lompoc to San Francisco, where he could tend to the wines closer to his home.

Today, A.P. VIN produces approximately 2,000 cases of vineyard-designate pinot noir and is focused on making wines of the highest quality, which Andrew believes starts in the vineyard. From the vineyard and row locations to the farming style of each grower, every element adds nuances and subtleties that result in a superior wine.

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Sta. Rita Hills

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A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.

The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

SOU923949_2016 Item# 364391