August West Peterson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
2014 was a year where the California drought entered its third year and affected vineyards in different ways. At Peterson Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, the deer who live nearby didn't have enough of their normal diet, because of the lack of water, so they invaded the block closest to the Salinas River. This is the clone 115 section of Peterson, and the deer found plenty of healthy shoots on these vines. What was good for the deer meant quite a bit less fruit for Peterson. 2014's crop ended up being down 60% from 2012 and 2013, but the quality of the vintage was just as high. We harvested three clones from Peterson in 2014, Dijon 115 and 777 as well as some Pommard. All three are represented in our 2014 Peterson Vineyard Pinot Noir. The very fragrant, spicy nose is typical of this site, along with the delicate palate filled with savory and earthy flavors. There's also a toastiness to our 2014 Peterson which resulted from the high percentage of new oak we aged this wine in. The oak will integrate into the wine over the next several years, and we recommend a drinking window of 2017 through 2023.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”