Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
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.
A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.
Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.