Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2016
As assembly of each of the blocks and clones from their estate holdings within the Sta. Rita Hills and predominantly fermented as whole clusters. We have always viewed the stem as an inherent part of the cluster, much like a skeleton within a body. The approach is akin to cooking meat on the bone such chicken breast on the ribs. The outcome is that the stem’s participation acts like a corset to render the wine more stern and to lift up the fruit aromatic by fermenting largely as whole berries. The tannin architecture in the wine is also largely a stem derivative which substantiates the back of the palate and is more savory in nature much like tea or soy, but has aromas of pomegranate, white tea, and raspberry. Flavors of dried fig, white truffle and ripe cherry.
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Brewer-Clifton believes the geographic, geologic and climatic uniqueness of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation provides an ideal place to grow chardonnay and pinot noir grapes of intensity, complexity and specificity. This is why Founder and Winemaker Greg Brewer, Wine Enthusiast’s 2020 Winemaker of the Year, has dedicated his life to this region. Within this appellation, each vineyard carries its own imprint. The Brewer-Clifton mission and passion is to present wines that convey the characteristics inherent to each of these sites, with uncompromising quality.
Brewer–Clifton has the utmost respect for nature. They believe when working with a product of nature, it is necessary to maintain an awareness of the elements and phenomena sometimes beyond their understanding and control. As such, any intervention in the natural evolution of the product must be carried out with the utmost attentiveness and care.
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.
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.”