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Carlson John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    13.2% ABV
    • W&S93
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    13.2% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This wine shows warm and rich fruit flavors which were developed throughout the growing conditions of the 2012 vintage. It has a nice, darker red fruit aroma, dark cherries, with a touch of tobacco, earth and spice. A quarter of the wine was fermented with whole clusters, and this really shows on the palate both in flavor and texture. There is a pretty richness, indicative of the clone, 667 and 115, and the vineyard site. This wine will age nicely for years to come.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Carlson

    Carlson

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    Carlson, Central Coast, California
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    Chuck Carlson’s winemaking career in Santa Barbara County spans more than 34 years, including the past ten years as the proprietor of Carlson Wines, specializing in limited-edition wines including Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills along with Cabernet Franc and several aromatic white wines from the Santa Ynez Valley.

    As a young winemaker with a newly minted enology degree from Fresno State University, Chuck first joined Zaca Mesa Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he helped create the winery’s groundbreaking Rhône varietal program. The “school of Zaca Mesa” has since become renowned for launching the careers of many notable Central Coast winemakers. For nearly 20 years, Chuck served as the winemaker at Curtis Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, which was founded as one of California’s first wineries to specialize exclusively in Rhône varietals.

    Along the way, however, Chuck never lost his personal affinity for the Pinot Noir grape, and in 2004 he launched Carlson Wines, with the singular goal of crafting a trio of Pinot Noirs showcasing the individual qualities of three standout vineyards in three premier Central Coast appellations. He has since expanded his offerings to Cabernet Franc and aromatic whites.

    Among Chuck’s personal interests is deep sea fishing, and his related adventures have earned him the nicknmame "Calypso." Chuck and his wife have two grown children, and live in Arroyo Grande.

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

    Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

    While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

    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. 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 Villages or Cru level wines.

    CWL33200312_2012 Item# 146183