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Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • JD94
  • V92
  • D90
750ML / 13% ABV
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  • WE94
  • RP90
  • WE95
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The grapes were harvested on September first at 22.0 brix. The grapes underwent a four-day cold-soak with 1-3 punch-downs by hand daily. Once dry, the wine was pressed and put into French oak barrels (10% new) where it stayed for 14 months before being racked and bottled unfiltered in February of 2018.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard comes from the sandy soils of the Los Alamos Vineyard and has lots of framboise, spice, and dried flower notes in an ethereal, elegant, seamless package. There's some background herbal/stemmy notes, but it has a remarkable vibrancy and purity and a clean finish. It's a beautiful Pinot Noir!
V 92
Vinous
The 2016 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard is delicate and lifted in the glass. Sweet dried cherry, mint tobacco, dried herbs, sage and crushed leaves add to the wine's aromatic depth. Silky and polished, with striking nuance, the 2016 is all class. I loved it.
D 90
Decanter
Gavin Chanin is a disciple of Jim Clendenen, but these days is very much his own man - and much in demand as a consultant winemaker. Like Clendenen, he strives for elegance and balance rather than power and opulence. This offers sweet, ripe raspberry aromas that have purity and charm. It's medium-bodied but sleek and concentrated, made in a pure style that allows the fruit to shine through. It may not be very nuanced or complex, but it's balanced and has a long, tangy finish. Drinking Window 2019 - 2028
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Chanin
Chanin, California
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Chanin Wine Co. is dedicated to crafting wines from Santa Barbara County that reflect the individual vineyard in which they are grown. They focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two grapes that are especially revealing of subtle differences in geography, geology and climate. The grapes are grown in Santa Barbara County, where cool coastal winds, diverse marine based soils and a long growing season provide an exciting and unique environment for Burgundian varieties.

The vineyards are the focus of all of the wines and each wine is made from grapes grown at one vineyard and not blended. Chanin searches out old vines, and makes wine from some of the oldest in the county. This allows them to make refreshingly balanced wines at lower alcohol levels than most California "blockbuster" or "cult" styled wines. Through low yields, improved farming techniques and gentle winemaking we aim to create a wine that pairs well with food and is delicious young, but is also age-worthy. All of the vineyards are organic or sustainably farmed.

Their winemaking philosophy is rooted in representing each individual vineyard by emphasizing balance, finesse, and complexity. They avoid excessive alcohol, and modern winemaking additives (such as commercial yeasts, bacteria, enzymes) that can overshadow vineyard characteristics. They also do not filter the wines or use intrusive wine processing machines. The goal is to grow grapes that are so healthy none of the above is needed.

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Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

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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.

FLC020531_2016 Item# 521166