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Domaine de la Cote La Cote Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP96
  • V95
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP96
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Winemaker Notes

The Domaine’s eponymous vineyard offers the prettiest and most ethereal wine of the vintage. Do not, however, mistake its gracefulness as an invitation for early drinking. Along with its upslope neighbor, Siren’s Call, the 2016 la Côte may well be the vintage’s longest-lived wine. Upon release the nose yields sour cherry, black tea, sous bois, and citrus rind, all dancing in the glass and on a highly intricate palate. The finish is uniquely long and contemplative, confirming the wine need not be revisited for another 6-8 years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
While several of the Domaine de la Côte wines were surprisingly expressive given their bottling a few days earlier, the 2016 Pinot Noir La Côte was the most reticent—and also potentially the greatest and most ethereal. It unfurls with coaxing to reveal a highest toned bouquet of raspberry, Griotte cherry, citrus zest and rose petal, followed by a silky, medium-bodied and multidimensional palate, with an extraordinary mineral, saline presence that is compellingly singular. The finish is long and tangy. While Parr and Moorman eschew such comparisons, it would be fascinating to pour this wine blind in a flight of great Burgundies. 96+ points
V 95
Vinous
The 2016 Pinot Noir La Côte is lifted and very precise, with a more distinctly savory and red-toned profile than the other Pinots in the range. Bright acids run through a core of cranberry, blood orange, white pepper, chalk and mint. Readers will find a chiseled, beautifully sculpted Pinot that is all energy and precision. The 2016 needs a bit of time to soften, but it is super-impressive.
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Domaine de la Cote

Domaine de la Cote

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Domaine de la Cote, California
Domaine de la Côte translates literally to Estate of the Slope. Our Domaine is a collection of vineyards planted over 60 acres of a south-facing slope at the western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Memorious, Bloom’s Field, Siren’s Call, Clos Juliet, and La Côte are the names of our vineyards. Rising to an elevation of 700 feet above the Santa Ynez River, the Domaine sits atop a 25 million year old seabed, 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyards are planted entirely to California heritage selections at extremely high vine densities between 4,000 and 7,000 vines per acre. Although the Domaine spans a mere 60 acres, the diversity of its climats is staggering: each vineyard has a unique geology, aspect, elevation and microclimate. Such distinct expressions of site in such close proximity is unparalleled in California. The Domaine was organically farmed from 2007 through 2016. The 2017 growing season marks our transition to biodynamic practices. We make wine with the philosophy of “add nothing; take nothing away.” The wines are vinified, raised, and bottled at our winery in Lompoc, California, 3 miles from the Domaine.
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Sta. Rita Hills

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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.

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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.

STC152313_2016 Item# 430916