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Dragonette Cellars Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WW93
14.5% ABV
  • RP90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Medium garnet color. Aromas of fresh cherry, cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry, along with spices (cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg), floral notes of white flowers and fresh herbs (thyme) and minerals. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and smoothly textured, with complex red fruits (cherry, raspberry, cranberry, lingonberry) held aloft by notes of rhubarb, orange peel and sea shell. Bright, citrus-driven acidity provides energy and lift, and ripe, pliable tannins provide fine structure, giving a long, satisfying finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Looking for another Pinot Noir viticultural area to love? Take a look at this one located in California's Central Coast region. The lively and bright 2014 Dragonette Pinot Noir, from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, offers purity of fruit both in its aromas and flavors. The wine's lively and frisky palate presence pair it well with tea-smoked duck. (Tasted: April 17, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Dragonette Cellars

Dragonette Cellars

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Dragonette Cellars, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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Brothers John and Steve Dragonette and close friend Brandon Sparks-Gillis founded Dragonette Cellars in 2005 after having worked together at a renowned wine shop in Los Angeles. Their shared passion for great wine brought them to wild, windy and remote northern Santa Barbara County where they spent the next several years seeking out extraordinary, cool-climate vineyards and dedicating themselves to careful, patient, minimalist winemaking.

As vignerons, they have committed themselves, above all else, to the mindful farming of precise blocks in exceptional vineyards for low yields and high quality and to the shepherding of these grapes into wines of purity, complexity and balance. Given the remarkable climatic and soil diversity in Santa Barbara County, Dragonette Cellars produces small lots of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah of interest and distinction.

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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

DRGPN14SRH_2014 Item# 175423