Lucia Vineyards Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
Deep ruby as it fills the glass, the 2017 Lucia Soberanes Pinot Noir offers a stunning bouquet of fruit, spice and floral notes. Black cherry, currant, Santa Rosa plum, and rose petal interweave with delicate savory notes of sage, wet earth, and baking spice. Partial whole cluster fermentation and meticulous cap management have yielded soft, elegant tannin together with a persistent finish. Perpetual afternoon winds sweep away any lingering morning fog during the growing season, preserving the acidity that becomes the backbone upon which this wine is built. Long-term cellaring will satisfy any palate, but for those who simply cannot wait, early drinking will also prove rewarding.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Deep, intense aromas of black cherry, loamy soil, bay leaf and the slightest hint of smoke show on the nose of this excellent bottling from the Pisoni family. There are plenty of earthy qualities to the tense palate, from sagebrush to slate-driven minerality, but also inviting tones of Bing cherry and ripe cranberry.
More savory and meaty, the 2017 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard offers some whole cluster influence in its aromas and flavors, but it’s beautifully pure and elegant on the palate, with fine, silky tannins. It opens up nicely with time in the glass and has plenty of fruit, good complexity, medium to full body, and a great finish, all making for one seriously good Pinot Noir. It’s approachable today but will be even better with a year in bottle. Rating: 95+
The 2017 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard is light to medium ruby-purple in the glass and smells of crushed blueberries, ripe black cherries and black berries with accents of violet, lilac, forest floor, woodsmoke and cola—a very pretty, elegant nose. Light to medium-bodied and silky textured, it offers concentrated layers of fruit and spice lightly framed by soft, silken tannins and wonderful juicy freshness, finishing very long and energetic.
Ripe, juicy and a touch decadent, with a flavors of mincemeat, cherry tart and Christmas pudding. Hints of mole sauce show on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2023.
Daniel Baron, whose career has included stints at Dominus, Silver Oak and Twomey, established Complant with his son, Sam. Their first release includes this pinot noir from eight rows of Pisoni clone fruit at Soberanes, spontaneously fermented, aged in neutral French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. It channels the sunshine and coastal warmth of the Santa Lucia Highlands into a ripe and heady funkadelic energy, then settles into a silkier mode, with savory herbal notes, as it integrates with air. It’s a new project worth following.
Headed by family matriarch Jane, the Pisoni family has been farming for three generations in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Today, maverick vintner Gary Pisoni who has grown grapes with uncompromised practices in the appellation for over thirty years is joined by his two sons, Mark & Jeff. Mark is the farmer of the family and oversees the meticulous care of the vines at the Pisoni, Garys' and Soberanes Vineyards. Jeff is the winemaker and crafts distinctive wines that reflect the family's estate properties.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
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.”