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LUTUM Rita's Crown Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
  • RP93
  • W&S91
13.92% ABV
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13.92% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The nose on this wine is dark and brooding with notes of coriander, black cherry and jasmine. A plush palate lends itself to smooth tannins with savory spice notes throughout and a long, seamless finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Coming from a great vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills that has a southern exposure overlooking the Santa Ynez River, the 2013 Pinot Noir Rita's Crown Vineyard has a savory edge to its crushed rock, dusty soil, dried cherry and raspberry-slanted bouquet. Showing more and more fruit with time in the glass, as well as the classic spice character of the region, this medium-bodied, supple, balanced and gorgeously pure Pinot can be enjoyed today but will keep for 7-8 years.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
From the same vineyard and winemaker (Gavin Chanin) as the Chanin wine above, this has the bright, primary verve of a good cru Beaujolais, the flavors blue and simple but energized by firm, stony tannins. The finish is lively, with the cool saltiness of an umeboshi plum. Pour this with grilled fish, especially tuna collar.
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LUTUM
LUTUM, Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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LUTUM was born from a shared vision between Bill Price, entrepreneur and owner of Classic Wines and Price Family Vineyards, and winemaker Gavin Chanin. Their wine focuses on small-production, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from prime vineyard sites in California. The name LUTUM is Latin for dirt or soil, referencing their mission to make wines that express these great sites, with little to mask the vineyards' natural character. Together, they are the Bards of LUTUM.

Santa Maria Valley

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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.

RVLL213PNRC_2013 Item# 167441