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Pelerin Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 2011 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir leads with aromas of ripe cherries, baking spices, and mint. Medium-full bodied on the palate, yet showing bright acidity, the flavor profile moves toward fresh strawberries, caramel, with a touch of black pepper and licorice on the finish. Overall, the balance and presentation of the wine represents a fine hybrid of the California and Burgundian styles.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Pelerin

    Pelerin

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    Pelerin, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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    Pelerin is a micro-winery crafting small lots of exceptional wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation in the Central Coast of California.

    Pelerin, meaning "pilgrim" in French, symbolizes the ongoing quest to follow their passion — producing uniquely delicious wines. The dedication entails a simple path, one in which a mix of patient observation and thoughtful action captures the exuberance and complexity of each vintage.

    After graduating UC Davis, Chris Weidemann honed his craft alongside winemakers John Kongsgaard at Newton Vineyard, known for his intense, dramatic wines; and Dean DeKorth at Morgan Winery, a master at creating wines with textural balance and complexity. Along the way, Cathy and he were very fortunate to forge relationships with Gary Franscioni of Rosella's and Sierra Mar Vineyard, as well as Rich and Claudia Smith of Paraiso Vineyard, giving them access to the best Pinot Noir and Syrah sites in the area.

    As a small family-run winery, Pelerin maintains a tight focus on the quality of every single barrel, ensuring each bottling provides a distinctive and rewarding experience. Using sustainably and organically grown fruit where possible, the wines are hand-harvested and sorted, gently tended, and bottled without fining or filtration. For them, the deepest satisfaction comes from knowing Pelerin Wines play a part in creating memorable moments in your life: enhancing the warmth and richness of friends and family coming together to savor a great meal, and each other's company.

    Santa Lucia Highlands

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    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.

    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.

    AUT2011PELPN_2011 Item# 142682