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Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2003

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2003 Pinot Noir combines California’s sweet fruit with a Volnay-like elegance. Strawberry and cherry notes along with notions of oak, underbrush, flowers, and mint emerge from this medium-bodied, vibrant, elegant, fruity Pinot.
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Roar
Roar, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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We are a family winery specializing in small lots of Santa Lucia Highland's Pinot Noir, Syrah and beginning in the summer of 2009, Chardonnay. Our roots in the Santa Lucia Highlands are quite deep. Both Gary and Rosella grew up in California's agricultural heartland where Gary’s family has farmed for over 100 years. After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in agribusiness, Gary took over the running of the family farm business, which owned and managed over 200 acres of row crops in the Salinas Valley. Recognizing the region's potential for premium wine grapes, we planted Rosella's Vineyard in 1996. We also co-own and manage the Garys' Vineyard with Gary Pisoni of Pisoni Vineyard.

Both vineyards have developed a reputation among high-end wineries for low yields of intensely flavored grapes. In 2007 and 2008, we planted two new vineyards; our own "high altitude" Sierra Mar Vineyard, which is located six miles south of Garys' Vineyard at 1000 ft elevation; and the Soberanes Vineyard, just south of Garys' Vineyard, developed in partnership with the Pisoni Family. After working with several wineries to develop the pedigree of the vineyards and the region, we decided in 2001 to make our wine. As third generation growers, our goal with ROAR Wines is to make small lots of wine that are a pure reflection of the Santa Lucia Highlands and in particular the signature flavors of our vines. The name ROAR comes from the sound of the Monterey Bay winds that roar through our vineyards as well as the thrilling sound of a roaring crowd.

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 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.

LSB210003_2003 Item# 210003