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Samsara Rancho La Vina Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WE93
13.3% ABV
  • RP92
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13.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep, powerful wine redolent of tar, violets, licorice, and black cherries, all of which come together on a powerful, focused frame. Round sweet and polished through to the finish, the La Vina shows off considerable class and pedigree. All it needs is more time in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Ripe and complex, offering a wealth of cranberry, cherry, cola and pomegranate fruit flavors, spiced with clove and cinnamon. Silky and tart now, with some furry tannins. Just lovely, but should develop over the next 6–8 years.
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Samsara

Samsara

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Samsara, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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SAMsARA produces limited releases of Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache from carefully selected micro-sites within Sta. Rita Hill’s most distinctive vineyards. The resulting wines are an interpretation of the tenuous balance between the power of natural elements beyond our control and the human desire to reach perfection.

New England natives, Dave and Joan Szkutak, share a fundamental love of travel and all things enological. They help guide SAMsARA as vintners and work closely with winemaker Matt Brady, supporting his creative decisions in both the vineyard and the cellar.

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 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.

SAMRCHOVNAPN_2009 Item# 118388