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Flat front label of wine

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 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.

SAMRCHOVNAPN_2009 Item# 118388