Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2012 Front LabelSea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2012 Front Bottle ShotSea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2012 Back Bottle Shot

Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2012

  • WE93
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Each year, the goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The 2012 Southing exhibits bright fruits, sassafras, fresh iris and damp earth. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard's characteristic coolclimate acidity.

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Named after the famed vineyard’s south-facing slopes, this vintage is expertly crafted, with aromas of ripe red cherry, sandalwood, black pepper, graphite, purple flowers and damp pine needles. It’s complex, with dark red fruit and tickling cardamom spice set against fine-grained tannins. Quite precise and tight now, the violet and rose petal elements will expand beautifully with time, so drink 2019–2025.
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Sea Smoke Cellars

Sea Smoke Cellars

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Sea Smoke Cellars, California
For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara's Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.

At Sea Smoke, we produce Pinot Noir grown exclusively on the south-facing hillsides of our estate vineyards. On summer evenings, the Santa Ynez River canyon funnels a cool maritime fog layer (sea "smoke") across our hillsides, slowing the ripening process and providing the extended maturation period essential to the development of top-quality Pinot Noir.

Our shallow clay soils are planted to French clones on vigor-reducing rootstocks, resulting in fewer grape clusters of intense flavor, and our artisinal approach to winemaking results in wines that are a reflection of the unique land on which they are grown.

We believe that Sea Smoke's rare geography and commitment to quality have produced wines of exceptional complexity and grace. We hope that you agree and welcome your comments.

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Let’s start with the obvious – Central Coast Pinot Noir is an incredibly broad category. This of course is because the Central Coast appellation is enormous, and it contains several stellar Pinot Noir regions within it, all of them kept cool by elevation or proximity to the ocean (or both). So we’ll break things down a bit with a brief look at each of these: Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey and the Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Maria Valley and Sta. Rita Hills. These are not the only Central Coast sources of good Pinot Noir, but they are the major ones. So let’s get started.

In the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, just west of Silicon Valley, producers craft excellent Pinot in spite of serious challenges. The land is mountainous, rugged and can be foggy, the topsoil is thin and poor and yields tend to be low. Yet Pinots from the likes of David Bruce, Martin Ray, Mount Eden and Thomas Fogarty exhibit undeniable quality, along with bright red fruit, minerality, earth and herbal hints.

Just south lies the large Monterey appellation. Monterey Pinot Noir is grown in coastal areas, taking optimal advantage of the cooling effect of the Pacific. The most highly regarded of these is the Santa Lucia Highlands. Situated on hilly benchlands south of the city of Monterey, this central coast region relies on a long growing season, night and morning fog and consistent afternoon winds to produce world class Pinot Noir. Attributes include intense, rich fruit, subtle earthy notes, spice and a silky texture. Look for producers like Siduri, Kosta Browne, Talbott and Lucienne.

The Santa Maria Valley in northern Santa Barbara County (a section of it falls into southern San Luis Obispo County) is also a haven for quality Pinot Noir. A mere 15 miles from the Pacific, the valley runs east-west, creating a natural tunnel through which ocean breezes and fog flow. This effect lengthens the growing season and promotes both ripeness and development of acidity, lending Santa Maria Valley Pinots their characteristic full flavor, balance and elegance. The famous Bien Nacido Vineyard is located here, and notable producers include Cambria, Foxen, Byron and Au Bon Climat.

Finally, we arrive at the Sta. Rita Hills, also in Santa Barbara County. Located in the western part of the Santa Ynez Valley, it too benefits from an east-west orientation that leads to the same conditions mentioned above. Once again the result is extended hang time for the grapes, which can be tasted in the vibrant, ripe red fruits evident in these Pinots, along with dense coloration and an impression of richness and intensity. Try wines from producers like Ken Brown, Ampelos, Fess Parker and Melville.

As you can see, California’s Central Coast offers a wealth of options for any lover of Pinot Noir. Cheers!

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STC416060_2012 Item# 135697

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