Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This monopole bottling from the coveted biodynamic vineyard begins with lush, intense and inviting aromas of dark boysenberry paste, wild mint, star anise and shaved nutmeg. The palate is bright with acidity yet redolent with dark-berry and black-currant flavors that give way to cola, mace and more exotic spices toward the finish.
This vintage marks the 20th anniversary of the Biodynamic Sea Smoke estate vineyard, which boasts ten Pinot Noir clones grown on three soil types at a range of elevations. Barrel-aged for 16 months in French oak (28% new), it expresses a deep, dark perfume of cardamom and tilled soil elevated by rose petals. Black raspberry, graphite, anise, and espresso bean shade in the big-boned structure as a finish of Chinese five spice seasons the fine tannins.
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.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”