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The Paring Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Leading off the reds, the 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County is crisp and focused, with crunchy notes of black cherries, black raspberries, spring flowers and hints of sappy herbs. Medium-bodied, balanced and with bright acidity, it still has impressive levels of texture and length. Enjoy bottles over the coming 4-5 years.
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The Paring

The Paring

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The Paring, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Made from the vineyard blocks that are either too young or don't fit into the vintage style of the highly acclaimed Jonata and The Hilt wines—The Paring is essentially a "chip off the old block". The grapes are sourced primarily from three Santa Barbara regions on the vanguard: Ballard Canyon, Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley. The Paring wines are for pleasure. They make every effort to strike a balance between volume, and texture, both direct results of the beautiful Santa Barbara sun and cool oceanic winds. The Paring Red and Paring Sauvignon Blanc wines explore different blending opportunities where experimentations with site and varieties are key; select vineyards are defined and farmed to our rigorous standards, wine lots are blended and aged together to reach balance and enjoyment. The Paring Pinot Noir, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah wines explore different styles and vineyards: from the precise and complex Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley to the deliciously rich and versatile Syrah from Ballard Canyon.

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.

FBR117145_2014 Item# 200628