TV Director of Photography Beth Kochendorfer & Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Wines of the Night
2012 Babcock Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($27)
Stemming from a rigorous selection of some of the best lots of estate grown fruit, this wine is now the focal point of the effort to create a true flagship wine. Since it is a blend of some of the nicer lots from my vineyard, it drinks a bit like the Ocean's Ghost; baked dark cherries with suggestions of cinnamon and sarsaparilla. After it's open for a while, the oak comes together with the fruit, creating a nice mocha quality.
2012 Samsara Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($32)
The 2012 Pinot Noir emerges from the glass with gorgeous radiant red fruit, flowers and sweet spices in an engaging, supple style that is impossible to resist. It possesses gorgeous mid-palate fleshiness and a clean, understated finish. Floral notes waft from the glass on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019.
2012 Ken Brown Rita's Crown Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($55)
This debut vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from Rita’s Crown is elegant and rich with classic Pinot Noir aromatics and flavors. Vibrant dark cherry, wild blackberry and dark plum aromas are highlighted by hints of cinnamon spice and a subtle mineral component. On the palate, dark fruit flavors are enhanced by a touch of pomegranate, huckleberry and spice. The rich Pinot Noir flavors, balanced acid profile and soft tannins give the wine an exceptionally fluid texture from start to finish, assuring graceful development and excellent cellar potential.
2012 Clos Pepe Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($59)
This wine truly delivers the exquisite richness, aromatic intensity and alluring flavor profile of classic Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir. Aromas of black cherry and black raspberry are complemented by nuances of fresh earth, rose petals and a seashell-like minerality. Opulent flavors gracefully greet the palate with hints of dark berry, white pepper and a quiet background of lightly toasted French oak. The wine is beautifully integrated, with velvety tannins, cool-climate acidity and refined texture all in balance. Silky and complex, this classic Pinot Noir culminates in a prolonged finish and will enjoy exceptional ageability.