Grapelive Daily Pick
By Kerry Winslow
2008 Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir “Mount Carmel” Santa Rita Hills.
Steve Clifton and Greg Brewer, two super talents of the modern era in Pinot Noir (and Chardonnay) are fearless in their desire to make the best wines they can, and this vintage is another new step forward for this dynamic duo! Their passion shows and it really comes out in their wines, which are heady and hedonistic gems that merit worldwide note. This vintage is a slightly new direction, as they have expored the limited of high alcohol in the past, while still making wonderfully balanced wines somehow, this wine is way dialed back with a listed alcohol of only 14%, without loosing any of the charms of their past efforts, which is very impressive, even stunning! I will tell you, while this wine is still fairly young, it is rich and beautiful in a more Burgundy like manner, in fact most Burgundies wish they could be this pretty and silky on the palate! This intriguing Pinot has a nose full of flowers, spice and grenadine, I would guess this is from the whole cluster fermentation, and it has layers of velvety fruit, cherry, strawberry, plum and wild raspberry while the structure is balanced and the tannins ripe and spicy. The background holds smoke, mineral, lavender and subtle French oak vanilla. This is a Pinot that is not trying to be Syrah or anything else, just giving lovely classic flavors that are both stylish and elegant.
($57 Est.) 94-95 Points, grapelive
Limited but it can be ordered at
Rancho Cellars by special order 831-625-5646