2018 Bruliam Wines, Pinot Noir, Soberanes Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
It was great to catch up with Dr. Kerith Overstreet, who is the winemaker of Bruliam Wines, at the Santa Lucia Highlands Sun, Wind & Wine Gala this last weekend as well as taste her latest wine, the beautiful 2018 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir, which highlighted the fabulous vintage, great Pisoni family farming and the gorgeous aromatics that this site delivers. I first tried Kerith’s wines in 2012 and loved her 2010 version of this wine, so it was thrilling to see how far she’s come as a winemaker and see how much potential as been realized at Soberanes, both have come along way since then, but the quality was very much in presence even back then. The 2018 Bruliam starts with morning roses and brambly red berries lifting from the glass and has a deep ruby color, both very inviting to the senses and the medium bodied palate is supple and silky, but has structure as well, it takes its time to fully unwind, though the rewards are a real treat for Pinot lovers. There is a luxurious elegance and energy that is seductive in this Soberanes Pinot that keeps your full attention and each detail is in sharp focus with satiny black cherry, raspberry and red currant fruit at the core along with background accents of floral tones, mineral, vanilla and Asian tea spices. This wine looks set for a long drinking window and has lots of cuisine flexibility, it can easily play with lighter and or more robust dishes with grace.

Dr. Overstreet says she is honored to be able to get the grapes from this vineyard, and she does her self proud in this vintage, paying tribute to the Pisoni and Franscioni families that have been farming in the Salinas Valley for three generations. According to Kerith, nobody does SLH better than the Pisoni-Franscioni collaboration, with Mark Pisoni’s team setting the standards for quality in the region, and who could argue, the grapes from their collection of Grand Cru vineyards, Rosella’s, Sierra Mar, Pisoni Estate, Garys’ and Soberanes are legendary. Overstreet, now with over a decade of making wine from this vineyard, adds that SLH Pinot Noirs are unapologetically Californian. And sensational. And crazy delicious. All of which is true with this vintage of Bruliam, which saw a modest amount of new oak and I believe as she has done in the past she used a Rhone submerged cap technique to extract more pigment and not get any harsh tannins and the results allow this youthful Pinot to shine in the glass. Another thing of note, Overstreet believes in giving back and at Bruliam Wines, they have always subscribed to a strong charitable mandate, with solid history of donations, which now total well over 80 unique charities and communities being supported by sales here. This 2018 Soberanes is drinking great and is well worth chasing down on its own, or join the mailing list at Bruliam to get, either way I highly recommend it.
($55 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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