2021 Côtière Wines, Pinot Noir “Santa Barbara Cuvée” Santa Barbara County.
The beautifully balanced and aromatic Santa Barbara Cuvée Pinot Noir from Côtière is a top vineyard site blend from 70% Santa Maria Valley, 20% Los Alamos, and 10% Sta. Rita Hills, which puts together a seamless array of flavors on the vinous medium bodied palate. I was really impressed by the latest lineup from Côtière, which included some singular Chardonnays and Pinots from the Sta. Rita Hills, plus an exceptional Blanc de Noir (white Pinot Noir still wine), maybe my favorite dry white made from Pinot, and this bottling, which is absolutely gorgeous, even in its youth. This bright ruby hued wine is an excellent red fruited Pinot that shows off black cherry and crushed raspberry fruits, sweet and savory spices and floral dimension with a riveting partial whole cluster sultry tension. In this vintage Côtière, who are based in Santa Maria, used about 15% whole cluster and includes just the right amount of stem inclusion to give additional pop here, making for an exciting Pinot Noir to enjoy for the next 3 to 5 years.

For their 2021 Santa Barbara Cuvée, Côtière selected primarily grapes from the Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard is Santa Maria, making up the 70%, which with its deep loamy soils and cool conditions brings out fruit density and vibrancy with a subtle earthiness, while the Los Alamos and Sta. Rita Hills compliments the whole adding depth, bouquet and a bit of grip I think. This was a pretty deft job of reading the components and putting it all together, and in the end this wine really works and is an exceptional value too, if you are looking for something new that is light on the wallet for the quality in the bottle I highly recommend this one. Côtière which was founded by winemaker/proprietor Kevin Law in 2006, focuses on Pinot Noir, but also does Chard and some Bordeaux inspired wines as well with wines sourced from sites from the Central Coast to Napa Valley. Their Pinot and Chards come from premier vineyards including Talley Rincon Vineyard, Presqu’ile, Hilliard Bruce, La Encantada, Murmur Vineyard as well as La Rinconada and Sanford and Benedict, as well as the mentioned Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard. If you’ve not seen or tried these small lot Côtière Wines, now is a great time to check them out!
($33 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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