2016 Cima Collina, Pinot Noir, Righetti Vineyard, Edna Valley.
Annette Hoff’s Righetti Vineyard Pinot Noir is an absolute stunner with exotic whole cluster perfume and spicy intensity, it just might be Cima Collina’s best wine to date! Cima Collina produces artisan wines from small Monterey vineyards, plus a bit of estate wines from Carmel Valley along with a couple of super limited bottlings from select parcel outside the region, like this Edna Valley offering from the Righetti Vineyard that is planted to an interesting selection of California Pinot Noir clones including Calera and Swan as well as some 943 and 115. Hoff joined Cima Collina in 2004 helping start the winery from scratch after worldwide winemaking stints most notably in New Zealand and in Napa, where she helped make some outstanding Pinots at Saintsbury. Annette’s wines have always had personality and a certain raw boldness since starting her Monterey and Carmel Valley collections, some of that was a reflection of the area and some was a bit of her own character showing through, but she has crafted a gorgeous and polished wine here with this one, though still with lots of powerful nature, vitality and low intervention. This 2016 Righetti from Cima Collina is almost like an expressive Grenache at first with a burst of floral tones, racy red fruits, peppery spice and grenadine before getting into it’s Pinot fruits with a core of black cherry, strawberry and plum coming alive on the overt and expressive medium bodied palate, adding cinnamon, earthy stems, anise tea and a hint of French oak. Righetti Ranch, just east of the town of San Luis Obispo, dates back to 1890 and has been in the current family for generations, and getting into the vineyard scene recently, and seemingly inspired by the Talley family. Their ranch has always been known for producing world class avocados, although now they have vines with about fifty acres planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. I’m told the soils here are unique and differ from any other vineyard in the Edna Valley zone and the elevation is also a bit higher than others in the region, it produces wines of deep color and complexities with a low pH and good acidity for aging and balance, and it is in no doubt here with Cima Collina’s version. Brilliant in it’s garnet and ruby color and sexy in verve and lingering with rose petals, dried sage/lavender and pomegranate, this is well judged and intriguing Pinot to search out, it’s going to be a tough get unless you join the Cima list, but it is a good time to discover or re-discover this small winery and visit their Carmel Valley Village tasting room.
($56 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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