2010 Brewer-Clifton, Pinot Noir “Mount Carmel” Monopole, Sta. Rita Hills.
Don’t even think about it, it is a no brainer, this vintage is another stunner from the talented duo of Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton and without question this is a must have Pinot for their fans. Recently, I had a chance to taste through all the Brewer-Clifton wines and even Greg’s other projects including his own Diatom and the Melville wines, and I have the impression that we are going to see amazing things from these wines over the next decade, as Brewer has reached a new level, and the Brewer-Clifton line is one of California’s top echelon producers of fine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After following these guys since the 2000 vintage, I can see the terroir and style shinning through even more clearly, and these wines are as pure as you can get. Brewer has decided to make wines without any new oak and he has really got his grips on each vineyard they use and they now have three sites that they exclusively farm to their own specifications and this has reduced alcohol levels and put the focus on clarity and place with remarkable results. The fruits of these efforts are especially evident in this beautiful 2010 Mount Carmel Pinot Noir where there is only 13.5 or so percent alcohol and the mineral, spice and terroir clearly shine through, with detailed layers of cherry, plum, strawberry and pomegranate fruits, peppery tea spices, crushed stones, dried roses, lavender and mint leaf all folding together nicely. This Pinot is rich and medium bodied, playing true to the vintage and will get better of the next few years in bottle. The slight steamy and whole cluster flavors add to the interest and should show benefits with age.
($58 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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