2010 Brewer-Clifton, Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills.
The latest Brewer-Clifton Pinot is a classic beauty, and shows the terroir and talent of the winemaking to near perfection, it is a joyful experience no question. Steve Clifton and Greg Brewer are only getting better as they refine their style and have more control of the vineyards and the Santa Rita Hills line of Chard and Pinot continues to be the benchmark for the region and are fantastic quality and value wines. Both Steve and Greg have confided that these wines get the best barrels of selected vineyard sites, and in fact are their flagship wines, with excellent fruit coming in from vines including Mount Carmel and 3D Vineyards, both monopole sites farmed by Greg Brewer and his team. Brewer-Clifton has moved away from any new oak on their whole line, focusing on fruit and balance to give the wines the inner harmony and purity they certainly show, especially these 2010’s which are rich and graceful in every way. The whole cluster fermentation on the pinot gives exotic flavors and the stems add spice and aromatics, while the neutral French oak smooths out the tannins leaving a round and silky wine. The nose is perfumed with rose petals, grenadine and red currants leading to a lush palate of red fruits that include dark cherry, pomegranate, raspberry and plum while hints of Asian tea and spices float in the background with mineral and licorice notes. A lengthy finish completes this pleasure packed Pinot Noir from the kings of the Santa Rita Hills.
($35 List.) 94 Points, grapelive

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