2012DomainedelaCoteSRH2012 Domaine de la Cote, Pinot Noir, Estate, Sta. Rita Hills.
The Domaine de la Cote is Master Sommelier Raj Parr’s most high profile and exclusive project to date from the Sta. Rita Hills, and here again he has teamed up with the very talented artisan winemaker Sashi Moorman, the maker of fine limited production wines at Stolpman, Sandhi and his own label Piedrasassi. Sashi is very gifted with Syrah, and is now getting a chance to show his skills in Pinot Noir, and with Parr’s vision of style and goal of making long lived Burgundy style wine, things are showing promising results here, there is intensity and drive in the Domaine de la Cote wines that certainly impress and these look to be rewarding offerings, especially the top Cru wines Bloom’s Field and La Cote, though they look to be found only at restaurants or by mailing list sales, but there is the Estate available and it is a worthwhile and intriguing wine in it’s own right, it would be their Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru versus those Chambertin and Mazis-Chambertin, if you were to compare to Burgundy, the difference is minimal in location, but there is without question a good jump up in quality/vigor in to top offerings here. Raj Parr might be the most experienced US based Burgundy expert, and certainly he has drunk some of the finest red Burgundies ever produced, so he has palate and and hands on know how like very few people have, the lucky bastard-me being very jealous of that fact, and in recent years Parr has called on California producers to lower alcohol levels, especially in Pinot, he wants what he calls balance or delicacy in wine, and his almost always come in under 14%. The fine 2012 Estate Pinot Noir from Moorman and Parr’s Domaine de la Cote starts with powerful spice, earth and incense/crushed flowers on the nose with heady red and black fruits emerging in the glass with fine tannins and lifting acidity, the stem inclusion really shows here and will need time to resolve, but the sweet and savory play is amazing and very engaging, there is deft use of framing oak and the wine seems more alluring with each sip, this is entertaining and very serious stuff with black cherry, plum, logan berry and strawberry fruits, hints of lavender, celery root, minty herbs, licorice and tea spice, finishing with lingering saline, rose oil and kirsch. This really is something keep your eye on, I think these wines need a good 2 to 3 years to fill out, polish up and gain refinement in the bottle, but you should explore Domaine de la Cote sooner vs later, they live up to the hype and look to set new levels of expectation in Central Coast Pinot, drink from 2016 to 2020.
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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