Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Localization: Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California, USA
Tasting Notes: Deep garnet in color with an aromatic medley of black cherry, marionberry, ripe plum, and a hint of anise. Dark fruit on the palate with flavors of wild berries, caramelized oak, and cacao nibs complemented by subtle notes of vanilla, cedar, and a hint of lavender and forest floor. Rich and unrestrained, this wine’s abundant fruit is beautifully balanced by firm acidity and layers of red and black fruit.
96 points Wine Enthusiast: Firm lines of graphite and loamy earth streak through the opulent aromas of black plum and dried violet on the nose of this brooding Pinot Noir. The palate is a whirlwind of exuberance, as leathery tannins wrap around more graphite minerality, dried violet and lavender, stewed plum, and a touch of bittersweet cocoa on the finish.
The Domain: The Spanish term ‘Las Alturas’ means ‘the heights’, a fitting name for this vineyard located on one of the highest grape-growing benches in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA up to 1200 feet. At this elevation, the sunny but very cool climate creates a wine bearing all the hallmarks of this coastal region: robust, expressive, full-bodied, and balanced by firm acidity. Nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the western side of Salinas Valley, Las Alturas benefits from early morning fog which rolls in most days from Monterey Bay then burns off within a few hours. Gusty winds funnel in from the bay throughout the afternoon, moderating the overall temperature and contributing to one of the longest growing seasons in California. The high winds also result in smaller berries with very thick skins, giving us more color concentration. Another attractive characteristic of this vineyard is the low-vigor, free-draining sub-soil made up of a calcareous base underneath a layer of sandy loam. This complements our farming techniques to further reduce our yields per vine and augment the fruit’s intensity.