2014 Couloir John Sebastiano Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
This outstanding planting is on the cutting edge of modern day grape growing. Medium reddish-purple color and scents of sun-kissed red fruits, sandalwood and earth make for complex aromatics. The wine is perfumed with flavors of dark red and purple fruits, ripe dark berries, black currants, wood shavings and spice. In the mouth, flavors of pomegranate, blackberries and plums intermingle with an earthy undertone in a savory, lingering finish. Suave tannins complement the fresh, vibrant acidity and result in a harmonious mid weight wine with a red fruit core – unadulterated and brilliant.
The Sta. Rita Hills AVA showcases a rare east-west transverse valley, with a continuum of climatic and geological features influenced by its direct access to the Pacific Ocean. John Sebastiano Vineyard is one of the newest plantings in the AVA and is located on the far eastern edge. This vineyard rides the leading edge of Pinot Noir viticulture with the latest clones, high-density vine spacing and a variety of microclimates. Cool, windy, and marine-influenced, the vineyard’s limited yields and steep slopes deliver intensely concentrated flavors. The vineyard faces directly into strong Pacific Ocean winds that cool the fruit, leading to smaller clusters with smaller berries, and better skin-to-juice ratios. Darker with rich fruit flavors, Sebastiano Pinot Noir demonstrates hints of minerality with bright and balanced acidity.
A combination of Dijon clones 777 and 115 was hand harvested overnight into half-ton picking bins and brought directly to the winery. The bins were placed in cold storage for a 24-hour resting period before processing. All of the fruit was then hand-sorted with 35% fermented as whole clusters to add extra layers of complexity in the final wine. The grapes then received a cold soak for seven days to extract maximum color from the Pinot Noir skins, while the chill prevented the start of fermentation. The fruit was removed from refrigeration and allowed to warm to activate the native yeasts. One gentle punch down per day minimized tannin extraction from the skins, allowing the stems to provide the wine’s structure. The grapes were then pressed and the wine was gravity-fed into eight French oak barrels, three of which were new. The barrels were initially stirred three times over a six-week period. The wine received neither racking, nor fining, nor filtering.
Variety 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard John Sebastiano
Production 193 cases
Optimal Maturity 2016 - 2025
Harvest Date 8/21/14
Barrel Aging 12 months, 25% new French Oak
Winemaker Jon Grant