smoke & mirrors 2009
2009 Pinot Noir
La Encantada was planted in 2001 by Richard Sanford – the “Godfather” of Santa Ynez Pinot Noir. It is located on the cooler west side of Sta. Rita Hills. Here, the mountains run east to west, funneling troughs of chilly temperatures and fog in from the coast. La Encantada was the first certified organic site in Santa Barbara and is planted to a range of Dijon clones on devigorating rootstock, producing tiny clusters with yields hovering around 2 tons per acre. The result is dark cherry, earth and spice – the essence of Sta. Rita Hills Pinot.
The 2009 vintage was not one for the weak of heart. Forecasts of impending rain following a brutally hot Summer didn’t grant a Pinot winemaker any extra hours of sleep. However, La Encantada came on a bit earlier due to the Sta Rita Hills’ moderately warm sunny days and night time coastal cool downs. The result was that we had exceptional fruit to work with. Upon arrival at the undisclosed location, the fruit was gently hand-sorted and de-stemmed (whole-berry for optimal balance) into small, open-top fermentation vessels. After a 5 day cold-soak it was warmed for fermentation, punched down several times per day for 15 days, and finally pressed off at dryness.
The La Encantada fruit has the ability to show off equal parts austerity and polish. The nose is loaded with ripe strawberry, Italian plum, slate and lilac. Lush and lively across the palate, with soft integrated tannins and elegant layers of red fruit, nuanced by floral tones that sail to the clean, finessed finish. Drink now-2016.
Pick date: October 6, 2009