Carr Vineyards & Winery2005 Pinot Noir, Clos Pepe Vineyard
(Sta. Rita Hills)
Ryan Carr’s vineyard management and development company oversees 100 acres in Santa Barbara County, including the noted Ovation, Hawkeye, Morehouse, and Susich vineyards. He also makes wine, 200 cases, of Pinot Gris, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and this gorgeous Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. In 2005 he was able to purchase 2 tons of fruit from Clos Pepe, arguably the closest thing the region has to a Grand Cru, from which he produced 98 cases. It is a study in grace, elegance, depth, and complexity, and is a crystal clear expression of Sta. Rita Hills terroir.
Bright ruby with magenta highlights, the wine has warm, soft, and inviting aromas of strawberry, cherry, blueberry, blackberry, clove, allspice, and tarragon. On the palate, it is lusciously round, full, and silky, with dark berry fruit, clove, vanilla, and light tar flavors, moderate alcohol, and rather soft acids that liven up towards the juicy, tarry, gently chewy finish. What I enjoyed the most about this wine was that while it was brilliantly varietally expressive, it felt like it was about a place, not about winemaking.
Reviewed May 15, 2007 by Catherine Fallis.
Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.