Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery 2006 Pinot Noir, Lester Family Estate (Santa Cruz Mountains)

Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery

2006 Pinot Noir, Lester Family Estate
(Santa Cruz Mountains)

My tasting notes read “Huge Wow! Classic Pinot. The aromas are delightfully strawberry-rhubarb, so typical of this wonderful south-facing vineyard on Pleasant Valley road, which makes up most of the blend. Lester Family Vineyard, formerly called “Deer Park,” is an ideal plot to experiment with Pinot clones, and vineyard manager Prudy Foxx, has done just that. She has planted all the Dijons, as well as heritage clones, like Mariafeld and Jackson, offering the discriminating winemaker a wide range of choices in the spice box department. A nice bit of estate fruit from the Cinnabar site in the Saratoga hills (now owned by Mount Eden Winery), adds depth and complexity.

2006 was a cool year, and the fruit was not as ripe as in 05, but this wine, picked at 26.5° Brix, manages 14.3 percent alcohol nonetheless. From clones 23 (Mariafeld), 37 (Mt Eden) and two Dijons, 115 and 667, this wine oozes strawberry rhubarb pie with baking spices, pomegranate, wet stones and guava. The texture is as lovely as Natalie Cole’s silky, enveloping voice, and the acidity is racy, vibrant and electric. In production, winemaker George Troquato cold-soaked for 3 days, added acid and yeast, then tank fermented the wine with punch downs and pump overs. It was aged in new and used French oak. This is solid, distinctive and ethereal Pinot, all at the same time, and offers a nice example of what magic you can make when combining fruit from different areas of the appellation.

Reviewed November 17, 2008 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery
Vineyard: Lester Family Estate
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $42.00

Review Date: 11/17/2008

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.