Gypsy Canyon Vineyards2005 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Creek Vineyard
(Sta. Rita Hills)
Deborah Hall, along with her late husband, bought the 290 acre Gypsy Canyon ranch in 1994 and moved into the property’s circa 1800 farmhouse. Later selling off about half the property, she ended up hand tending (both organically and biodynamically) 12 acres of vines, 4 of which are planted to Pinot Noir (clone 115 & 777).
The 2004 vintage, only her second, was picked earlier (at 23 brix) than many of her contemporaries in Sta. Rita Hills. The delicate aromatics are of earth and forest floor, not just the primary fruit flavors, although they are certainly there. Both black and red fruits, along with hints of sour cherry come across on the palate but it’s not sweet with fruit intensity nor super ripe.
This wine is an even handed display of Pinot’s finesse integrated with earthiness and a bit of funk. It’s...and I know this sounds like such a cliché...Burgundian. It’s a descriptor that’s been mindlessly applied to describe California Pinot Noir by folks who may be clueless as to what great Burgundy tastes like and, let’s face it, many California Pinots are just an over powering caricature of what, say, a Burgundy premier cru is.
The Gypsy Canyon is not; it’s elegant and delicate, almost other worldly, at least by California standards. Light but not “lite.” More the polished ballerina than a three hundred pound offensive lineman. In the end, balance and harmony of all the elements are what makes this Pinot stand out in sea of Burgundian style wannabes.
Reviewed October 19, 2006 by Dennis Schaefer.
Other reviewed wines from Gypsy Canyon Vineyards
Gypsy Canyon Vineyards
NV Ancient Vine Angelica 4th Vintage, Dona Marcelina's Vineyard
(Sta. Rita Hills)Dennis Schaefer 10/19/2006
Dennis Schaefer has been tasting and writing about wine for over 30 years, propelled by a continuing curiosity and burgeoning enthusiasm for discovering what’s in the bottle. Blessed with catholic tastes, he enjoys everything from the obvious to the sublime. A major requirement is that the vineyard, winery and winemaker consistently perform well and fulfill their potential. Balance, concentration and complexity are key to the tasting experience but, in the end, the purpose of wine is simply to give pleasure.