A Pinot Noir as deep as the sea: Let’s dive in.

About the Wine: The Big Sur Vineyards 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from Angle Vineyards located in the Chalone AVA of Monterey County, California. After harvest, the grapes were fermented cool with about 20% stem inclusion. The juice settled for 12 days on the skins, after which is was pressed directly to tank to settle for 24 hours before being racked to barrel—one new French oak, one used French oak. The wine aged for 18 months, racked only once prior to bottling. The wine was bottled unfiltered and unfined.

50 cases produced.

12.7% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle to find one of my favorite scents in a Pinot Noir: seaside funk. This, along with a bit of darker fruit aromas (like dates) creates a more hefty aromatic than you’d (or at least I’d) expect from a Pinot.

This Pinot is super light rouge on the pour. So rouge, though that it’s almost…brown? In the glass, it is, indeed clear from the core on out. But that color is a muddy, rouge-y red.

That being said, the aromas from the glass are immediate and are fresher than the color suggests: cranberry, raspberry, rhubarb, and fresh herbs like eucalyptus, maybe a bit of spearmint. Swirl, and I can’t help but think of a rhubarb/raspberry pie — those fruits, though fresh, have an almost jammy quality to them on the nose. And there are (just a few) almost baking-like scents that come through like vanilla and a bit of toast, dried herbs like cardamom and coriander. Secondary, or maybe tertiary, to all of that is a dried rose petal potpourri that becomes present as you pull the wine away from the nose slightly.

The palate is soft, with a piercing acidity and just a gentle coat of touching tannins (like a tickle). Fruits are, again, a little bit darker than you’d imagine. Yes, I get the wild strawberry and rhubarb, but the focus here is on the more herbaceous notes, like that cardamom and coriander, unsweetened cacao. Tastes of vanilla and fresh oak round it out. And the aura, the cloud encompassing the wine, if you will, is the fog—the fog that tells me I’m home, at the beach, in the salty, sandy air, breathing in the earth’s core: the ocean. (But only if you’re paying attention…which I clearly was…)

Food Pairing: Forbes! Or, for those who don’t follow me as closely (shame on you): Pan seared salmon and coriander pesto rice, garnished with wilted spinach, dressed with a ginger-lemongrass buerre blanc.

More Info: I received the Big Sur Vineyards 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir as a sample for review. (Cheers Ryan!) Price: $45. (A bargain, in my opinion for a drink-now wine that has aging potential for at least the next 3 to 5 years.) For more information about Big Sur Vineyards, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Big Sur Vineyards website.


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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**

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