Wine Enthusiast-96 Points
Firm lines of graphite and loamy earth streak through the opulent aromas of black plum and dried violet on the nose of this brooding Pinot Noir. The palate is a whirlwind of exuberance, as leathery tannins wrap around more graphite minerality, dried violet and lavender, stewed plum and a touch of bittersweet cocoa on the finish.
Deep purple garnet in color, this wine has overflowing aromas of sun-ripened cherries, sweet
plums, hints of cola, and white pepper. The palate is complex and rich, packed with dark fruit
flavors of blackberry and cherry. This wine is a full and intense expression of Pinot Noir, well
balanced with toasted oak and vibrant acidity on the finish.
The Spanish term ‘Las Alturas’ means ‘the heights’, a fitting name for this vineyard located on one of the
highest grape-growing benches in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA up to 1200 feet. At this elevation,
the sunny but very cool climate creates a wine bearing all the hallmarks of this coastal region: robust,
expressive, full bodied, and balanced by a firm acidity. Nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountains and
the western side of Salinas Valley, Las Alturas benefits from early morning fog which rolls in most days
from Monterey Bay then burns off within a few hours. Gusty winds funnel in from the bay throughout
the afternoon, moderating the overall temperature and contributing to one of the longest growing
seasons in California. The high winds also result in smaller berries with very thick skins, giving us more
color concentration. Another attractive characteristic of this vineyard is the low-vigor, free-draining
sub-soil made up of a calcareous base underneath a layer of sandy loam. This complements our
farming techniques to further reduce our yields per vine and augment the fruit’s intensity.