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Santa Rita Hills AVA is located on California's Central Coast in Santa Barbara County. This appellation is rapidly becoming one of the favorites of the most important wine critics in the world. Wine Spectator said: “This appellation in Santa Barbara County is quickly making a name for itself courtesy of some delicious Pinot Noirs”, and James Suckling stated that he’s “In love with Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. They are bold and rich wines yet balanced and refined with wonderful freshness and length”.
Its privileged location, close to the Pacific Ocean, allows a refreshing sea breeze to cool the vineyards, and combined with the sedimentary limestone soil, this AVA is producing some of the best Pinot Noirs in the new world.
Kimberly Smith, owner and winemaker of LaMontagne, is a visionary and passionate businesswoman; her great love for Pinot Noir was what led her to the tireless search of discovering how to produce the best wines from this grape. In 2006, she began to plot her dream with the help of his mentor, winemaker Wes Hagen. Hagen was named in 2013 as “One of the 100 most influential winemakers in the USA” according to Decanter.
Currently, Kimberly works hand in hand with her son Alec, who despite his young age, has been a key person in the development of the winery; he has had the opportunity to be involved in the process since the start of LaMontagne. Together, they're producing award-winning Pinots and Chardonnays.
This wine comes from Kessler-Haak, a 2.5-acre vineyard, with soils composed of sandy loam with patches of clay loam and a cool maritime climate; the ideal terroir for cold-weather grapes like Pinot and Chardonnay. This vineyard is managed with sustainable practices.
Tasting Notes: 100% Pinot Noir.
See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.
Stewed cherry, sarsaparilla, shoe leather and incense aromas show on the nose of this clonal selection from a vineyard in the middle of the appellation. The palate is dominated by eucalyptus oil, pine needle and dewy juniper flavors, set against dark cranberry and black raspberry fruit. The finish is redolent with menthol and cedar. ~91 Wine Enthusiast.
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