2020 Belle Glos Pinot Noir ‘Las Alturas’ Santa Lucia Highlands
The Vineyard - 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.
Winemaking - We harvested early in the morning so the fruit would arrive at the winery while the grapes were still cool to preserve the vineyard-fresh flavors. After destemming (but not crushing) the berries, we cold-soaked the fruit for up to two weeks to soften the skins and allow for ideal extraction. During fermentation in a combination of closed and open-top stainless steel fermenters, we used both punch-downs and pump-overs to extract color and tannins, and also to control temperatures and maximize flavors. We aged the wine in 100% French oak (60% new) for up to nine months. After the wine underwent malolactic fermentation, we racked it twice before making the final blend.
Tasting Notes - Deep purple garnet 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.
Wine Enthusiast - "This is an extremely ripe and bold style of Pinot Noir, showing kirsch, cola, root beer and anise on the nose. The powerful extraction extends to the sip as well, where black cherry, pie crust and vanilla bean flavors sit atop a thick mouthfeel, with a touch of prune on the finish"
Wilfred Wong - "2020 Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir offers excellent richness on the palate. This wine shows aromas and flavors of black fruit, sandalwood, and oaky notes. Pair it with grilled lamb kebabs."
|Country||USA - California|
|Region||Santa Lucia Highlands|
|Grape Varietals||Pinot Noir|