Monday, June 23, 2014

2011 Big Basin Pinot Noir, Lester Family Vineyard

The Lester Family Vineyard is located in Corralitos, towards the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, at an elevation of around 500 feet. The vineyard is planted to seven different clones of Pinot Noir; primarily Dijon clones 667, 777 and 115, but also Mount Eden, Wadenswil, Mariafeld and Jackson. Since 2002 the fruit has been used by several local wineries and has produced a variety of structured, age-worthy wines.

2011 was a tough vintage; a cool summer that also had rain in June and October. While this was bad news for late ripening grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, the cooler weather didn't affect Pinot Noir quite so badly; so while it's by no means a classic vintage, good wines can be made even in bad years - and this is one of the finest 2011s that I've tasted.

The nose is beautiful and expressive; floral with plenty of savoury cherry. On the palate it's long and smooth, with fine tannins; a lovely complex interplay of fruit, herb and meaty flavours. Overall I think this is one of the best wines I've had from the Lester Family vineyard. Highly recommended.