Sea Smoke Ten Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills 2020
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For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara's Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.
At Sea Smoke, we produce Pinot Noir grown exclusively on the south-facing hillsides of our estate vineyards. On summer evenings, the Santa Ynez River canyon funnels a cool maritime fog layer (sea "smoke") across our hillsides, slowing the ripening process and providing the extended maturation period essential to the development of top-quality Pinot Noir.
Our shallow clay soils are planted to French clones on vigor-reducing rootstocks, resulting in fewer grape clusters of intense flavor, and our artisinal approach to winemaking results in wines that are a reflection of the unique land on which they are grown.
We believe that Sea Smoke's rare geography and commitment to quality have produced wines of exceptional complexity and grace. We hope that you agree and welcome your comments.
Hand-harvested, clusters were sorted in the vineyard and then gently destemmed following an evening in our cold room.
All ‘jack stems’ were removed on the sorting table. Musts were cold soaked in open-top fermenters for five days, and then inoculated with cultured yeasts to begin slow fermentation. Each tank was manually punched down two times per day, with a total maceration time of sixteen to twenty-eight days. Upon completion of primary fermenta- tion and maceration, all free run wine was transferred to tank for set- tling, and then pressed at extremely low pressure (0.08 bars) to avoid extracting bitterness. After settling overnight both free-run and press wines were racked to barrels. Ten was bottled with no fining and nofiltration.
A brooding and intense wine. The aromas begin with notes of black tea, blackberry and orange rind, then a myriad of savory spices, and a hint of jasmine. Firm, mature tannins—evidence of Ten’s ageability—are followed by a long, velvety finish.