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The Top 10 Wines of 2014

#8

Brewer-Clifton

Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2012

94

Score

$40

Price

1,226

Cases Made

Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton have maintained a consistent style across nearly 20 years of winemaking. They start with a cold soak to extract color and flavor and employ whole-cluster fermentation, which lends spicy tannins and structure, creating vibrant and distinctive reds. Absent new oak, the Pinot Noirs show off the freshness of the fruit and further highlight the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, which is particularly cool and windy. Low yields helped give this 2012 great density of color and concentrated flavors.

The Sta. Rita Hills bottling is sourced from two estate vineyards: 3-D (shown here) and Machado.Photo by Bottle Branding

Founders and winemakers Greg Brewer and Steve CliftonPhoto by Bottle Branding

Tasting Note:

Pure, rich and vivid, with snappy wild berry, pomegranate, lavender, black tea and mint notes, ending with firm tannins and a stemmy edge, lending traction to the palate. Drink now through 2023. –James Laube

  • Region: Santa Barbara, California
  • Issue Date: Nov. 15, 2014