A recent luncheon in the private Montecito home of good friends included a Sauvignon Blanc and 5 Pinot Noirs from Santa Rita Hills to compliment the fine cuisine of local star chef, Micheal Hutchins.
We first were poured champagne from a magnum of NV Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Brut that was oxidised, but not mentioned once observing all others enjoying it.
Next, was a fabulous white wine from the ritzy Bel Air estate winery, Moraga:
2014 MORAGA ESTATE BEL AIR SAUVIGNON BLANC- having had the 1995 Moraga Estate Cabernet Sauvignon just a couple of weeks ago, this was a fitting followup; I was impressed by the white Bordeaux likeness this had, sans Semillon inclusion as the acids here are quite minimal; it was a honeysuckle and lemon grass laden treat with distinct elegance; served with a slight and proper chill, it had a light and easy on the palate texture and was really one of the best SBs I`ve had from CA.
2012 BREWER-CLIFTON TRINITY PINOT NOIR- 15% abv.; first taste had way too much heat and I waited for about an hour before returning; then I found it to be somewhat approachable giving up very dominant, intense, rich dark fruit notes; certainly, this is a big boy and one that appeals to those who like in your face, concentrated Pinots; for any who have this wine, I strongly suggest either waiting a decade or so or DECANTING.
2012 BARDEN SANTA RITA HILLS PINOT NOIR- from Doug Margerum of Wine Cask restaurant fame and his primary label, Margerum; this was my first exposure and our bottle was somewhat big and bold with an abundance of highly extracted black cherry fruit accented by toasty oak and vanilla; it had a big body and a lot of muscle; overall, it was very fruit forward and needs time to mature and balance out.[~$80]
2014 DOMAINE de la COTE SANTA RITA HILLS PINOT NOIR- 12.5% abv.; from a partnership that includes winemaker, Sashi Moorman and Master Somm and now winemaker, Rajat Parr, this wine comes from a collection of 6 vineyards in the SRH appellation and is made in their Lompoc winery; it was lovely with fresh, spicy red raspberry and cherry fruit notes served up in a silky texture with light to medium weight; it got better in the glass and probably would have been even better served decanted.[~$40]
2014 MELVILLE ESTATE SANTA RITA HILLS PINOT NOIR- enticing aromatics of fresh red fruit, spice and a hint of cinnamon followed by a taste profile of red raspberry and red cherry /berry notes; youthful and exuberant; fun and playful, needs time to evolve; its bright acidity assures some ageing potential.
2007 WHITCRAFT MELVILLE VINEYARD SANTA RITA HILLS PINOT NOIR- 15.4% abv.; I brought this knowing the SRH Pinot theme; made by my dear and now deceased friend, Chris Whitcraft, I would have loved to have shared this bottle with him as it gave and gave wondrous notes; it definitely had a fruit profile that is associated with higher alcohol, but it mellowed out and was quite pleasant as well as nicely balanced; there was super ripe cranberry and red cherry along with a hit of spice, cola and clove; it was of medium weight and body and held on for a grand finale.