Vineyard: Sierra Madre

AppellationSanta Maria Valley
VarietiesPinot Noir

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2012 Ken Brown Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 656 cases, pH 3.71, TA 0.56, $35. Magnums available. Sourced from Rio Vista Vineyard, Garey Vineyard, Nielson Vineyard, Sierra Madre Vineyard and Buena Terra Vineyard. 53% from Santa Maria Valley and 47% from Sta. Rita Hills. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of black cherries, ripe berries and echoes of oak. Very tasty black cherry core with hints of red hard candy and spice and an earthy undertone. A very approachable mid weight offering with mild tannins and a silky mouth feel. Almost weightless. You won’t find a better AVA blend in the marketplace. Score: 91. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Paul Lato “le Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

14.3% alc., 250 cases, 60. 14-year-old Wente clone. 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged in 66% new French oak barrels. · Light golden straw color and clear in the glass.The nose is both floral and fruity featuring aromas of lemon, apple and blossoms. Delicate, but pleasing flavors of citrus, almond, vanilla, with bright acidity and a bone dry finish. Score: 90. Reviewed September 29, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 La Montagne Sierra Madre Vineyard Clone 667 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 75 cases, $48. Clone 667 planted in sandy loam soils in 1971 by Robert Mondavi. Aged 18 months in 25% new and 75% neutral French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark stone fruits and berries, spice and oak. The core of blackberry, black currant and black cherry fruit is juicy and flavorful, but a green, vegetal streak, which could be oak-induced, runs beneath the surface and spoils the experience. The tannins are well-mannered and their is some blackberry-driven finish with a flourish of oak. Tasted twice. Score: 86. Reviewed February 22, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Paul Lato “The Prospect” Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 100 cases, $60. Dijon clones 115 and 667. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with aromas of grapes, plums, forest floor and rose petals. Big-boned and flashy, with a sappy core of black plum and black currant fruit. Velvety with nicely balanced tannins and a big, and I mean big, finish. I really liked this wine. Score: 93. Reviewed September 29, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 High Flyer Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

14.7% alc., 550 cases, $28. One of three wine brands from Somerston Wine Co., made under the direction of General Manager and Winemaker Craig Becker. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Peach, honey, butter, roasted nuts, and yeast aromas are featured. Tasty core of baked apple, citrus and vanilla wafer flavors in a restrained, demure style, finishing with a good cut of citrus that makes an enjoyable impression. Very good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Highflyer Wines Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

14.7% alc., 550 cases, $28. Sourced from lowyielding vines at Sierra Madre Vineyard located near the western edge of the Santa Maria Valley appellation. Winemaker and “pilot” is Craig Becker. Previously reviewed in April 2012 (that bottle showed better). · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon tart, buttered popcorn, lychee and haystack lead to flavors of lemon curd, banana, lychee, nuts and creamy pastry. Easy to drink with a slightly creamy texture and a refreshing cut of lemony acidity on the finish. Score: 86. Reviewed October 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Flying Goat Cellars Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Goat Bubbles Blanc de Blanc

12.8% alc., 239 cases, pH 3.02, TA 0.82, $38. Released April 28, 2012. Chardonnay clone 15. Whole cluster pressed, cold fermentation, moved to neutral French oak barrels remaining on lees through summer with lees stirring every two weeks to encourage malolactic fermentation. In August, the wine was filtered and decanted into sparkling wine bottles, a tirage of sugar and yeast added and a crown cap applied. Secondary fermentation occurred in bottle. After 9 months of aging, the wine was riddled and then disgorged by hand, a small amount of dosage added, and the wine sealed with the Goat Bubbles signature was cap. · Very cool package and label. Pale golden yellow color with a good bead in the glass. Aromas of lemon and green apple with nutty and yeasty accents. A sublime mix of an array of flavors including lemon, lime, pineapple, vanilla, and almond with a leesey underpinning. Entirely satisfying, with bright, cleansing acidity directing a dry, lemony finish that urges you to take another sip. An extraordinary California sparkling wine at a ridiculously modest price considering the quality and work that goes into producing a wine of this pedigree. Score: 95. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 High Flyer Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 325 cases, $40. · Darkly colored in the glass. Aromas of black fruits, prune, bell pepper, loam, and ash. The flavors of earth-kissed black plums, black raspberries and blackberries push the ripeness envelope. The wine lacks verve and interest. Decent. Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Paul Lato “Le Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.35, 200 cases, $55. Sourced from 6 acres of the choicest part of the vineyard. The vines are low-yielding Old Wente clone picked at 23.5º brix. Native and inoculated yeast. 100% barrel fermented, 100% malolactic conversion in 66% new Francois Freres and Damy French oak barrels. Gently fined and unfiltered. · Light yellow color in the glass. Expressive nose of Asian pears, green apples, and brioche. Crisp and bright flavors of pears and citrus fruits with subtle notes of biscuit and vanillin. Beautiful harmony and finesse. Reviewed March 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Paul Lato “Le Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

150 cases, $50. Barrel sample. Sourced from the Sierra Madre Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley. 11 year-old Wente clone vines. 70% new oak, 100% MLF, aged sur-lie, native yeast fermented, only first pressing, lightly filtered. · Attractive scent of lemons and roasted nuts. Delicious flavors of citrus and creme brulee with the faintest hint of oak. Think Aubert Chardonnay brought down a notch. Very good (+). Reviewed March 11, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Kenneth Volk Vineyards Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.. · Lovely scents of red fruits, roses and spice box which carry over in the flavor profile. Loaded with charm, the fruit is vivid and focused. The finish has remarkable persistence. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

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2006 Kenneth Volk Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Unreleased. Will be $36. · A very sensual nose similar to the 2004 vintage with crushed black cherry, violets and a touch of spice. The flavors echo the aromatics. Elegance to spare with a silk and satin texture. My favorite and in one word, excellent. Reviewed March 3, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 1,772 cases, $40. Winery owners Doug and Jan Circle source grapes for their wines from their own Sierra Madre Vineyard. The vineyard, which was planted in 1971, was purchased from Michael Mondavi in 2003. The winemaker is Steve Rasmussen. Clones were vinified separately. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Deep reddish-violet color. The plentiful oak overwhelms the ripe cherry fruit on the nose. Prodigious fruit with touches of cola, herbs and oak. Soft and smooth with a mouth filling presence and admirable acidity. The oak takes over in the glass over time. A man’s Pinot Noir that will appeal especially to oak lovers. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Kenneth Volk Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

2005 was a cool vintage, picked late. · Pretty spice cherry scents leading to a clean black cherry and berry core. Medium bodied, silky, with a lively acid backbone. Reviewed March 3, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Kenneth Volk Vineyards Sierra Madre Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

340 cases, $36. Kenneth Volk was the long-time owner and winemaker at Wild Horse Cellars which is now under the Beam Estates umbrella. He has reinvented himself with this new label. Kenneth is a legend in Santa Barbara County, having made his first Pinot Noir under the Wild Horse label in 1983. Visit his nicely composed website at www.volkwines.com for more information. His wines may be purchased on the website. · The nose offers plenty of crushed cherries, but also some interesting barnyard notes. Flavors of dried cherries and pomegranates lead to a crisp and lengthy finish. The tannins are supple and the whole package is nicely balanced. This Pinot really exploded with a little rare beef. Reviewed January 22, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »