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Winemaker Chris Carter released his first Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir from the 2012 vintage sourced from John Sebastiano and Melville Vineyards. I was very impressed with both his 2012 and 2013 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noirs which are reasonably priced considering the quality.
Carter came from a family of aviators and originally planned to be a commercial pilot. Instead, he went to University of California at Davis to study winemaking. After graduation, he worked in a number of cellars in California, Oregon (Penner-Ash) and New Zealand (Garrick) after graduation, returning home to Southern California, and launching his own label. His wines have been crafted in Lompoc.
Chris's journal on his website is very informative.
2013 Weatherborne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 450 cases, $35, screwcap. Sourced from the John Sebastiano Vineyard. 8%-9% whole cluster. Aged in 10% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light dark cherry color in the glass. Lovely aromas of dark red cherry, plum, raspberry coulis, fruit leather and spice. Juicy and fresh with bright flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with fine grain tannins and complimentary oak in the background. Admirable balance and easy approachability. Still satisfying the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92. Reviewed March 16, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Weatherborne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., 225 cases, $35, screwcap. Sourced from John Sebastiano and Melville vineyards. Inaugural release. 25% whole cluster. Aged in neutral oak barrels. · Moderately light cherry color in the glass. Well-spiced dark fruits are featured on the nose that also sports a touch of herbs and oak. Slightly richer than the 2013 bottling, featuring black cherry, black raspberry, anise and savory herb flavors with a noticeable oak overlay. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had become highly aromatic with scents of cherry, rose, spice, herbs and smoke with a flavorful cherry core overlaid with smoky oak. Score: 90. Reviewed March 16, 2015 ARTICLE »