Expressive Pinot Noir - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Expressive Pinot Noir

Winemakers Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman in the vineyard at Domaine de la  Côte. (Photo: Erik Castro)

Domaine de la Côte works with four estate vineyards—Memorious, Bloom’s Field, La Côte and Sous le Chêne—set on a jumble of hillsides and benches in the outer reaches of the Sta. Rita Hills. Each has its own unique soil composition and their aspects range widely. Their differing exposures to Pacific gusts and fog inevitably yield fruit with different cluster weights, skin thicknesses and degrees of salinity from the ocean air. Their single-vineyard pinots are hard-won, with tiny yields measuring the extreme conditions.

This bottling assembles fruit from all four sources, the west-facing parcels of Memorious and Bloom’s Field, the more protected east-facing La Côte and Sous le Chêne, and you can tease out the flavors and textures of both aspects. It’s expressive, spicy, full of wind-driven concentration but also plummy extraction, with scents of bergamot, potpourri and smoke; the depth of the aromatics is almost syrah-like, as are the dark berry flavors. The smoky influence of whole clusters in the fermentation carries forward to the palate and cuts through the extract, lending tannic tension and more than its share of umami. This is well worth aging in your cellar.


Domaine de la Côte 2021 Sta. Rita Hills DDLC Pinot Noir

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.

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