Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Southing 2020, 750ml, Santa Rita Hills, California

At Sea Smoke, Pinot Noir is grown exclusively on the south-facing hillsides of their estate vineyards. On summer evenings, the Santa Ynez River canyon funnels a cool maritime fog layer (sea “smoke”) across the hillsides, slowing the ripening process and providing the extended maturation period essential to the development of top-quality Pinot Noir. Shallow clay soils are planted to French clones on vigor-reducing rootstocks, resulting in fewer grape clusters of intense flavor. An artisanal approach to winemaking results in wines that are a reflection of the unique land on which they are grown. Grape clusters were sorted in the vineyard and then gently destemmed following an evening in the cold room. All ‘jack stems’ were removed on the sortuing table. Musts were cold soaked in open-top fermenters for 1-4 days, then inoculated with cultured yeasts to begin slow fermentation. Each tank was manually punched down 1-3 times per day, with a total maceration time of 14-18 days. All free-run wine was transferred to tank for settling. After settling overnight, both free-run and press wines were racked to barrels, aged 16 months in French oak, 55% new. Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the 2014 Southing exhibits Montmorency cherry, baking spice and dried flowers. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by the estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity.