Belle Glos Wines 'Las Alturas' Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2013
By Wine Spectator
BELLE GLOS Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Las Alturas 2013
Special Designation: Highly Recommended
Region: Bay Area/Central Coast
Issue: Dec 31, 2014
Spares no expense, with lavish smoky, black licorice-scented oak framing a rich core of dark berry, anise, boysenberry and savory herb notes. Full-blown and expressive through the persistent and mouth coating finish. Drink now through 2024. 4,344 cases made. -JL
By Belle Glos Wines
Las Alturas Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County
Our Las Alturas Vineyard is located in the southern portion of the Santa Lucia Highlands, known locally as the Mission District. Its coastal climate is cool, but enjoys warmer afternoon temperatures and tamer winds than the northern portion of the appellation. The combination of this climate with site-specific farming consistently produces Pinot Noirs of great texture, depth and balance.
This wine is named in honor of my grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner.
My goal with each of the Belle Glos single-vineyard Pinot Noirs is to express the genuine uniqueness of each vineyard site and to craft a true style of California Pinot Noir that is layered, complex, fruit-forward and rich.
The Spanish term "Las Alturas" means "the heights", which is a fitting name for this vineyard because it's located on one of the highest grape-growing benches within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Nestled between the Santa Lucia Mountain Range and the western side of Salinas Valley, Las Alturas Vineyard benefits from the cooling effect of the early morning fog that rolls in most days from Monterey Bay, burning off within a few hours once the sun heats up.
We harvested early morning to bring the fruit into the winery while the grapes were still cool so we could de-stem, but not crush the berries. Each tank then underwent a cold-soak to soften the skins, allowing for adequate extraction during fermentation, which in some cases was up to two weeks. The maceration process took place during fermentation in small, open-top stainless steel fermenters, using punch-downs and pump-overs to extract color and tannins, but also to control the temperatures and maximize flavors. We only barreled the free-run, discarding the press, in 100% French oak (60% new, 40% seasoned) for up to nine months. We racked the wine twice; once after malolactic fermentation, and then again when it came time to make the final blend.
The color is an intense, deep scarlet-red, with abundant aromas of ripe raspberry, brambly blackberry fruit, ginger, nutmeg and a hint of earthiness. The wine is fresh and exuberant in the mouth with flavors of ripe blackberries, raspberries, strawberry jam, and fresh cranberry, perfectly balanced with refreshing acidity, velvety tannins and smooth toasty oak. The plethora of fruit flavors seems to expand rather than diminish on the lengthy finish. When asked about the taste of this wine, I like to simply describe it as ‘Christmas in your mouth’. -Joseph Wagner, Winemaker and Viticulturist
Soil: Gloria sandy loam
Climate: Cool, very sunny
Elevation: 540-1210 feet
Season (Bloom to Harvest): 5/20/13 to 10/10/13
Growing Season Avg. High Temp: 78.9'F daytime
French Oak Barrel Aging: 9 months
[Info is not vintage specific]
[Info provided by Winebow]