The polished, elegantly styled 2014 Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills gives up lots of black cherry, crushed flowers, leather and spice aromas and flavors to go with a medium-bodied, supple and nicely textured profile on the palate. This fresh, nicely focused 2014 has nicely integrated acidity, very polished tannin and the balance and depth to keep for 5-6 years. As I commented last year, there have been significant changes at Brewer-Clifton recently and Steve Clifton is no longer involved at the estate. However, Greg Brewer remains the driving force here, and his 2014s are beautiful wines. In addition, Greg remains one of the few winemakers not afraid of true richness and ripeness, and his wines are better for it. (JD)
Brewer-Clifton's 2014 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is bright, focused and nicely delineated throughout. Rose petal, herbs and bright red stone fruits are given an extra lift from the vinification with 85% whole clusters. The Sta. Rita Hills is mostly Machado, with pieces from Acin, Hapgood and 3-D. Like many wines in this vintage, the Sta. Rita Hill is a bit light in structure. Drink it over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how things develop at Brewer-Clifton its newest incarnation under the ownership of Ken Fredrickson, the Chicago-based Master Sommelier and wholesaler, who, along with a group of partners, purchased the winery last year. Greg Brewer continues to make the wines. There is every reason to believe Brewer-Clifton will continue to excel. The infusion of fresh capital will allow Brewer-Clifton to continue to develop their estate vineyards now that the winery works exclusively with estate fruit. All of the wines are fermented in the rigorously same manner, with the same picking parameters in the field, the same yeasts and the same elevage across the Pinots and Chardonnays, with the goal of isolating and emphasizing pure expression of site. (JR)
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