Made from two suitcase clones (Swan and Calera) grown on a steep, south-facing slope in the Sta. Rita Hills, the 2013 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard has discrete oak in its blackcurrant, black cherry, underbrush, rose petal and spice-laced bouquet. This gives way to a ripe, nicely concentrated and juicy Pinot Noir that has bright acidity and a taut, energetic texture. It's currently lacking a touch of the integration found in the other releases, yet is still beautiful. (JD) 93+
An addition to the range, the 2013 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard is one of the more subtle and refined wines in the range. Sweet floral notes meld into succulent red cherries, mint, spices and orange peel. Nuanced and beautifully layered throughout, with lovely underlying energy, the 2013 offers terrific overall balance. A kick of floral/savory aromatics adds complexity on the finish. This is Paul Lato's first vintage from Drum Canyon. (AG)
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