2014 Comartin "R-Bar-R Ranch" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $45) SKU #1323823


WE 95
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "A decadent Pinot Noir with rich aromas and flavors. Strawberry and cherry pie notes with hints of spice and nutmeg. A seamless finish with oak and vanilla tones. Santa Cruz Mountains has a long-standing history for producing world-class Pinot Noir. The steep terrain, high elevation, proximity to the ocean and maritime fog are the perfect combination for developing balanced wines. The R-Bar-R vineyard is perched at 1,100ft at the southern tip of the mountain range near Mt Madonna overlooking the Pacific Ocean (10 miles from ocean). This extreme location and climate produce a vibrant Pinot Noir with beautiful berry and earth flavors. The wine was destemmed only & fermented as whole berries to preserve fruit and not over extract the seed tannin. Fermentation was conducted cold to preserve aromas and malolactic fermentation completed naturally to add roundness to the palate. Lastly, giving the wine extended time in barrel (25% new French oak) allowed the wine to soften and create a beautiful finish."

Staff Reviews

  • Stefanie Juelsgaard
    By: Stefanie Juelsgaard
    K&L Staff Member
    While Comartin Cellars may not be a household name yet, it is sure to hit your radar very soon, especially by exhibiting wines like this phenomenal Pinot Noir. Winemakers are scooping up acres of Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards and tasting the wines makes it very clear why this is such a special area gaining fast recognition. Comartin Cellars exhibits the best of what the Santa Cruz AVA has to offer, with incredibly bright, vibrant fruit, subtle earthy undertones and a Burgundian-style leanness and elegance underlying. I'm so excited to see wines like this coming out of the area and know we will be seeing more great things from Adam Comartin very soon.
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    K&L Staff Member
    Here's a wine that appeared on our radar solely through a personal connection between our buyer Ryan Woodhouse and winemaker Adam Comartin, and in my experience these are often the most exciting deals we find (although, I won't lie: it helps when there's a 95 point review attached to the wine). True California Pinot Noir lovers will want to take note of what is perhaps the best under-the-radar gem we've uncovered in the state this calendar year. The Comartin is a dark-fruited, juicy, and fleshy wine with loads of Santa Cruz Mountain character, meaning herbs, brush, and hints of savory spice on the finish. Adam did whole-berry fermentation for the R-Bar-R, which added in a bright, lively fruit element that explodes on your tongue with the first sip. I'm glad there's a nice score to grab everyone's attention, but the truth is we would have featured this wine either way. It's a sensational Pinot Noir from a local site that will definitely have customers coming back for seconds!
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    For many years winemaker Adam Comartin was part of the team at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos that has produced so many fantastic and highly acclaimed wines from some of California's top Pinot Noir vineyard sites. Now Adam and his wife have set out to forge their own path with the namesake label "Comartin Cellars." A Pinot Noir and Grenache enthusiast, Adam seeks out unique vineyard sites and makes tiny batches of wine in a small urban winery in San Carlos, CA. His intricate knowledge of California's Central Coast and wealth of local connections means that he has access to some stunning little vineyard blocks such as this one (R-Bar-R Ranch) in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Whole-berry fermentation keeps the wine bright, aromatic and pure. The palate has abundant silky, ripe fruit but there is also an energetic, vibrant feel about the wine with wild bramble and bay laurel lift. A lick of quality French oak frames the wine with delicate but exotic spice.


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