Pinot Noir has a reputation as being difficult to grow – but if you give it a good home (in vineyards where it’s sure to thrive) and show it serious love in the cellar, you end up with something really special – particularly in a great vintage like 2014.
”Santa Barbara County features a combination of outstanding Pinot areas,” notes the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Bonné. For his delicious 2014, veteran winemaker Clay Brock sourced fruit from two of the region's top vineyards, both grown by the renowned Miller family. Sixty percent comes from Solomon Hill, whose sandy loam soils and close proximity to the Pacific (literally a few miles away) are ideal for Pinot. The rest hails from Bien Nacido – arguably the most important vineyard in the whole county (and listed as one of “The Five California Vineyards You Need to Know” by Lettie Teague in The Wall Street Journal). It produces wines that consistently win 90+ scores from top critics.
In the glass, look for pure-fruited aromas of wild berries, briar fruit, violets and a touch of cinnamon from light oak aging. On the palate, you'll find velvety tannins and persistent flavors of strawberry, blackberry, all-spice and mocha. Smooth enough to enjoy on its own, The Mission will also pair wonderfully with meaty fish (a classic match is wild Alaskan sockeye salmon), roasted poultry (like Asian-style crispy duck) and much more.
Make sure to add a few bottles (or a case) to your order – when you taste it, you'll be very glad you did.