2015 J. Wilkes Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley
Appearance: Medium ruby with excellent clarity.
Aromatics: Ripe red berry fruits, cherry pie, Kola nut, white pepper, clove and an intense earthy/ spicy/ savory/meaty complexity that reminds me of great, young Burgundy wine.
Palate: Bright, fruity, balanced and quite complex for such a juicy youngster . Light, loamy tannins add structure to the light acidity, giving palate-cleansing character that will improve almost any food that can be put on a plate or in a bowl. Persistent finish shows cherry/ rhubarb/ loamy earthy tannins that are more prevalent than winemaker Wes is used to in youthful SMV Pinot Noir. This youthful wine speaks volumes about the future of Santa Maria Pinot Noir typicity and gives the Sta. Rita Hills a moment of worrisome reflection.
Food Pairing: Pinot such as the 2015 SMV matches with just about anything that you put on on a plate. Put this wine on a table with roasted duck breast with raspberry sauce (not too sweet!), fresh salmon prepared or smoked in almost any fashion, cream of Chanterelle mushroom soup, tuna sashimi, rare filet mignon or a thick pork chop off of a red oak grill finished simply with fleur de sal and fresh cracked pepper. Or anything else that’ s not Brussels sprouts or asparagus.
Aging: Delicious and complex now, but Wes prefers his pinots to lose a little baby fat before consumption, which will likely take 5-7 years. Can the wine go 10 years+? History of the vineyards used would say absolutely, but it’ s always better to drink a wine on the way up, so Wes will suggest 3-7 years of age on this if you prefer a little more earthy character . Decanting / aerating suggested through 2021.
Cases Produced: 2021
Winemaker: Wes Hagen