The International Guild of Sommelier explains that wines coming from marginal or cool climate sites tend to get a lot of “wind exposure generally lead to grapes with thicker skins, thereby changing the skin-to-juice ratio of the fruit. Grapes with thicker skins tend to produce more concentrated wines even without excess purposeful extraction in the cellar. The thicker skins can offer further benefit: since skin tannin is more pleasant and less bitter than seed tannin, thicker skins can create better balance in the final wine. Thicker skins help produce a structured wine with the potential to age without relying as heavily on harsher seed tannin. As a result, wines from such conditions often have the double benefit of the structure to age alongside approachability in their youth.”
And this is the reason why Rajat and Sashi have been fascinated by the location of Domaine de la Côte. The unique change in topography here, where the mountain range spreads from west to east, allows the daily cool fog to roll in from the Pacific Ocean.
Their Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a blend of all the estate vineyards. 50% of the grapes are fermented whole bunch with 0% new oak used to mature in barrel. The wine is pale red in color with perfumey flavors of Bing cherry, all spice and leather. On the palate it is soft textured and finished quite silky. 1,100 cases produced.
“I found all of the wines to be outstanding, they had an unusual mix of cool-climate aromatics to go with a higher pH, rounder, softer profile on the palate, with distinct saline-like qualities.”- Jeb Dunnuck for Robert Parker
Additionally, the estate also bottles a more approachable wine that is easier to enjoy in its youth. Silky, with lower alcohol yet remaining flavorful, the Lompoc Wine Co is named after the town where the winery is situated and provides great value for those that want more subtlety from the variety.