Reviews of the “sensational” 2013 Vintage – The Wine Advocate
Throughout the year we are pleased to always share our own view of the wines and vintage. We would also like to share with you the impressions of Jeb Dunnuck from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate as he reviewed the entire 2013 vintage.
“I’ve sung the praise for the wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands for a number of years now,” begins Dunnuck in his summary of the appellation, “but these latest 2013s might just be the finest wines yet from this windy, cool, yet sunny region.” He continues: “these Pinot Noirs from the Santa Lucia Highlands have a wealth of California fruit and texture, while staying nicely focused and balanced. Nevertheless, these 2013s are some of the most tannic wines I’ve tasted from the appellation and will benefit from short term cellaring.”
Pisoni family’s Estate Pinot Noir is one of the top handful of Pinot NoirsJeb Dunnuck
coming out of California today, . . .
Pisoni family’s Estate Pinot Noir is one of the top handful of Pinot Noirs coming out of California today, and certainly, the site is one of the Grand Cru vineyards in California. From the warmer, southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands and granite soils, the 2013 Pinot Noir Estate offers up a sensational array of blackberries, blueberries, violets, crushed rocks and smoke. Full-bodied, concentrated, surprisingly firm and tight, it has gorgeous extract, plenty of tannin and a blockbuster finish. This is a serious and ageworthy 2013 from the Pisoni Family that needs 2-3 years of bottle age, but will keep for 10-15 years.
Another brilliant Pinot Noir from winemaker Jeff Pisoni is the 2013 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard. It has more structure, richness and power than the straight Santa Lucia Highlands and gives up lots of baking spices, dried earth, potpourri, and sweet red and black raspberry characteristics on the nose. Full-bodied, rich and textured, as well as elegant and layered, it’s a sensational Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming decade.
The best vintage yet from this young vineyard that was planted in 2006, the 2013 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard has a terrific bouquet of creme de cassis, shiitake mushroom, forest floor and freshly crushed rocks. Elegant, seamless and with a crystalline feel that’s missing from the Garys’ Vineyard, it’s tight, focused and slightly reserved at the moment, yet has beautiful fruit, plenty of texture and a great finish. It needs 2-3 years of cellaring and will have 15 years of overall longevity.
A smoking value that shows just how good this vintage in the Santa Lucia Highlands is, the 2013 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands offers tons of black raspberries, forest floor, dried flowers and spice-box in a medium to full-bodied, velvety textured, supple and sexy package. Some pepper and herb characters come out with time in the glass; it has a full-mid-palate and enough density and tannin to drink well for 5-6 years.
More tight and focused than the straight Santa Lucia Highlands release, the 2013 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard has flat out terrific notes of lemon curd, crushed rock, white peach and white flowers. Full-bodied, rich, layered, and pure with terrific depth of fruit, ample mid-palate concentration and a blockbuster finish, it will stand toe to toe with the best Chardonnays coming out of California today.
A fabulous appellation wide Chardonnay, the 2013 Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands offers tons of beautiful fruit, lemon curd, brioche, honeysuckle and white flower notes in its full-bodied, rich, layered personality. It has stunning purity and will be hard to resist over the coming 3-5 years.
Another serious, massively fruited, decadent and layered Syrah, the 2013 Syrah Garys’ Vineyard sports an inky, opaque color to go with incredibly young, unevolved notes of black and blue fruits, asphalt, big minerality, lead pencil and charcoal. Big, structured, meaty, and concentrated with a full-bodied, massive profile on the palate, it needs short term cellaring but will have 15 years or more of longevity.
The inky colored 2013 Syrah Susan’s Hill comes from a tiny hill in the Pisoni Vineyard, which is easily one of the top vineyards in the appellation. The 2013 shows more refinement and purity than past vintages, and gives up terrific, granite-like influenced minerality, sweet cassis, plums, and licorice aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, multi-dimensional, elegant, and seamless with sensational purity of fruit, it’s a distinctly California-styled Syrah that has both richness and elegance. It will drink well for another decade.
. . . the Pisoni family’s Lucia label are not only some of the top wines I taste from the Santa Lucia Highlands, but also some of the greatest values . . .Jeb Dunnuck