"The results are aromatic, sapid reds that evoke the great wines of Burgundy but find a distinctive personality of their own...To my palate, Domaine de la Côte now numbers among the most exciting producers of Pinot Noir in California precisely because of that synergy between style and site." - William Kelley of The Wine Advocate (04/18)

It's not often I'll lead with a critic's take, but there's nobody writing on wine today as exceptionally well as William Kelley, The Wine Advocate's new proverbial breath of fresh air. As far as aligning palates go, Kelley seems to read things as I do. Although he reviews California's central coast, his home is also based in Burgundy where he covers that region as well.

Last week marked my fourth visit with Sashi Moorman and Raj Parr at their winery in Lompoc.

Today, I'm happy to offer an epic release I've been building for a while now, complete with an extremely rare vertical of DDLC's, La Côte.


Domaine de la Côte is the definitive example of what it means to walk the walk in California viticulture. The Pinot Noir grown on this extreme western portion of the Sta. Rita Hills is a testament to what's capable when the fickle grape is raised in conditions that approximate Burgundy's marginal setting. These are wines with intense concentration from small yields, due in part to pruning regimen and also to its extremely dense planting of 4,000-7,000 vines per acre. The soil is porous diatomaceous from a 25 million year old seabed that ultimately defines this wind-battered slope 7 miles off the Pacific. Driving up to the vineyard, the white soil exposed on the southwest face of the cliff elicits Champagne's Côte de Blancs. This is California, but we're in uncharted territory.

The inclination here is to drive home the point that Raj and Sashi are well versed on Burgundy domaines and sites like no other producers in America. And that they've intended from day one to produce wines they want to drink, those that harness the same traits that set their lust toward Burgundy long ago. Large percentage of whole clusters are used here for fermentation and extraction levels are moderate, only intended to give regal framing and backbone to wines still characterized by purity and transparency of site.

Another inclination is to portray this extreme western hill as the Côte de Nuits to the more Côte de Beaune traits we find in Santa Barbara's more inland terrain, where we see more red fruits and softer structure. Here, like in Gevrey Chambertin and Morey Saint Denis we have darker fruit expression, deeper structure, and to be blunt, a more fascinating depth and complexity than elsewhere in this zone. The juxtaposition between sweet and savory spices is just simply unique to this setting, and its black tea and citrus peel component are another obvious reminder to a Côte de Nuits kinship.

As with elite Burgundy, the DDLC top cuvées show a fine-ness of tannins and delicacy that belies their underlying construction, one capable of transforming them slowly over time. Tasting upon release and then four years later, a bottle of 2011 La Côtemirrored the evolutionary track I only find with Burgundian Pinot Noir.

La Côte is the most entrancing and refined of the domaine's single vineyards. It's been a favorite of mine since first pour many years ago. It hits a sweet spot where grace and intensity converge seamlessly.

Siren's Call is just a 1.5 acre parcel located above La Côte. Own-rooted on decomposed quartz soils and featuring the domaine's steepest grade. De-stemmed by hand. Under 900 bottles produced each vintage.

Burgundy is the backbone of our selection. When I trust emphatically to turn our supporters towards California, this is the first destination for top-grade, terroir-driven Pinot Noir.


Purchase Here.

2014 Domaine de la Côte Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
$44 per bottle.

2015 Domaine de la Côte La Côte Pinot Noir
$95 per bottle.

2014 Domaine de la Côte La Côte Pinot Noir
$95 per bottle.

2013 Domaine de la Côte La Côte Pinot Noir
$95 per bottle.

2012 Domaine de la Côte La Côte Pinot Noir
$95 per bottle.

Special E-mail "La Côte" Vertical 4-pack: $349 ($87.25/bottle)
One bottle of each: 2015, 2014, 2013, & 2012

2014 Domaine de la Côte Siren's Call Pinot Noir
$129 per bottle.

2013 Domaine de la Côte Siren's Call Pinot Noir
$129 per bottle.

Also available from the dynamic duo:

*2011 Sandhi Tempest Vineyard Pinot Noir
$99 per bottle.
Sourced from La Côte, specifically from what today is a special parcel to be released as, Sous le Chêne, located at the very top of La Côte.

2017 Evening Land Seven Springs Gamay Noir
$35 per bottle.

The last vintage ever sourcing the 1983-planted portion of this revered site.

2014 Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay
$45 per bottle.

2014 Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Chardonnay
$79 per bottle.

2014 Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Anden Pinot Noir
$99 per bottle.

2015 Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
$33 per bottle.

2015 Sandhi Bentrock Chardonnay
$48 per bottle.