All wines stored at 55° and 70% humidity
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.
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.
|Grape Variety||Pinot Noir|
|Appellation||Sta. Rita Hills|