2011 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Working closely with some of the top vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands’ appellation, Testarossa has produced this limited release Pinot Noir from the exceptional 2011 vintage. The Highlands is one of the state’s best known regions for world-class Pinot Noir. The area’s close proximity to Monterey Bay makes for a very cool climate, with one of California’s longest growing seasons. The resulting slow, gentle ripening allows for full flavor development on the vine. Testarossa’s experience with the best estates in the SLH ensure only the highest quality fruit makes it to the winery. For this vintage, proprietors Rob and Diana Jensen and Director of Winemaking, Bill Brosseau primarily drew upon the Dos Rubios and Doctor’s vineyards.

The 2011 growing season in the Highlands was one of the coolest and wettest on record. Colder than normal summer temperatures pushed harvest dates back into early October. The SLH was fortunate in that the area did not receive damaging fall rains, allowing the fruit to hang as long as needed. The intensity of flavor in the eventual small crop promised well for the 2011 vintage wines.

Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was carefully hand sorted, de-stemmed and allowed an extended cold soak. A gentle gravity flow process is used throughout the winery. The whole berries went through primary fermentation in our custom open top fermenters. The free run wine was then racked into French oak - forty-six percent being new barrels. Secondary malolactic conversion occurred naturally.

 “The 2011 SLH release is a classic example of Pinot Noir from the Highlands - ripe black cherry and plum flavors, with a full mid-palate and a light touch of spicy oak on the finish. The trademark bright acidity makes the wine incredibly versatile for food-pairing. Traditional pairings include roast chicken, duck, or salmon. But this wine will stand up to just about anything off the grill, as well." 
- Bill Brosseau