Loring Wine Co., Kessler-Haak Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, California, 2020
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Overview of the Wine
My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir. OK, I'm also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that's another story. While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor's), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic. So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC. Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying. It wasn't until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love. But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established. I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.
My philosophy is that what happens in the vineyard determines the quality of the wine. Great grapes picked at the right time plus no screw-ups in the winery equals good wine. Rather than try to describe what happens in the vineyard myself, I'll instead refer you to one of my sources of killer Pinot, Wes Hagen at Clos Pepe Vineyard.
When it's time to pick, I'm right there in the vineyard with the pickers, sorting through the clusters as they're dumped into the bins. I try to remove any "bad" looking fruit and as many leaves as possible. It's impossible to be perfect, since we're often picking before dawn and the pickers move very fast! But not to fear... there's another chance to sort a bit later.
Grape / Blend
Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Kessler-Haak Vineyard is located in the northern valley of the Sta. Rita Hills next door to Clos Pepe Vineyard. Planted in sandy soils, the fruit is usually very deep, well structured, and shows a lot of depth and baking spice character.
91-93 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Ripe cherries, mulberries, violets, leafy herbs, and iodine nuances all emerge from the 2020 Pinot Noir Kessler- Haak Vineyard, a forward, pure, undeniably delicious Pinot Noir from Loring that has ripe, sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. As with most of these 2020s from Loring, it's geared for drinking in its first 3-4 years of life.
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Sharp aromas of baked raspberry are enhanced by mace, cinnamon, sumac and red flowers on the nose of this bottling. The palate is tart with pomegranate and raspberry, while warmed by brown spices.
Product size: 750ml