Decanter’s Greatest 2014 California Pinot
Domaine de la Côte is perhaps California’s most talked about fine Pinot Noir, and the buzz is only getting louder with the release of this 2014 masterpiece. Decanter pinned on 97 points naming it their top Californian Pinot Noir of the 2014 vintage. “Outstanding,” says Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate of La Côte. “A fascinating young winery to follow,” says Vinous’ Antonio Galloni. The superstar duo at the helm — Rajat Parr, author, sommelier and one of America’s most famous vignerons, and Sashi Moorman, the ingenious winemaker at Stolpman Vineyards — have mesmerized wine directors in Michelin-Starred restaurants throughout America. $90 from the winery, just $45 per bottle from Wine Access, there will be no better chance to secure a true collectors Californian Pinot of this calibre at this affordable price.
Parr, who spent his childhood in Calcutta, India, is Michael Mina’s sommelier-to-the-stars, as well as the winemaker at the perennially high-scoring Sandhi estate. Vassar-educated Moorman has overseen a brilliant, critically acclaimed run of Rhône varieties at Stolpman. What the two men share is a desire to push coastal Pinots to the limit, setting up shop for Domaine de la Côte on one of the coldest, most extreme sites in Sta. Rita Hills.
Moorman, Parr and a financial partner purchased a collection of vineyards that were originally part of Evening Land Vineyards and are planted over 40 acres at the chilly western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Set at 700 feet in elevation, with clayey soils strewn with chunks of white flint, the vines were planted to tight spacing of up to 7,000 plants per acre. Since temperatures rarely reach 80 degrees, even on hot summer days, the Pinot Noir vines are treated to extraordinary extended hangtime, explaining this bottle’s marriage of red-fruit opulence and riveting acid backbone. In the miracle vintage of 2014, acids held firm while berries were pert and ultra-sweet, making for this dazzling New World Pinot.