In recent years, my taste in Pinot Noir has increasingly focused on two regions: Burgundy and the Central Coast of California, especially the valley AVAs north of Santa Barbara. In the latter area, two of my favorites are Foxen and Sea Smoke. I'm now on the former's mailing list, but sadly still on the waiting list for the latter. Still, I manage to snag a few bottles now and then.
The "Ten" in the wine's name refers to the fact that this wine is blended from ten clones of Pinot Noir grown in the Santa Rita Hills AVA.
The 2009 Ten is big, almost brooding. Rich berry fruits on both the nose and palate, with notes of spice and maybe some sour citrus. The palate also suggests black cherry and cola flavors. Complex. Potent. Yummy.
Despite allowing it to breathe for almost an hour before drinking it, this was still infanticide. This wine should age well, improving for at least a decade. For near-term drinking, I would strongly recommend double decanting (so far there's little sediment).
I've got two more bottles in my cellar and have been spending some time this evening debating when to open the next one. I'm thinking 2015, but 2017 might be a safer bet. In my experience, really age worthy Califoirnia reds--whether Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or what have you--often hit their prime at age 8.
Grade: A-/A, with potential to evolve into A/A+