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In the wine industry, the notion of sustainability, or striving to produce every vintage in a way which benefits the land, the air, and the workers over the long term, has seen dramatic growth in popularity over the past ten years. And, out in California, the Central Coast Vineyard Team is dedicated to supporting wineries making those efforts. They have even developed a set of standards to help define what steps producers must take to achieve sustainability, and they have organized (a third-party verified) process for wineries to be certified as meeting those standards. Wines that are certified can proudly display the Sustainability-in-Practice or SIP Seal on their labels. Recently, our tasting panel sampled some of the Pinot Noirs that proudly display that certification.

2011 lambda

Ampelos 2011“Lambada” Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Santa Barbera County, Ca

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of bramble fruit, cola, and earthy spice greets the senses. The palate reveals flavors of raspberry, blackberry, and bing cherry accented by hints of minerals, cola, and baking spice. Light yet lively, with a fresh acidity, enjoy a bottle with pork tenderloin. About 900 cases produced.

Rating: 90

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Riverbench 2012 Estate Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Santa Barbera County, Ca

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of cherries, plums, and raspberries mingle with traces of sweet spice, vanilla, and cedar on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry that open up into whispers of all-spice, minerals, and toasty oak. A supple Pinot with mineral highlights, it’s an ideal wine to enjoy with baked ham. 569 cases were made.

Rating: 90

NV_FIrepeak_Pinot

Baileyana 2013 “Firepeak” Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, Ca

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of cherries and bramble fruit meld with vanilla and floral suggestions on the nose. Flavors of cherry, raspberry, and blackberry unfold into nuances of violet, cola, and game on the palate. Fans of plush tannins and vibrant flavors ought to try this bottle. 13,700 cases producded.

Rating: 88

PJ

 

Pomar Junction 2012 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of raspberries, plums, and bing cherry come together with a notes of earth on the nose. With a sip, flavors of bright cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate combine with allusions of earth and spice. Lively flavors and a welcoming acidity, make this a fine wine to pair with grilled salmon. 360 cases were made.

Rating: 87

2012Pinot_Swan828

 

Wrath 2012 “Swan/828” Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Monterey County, Ca

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

The nose offers notes of bramble fruits and blueberries that interweave with floral and vanilla bean hints. Blueberry, blackberry, and plum flavors unfold into suggestions of cola, rose petal, and earth on the palate. Supple and dark, with plush tannins, open a bottle with a mushroom risotto. 329 cases produced.

Rating: 89

SostenerLogo_label

Sostener 2013 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, Ca

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Blackberry, raspberry, and cherry aromas fuse with accents of cola and sweet spice on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of cherries and bramble fruits that flow into overtones of vanilla, earth, and white pepper. A bright acidity and rich flavors make this a nice, approachable Pinot, especially for under $20. 3,000 cases were made.

Rating: 88