Pacific Ridge Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir - Santa Maria Valley AVA

Only 241 cases produced!

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Tasting Notes

Indie Winemakers' Tasting Notes

Our mission is to provide unbiased opinions of the wine being offered. These notes come from up to 10 guests who tasted this wine in a blind tasting format (wine is concealed so their identity is unknown). Why this format? Tasting blind completely throws out any hype associated with a certain winery, style, price point, etc; it forces the taster to accept what is in the glass without any predetermined notions. Our guests utilize Robert Parker's Glossary of Wine Terms for their comments for consistency purposes. In addition, we utilize the wine aroma wheel to enhance one’s ability to describe the complexity of wine flavor. Notes are posted on this wine during the tasting to ensure they accurately reflect the impressions.

Tasting Notes

  • BH:Medium red in color. Nose is crisp and clean cherry with some black pepper. Tasted lush cherry, a bit of chalk and pepper.
  • JH: Pale red appearance. Nose showed lots of red fruit, some wood in background. Full mouthfeel with high minerality and a chalky finish.
  • DJO: Red clear appearance. Nose showed dried prunes and tart apple. Palate is tart but satisfying. Different but uniquely wonderful.
  • MA:Medium red with no rim variation. Nose is clean, with pepper and cherry. The wine has a dusty, earthy mouthfeel and flavor profile that does not show any component or flavor aspect too much. It is a food wine.
  • RA: Good clarity, medium red in color. Nose has a medium intensity of pepper and cherry. Long mineral finish.

Technical Data

Wine Technical Data
Blend 100% Pinot Noir
Appelation Santa Maria Valley AVA
Harvest Dates October 1 and 3, 2005
Sugar at Harvest 26.5 degrees average Brix(four vineyards)
Fermentation Crushed and de-stemmed, cold soak in one-ton bins before yeast inoculation, traditional hand punch-down cap management (four times per day for 14 days) and a cool fermentation. Whole cluster fermentation was performed on a portion of the fruit.
Aging / Cooperage 14 months in French Oak: 30% in 2 year old barrels, 40% in 3 year old barrels, 20% in 1 year old barrels and 10% in new barrels
  • Coopers: Cadus, Seguin Moreau, Demptos
  • Forests: Vosges and Center of France
  • Toasting: Medium with 90% toasted heads
Alcohol 14.1% by volume
Acidity TA: 6.39, pH: 3.64


Technical Notes - Pacific Ridge Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir - Santa Maria Valley AVA

Only 241 cases of this 100% Pinot Noir were produced. This is a hand-crafted, small production wine. The winemaking of this delicate fruit was approached with the idea of using more than one method in most phases of winemaking, to achieve greater structure and sophistication. Pinot Noir from four vineyards was included in the final blend. Whole cluster fermentation was used with only a portion of the fruit, a fermentation of intact clusters as picked from the vine with no intervention of machines – all stems and berries are intact. This technique contributed to achieving a wine of greater complexity.

After fermentation, the wine was handled with the least possible intervention. No heat or cold stabilization was done. Racking was minimized, and no fining was performed before a light filtration.

About the Vineyards

A cuvee of wine from multiple Santa Barbara County vineyards, this wine can interchangeably be labeled with the appellation Santa Maria Valley. Mostly cool, windy conditions at these locations are optimal for growing Pinot Noir. This blend has combined aspects of multiple premium vineyards in the same general area. Their proximity to the Pacific Ocean evens out the temperatures and helps keep the range where we want it for cool weather Pinot. The terroir is perfect for producing the classic Santa Barbara Pinot Noir, which is very different than that produced in warmer areas.

About the Vintage

2005 was a record-breaking year for production in many parts of California, including Santa Barbara County. There was a nice, steady rainy season preceding budbreak, with mostly even temperatures during the summer, and only two major heat spikes. These temperatures are usually mitigated in coastal areas like the Santa Maria Valley when the low pressure from heat inland causes an ocean breeze to flow that direction, past the valley vineyards and keeping them relatively cool. Thick fog and coastal drizzle weren’t really a problem this year, which can cause mildew but the fruit looked great. Production levels were high and quality was also very high, one of the best recent vintages for the area.

Winemaker's tasting notes

Excellent aromatics highlight this Pinot; spice box and lively fruit dominate the nose. Cranberry and raspberry notes are seamlessly blended with lightly toasted oak on the palate, followed by delicious spice and a clean, fresh finish. This wine is just now coming into its own with the deeper fruit flavors nicely developing, which goes well with the nice bit of peppery influence from the whole cluster fermentation. An outstanding food wine and a very good expression of Santa Barbara cool climate sites.

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