2012 Miura, Pinot Noir, Pisoni Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands

Miura (myu rä) n. 1. Derived from Don Eduardo Miura, the most famous breeder of Spanish fighting bulls; for the Spanish, Miura is a legendary name signifying nobility, boldness and power.
Miura is our program that focuses on what I feel are the best regions in California for the growing of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Within each of those regions I have selected the vineyards that best exemplify that area stylistically and qualitatively.

Miura, Pinot Noir, Pisoni Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands

The Vineyard

This property has become the most talked about Pinot Noir property in California for good reason. The wines from this vineyard have an intensity and richness unmatched by any other Pinot Noirs anywhere. The vineyard is tucked among the hills and dry creek beds of the southern part of the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey. It lies in a secluded corner of the hills separating the Salinas Valley from Big Sur and the Monterey Coast. Vines are planted in several small blocks on what appears to be gravel and sand eroded down from the mountains. The blocks are whimsically named after people, objects and family members— “Camper,” “Mommy’s,” “Elias,” to name a few (our grapes come from the “Camper” and “Hermanos” sections. The site is dry, almost arid, but not particularly hot. Most of the vineyard faces east to southeast, capturing more morning than afternoon sun. The intensity with which this vineyard is farmed is unmatched in the Highlands, or anywhere else for that matter. We ferment the Pisoni with a measure of whole bunches in the bottom of the tank, and punch it down by hand. I like the moderate amount of tannin that adding some stems to the fermentation brings—just enough to give some refreshing grip to the mouth feel, and keep the wine from being too soft.

The 2012

2012 was a pretty ripe year, although it was not a particularly early harvest. Lots of people are very excited about 2012 vintage. I think it was better south of San Francisco than in the north coast, at least for Pinot Noir. The 2012 Santa Lucia Highland wines were generous but not particularly tannic. As far as particulars on our Pisoni, we treated it the way we always do, native yeast, fair bit of whole clusters (approximately 33%). I think that gives a little lift to the aromas, and since Pisoni tends to be kind of big and brooding, that’s a good thing.

392 cases produced