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2005 Sea Smoke Cellars Pinot Noir Ten Sta. Rita Hills
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93 Points | International Wine Cellar , November/December 2007

($69) Deep red. Exotically perfumed nose offers a wild array of dark berry, cherry, incense and floral scents. Spicy red and dark berry flavors are refreshingly bitter but became sweeter with air, gaining a white pepper and baking spice character. Really stains the palate, finishing with outstanding cling and length. I was looking for oakiness but didn't find it. Curran noted that she's as meticulous as possible with her winemaking, leaving as little as possible to chance. As she put it: "Spontaneity isn't a good idea when you're making red expensive wine."

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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Pinot Noir

Adored by critics, prized by collectors, Pinot Noir is one of most tantalizing yet temperamental varietals in the world. For many wine enthusiasts, this is part of the appeal of Pinot -- it doesn't reveal its charms easily. Pinot Noir's virtue also stems from the unique characteristics of the grape. The skins are especially delicate, which accounts for the lighter color and body of finished wine. But, despite the delicacy, the best wines have excellent backbone and...
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