A few years ago Belle Glos entered my radar with a bullet. The two vineyards I’ve tried (Dairyman and Clark/Telephone) are both outstanding examples of moderately-priced Pinots. This is NOT a lightweight. If you’re into Burgundian styles, this isn’t what you’re after. If Pinot wanted to adorn the strength of a Cab or display the weight of a Rhone blend, this is it.
Big fruit with low acidity make this one a drinker. It surely could age, but if you’re ready to drink one, go ahead. It likes air and rewards you with more flavors of pomegranate, Bing cherry, and spices when allowed to evolve in the glass.
I compare C&T to other Santa Maria Valley Pinots such as Tantarra and Au Bon Climat. Most of those have a lot of backbone. I like Pinot from this area due to the big body and large flavors. I don’t compare them to Pinots from other cooler AVAs such as Russian River, Carneros, and Mendicino to these. This is a different animal and I treat them differently. A Burgundian lover can still like these wines. These Pinots can substitute for syrah and cab anytime.
Notes from the winemaker from the 2011 vintage:
Deep scarlet red in color, this wine leaves little to the imagination with rich, expansive aromas of blackberry, raspberry, plum and sweet baking spices like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. The palate is similarly intense with flavors of ripe blackberries, raspberries, warm cherry pie, blueberry and fresh cranberry, perfectly balanced with velvety tannins and a smooth toasty oak finish. Best described as “Christmas in your mouth!”
TScale: 93 points! I’ve spent between $25 and $40 for this wine. Look for it on WTSO where you can really score. Super great wine at this price point! Current vintages are higher in price, but still worth a look.