I recently had an opportunity to join the good folks at CellarPass for their 2014 kick-off episode which featured a live virtual tasting and interview with Steve Leveque, winemaker for Hall Wines in St Helena. Hall Wines is owned by Kathryn Hall and specializes in single-vineyard and limited-production wines with a focus on classic Bordeaux varieties. The tasting featured two Cabernet Sauvignons from Hall and a Pinot Noir from their WALT label. In this segment, we will focus on the Pinot Noir. The WALT label honors Kathryn's parents, Bob and Dolores Walt – both dedicated winegrowers themselves. The WALT tasting room is located in Sonoma and specializes in crafting small-batches of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from top sites along the Pacific Coast. The wine I tasted was the WALT Rita’s Crown 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. The Sta. Rita Hills is a sub-appellation located on the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that’s making a name for itself with personality-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. I have a feeling that old Miles, the pinotphile from Sideways, would really enjoy this wine. For further information and where you can find this selection, please see my tasting notes below.
WALT Rita’s Crown 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review: WALT Rita’s Crown 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir (SRP $65): This wine is medium garnet in color with inviting aromas and flavors suggestive of sweet black cherries, raspberry and spiced tea with underlying earth tones. The palate is full, generous, and flavorful with a velvety texture that’s balanced by elegant acidity leading to a nice vanilla bean accented finish. Overall, this is a delicious, riper style Pinot Noir that maintains very good balance throughout. It is both a fine solitary sipper and a good match for dishes like seared duck breast and herb-crusted rack of lamb. Region: Sta. Rita Hills, California. (Other info: ABV 14.6%, barrel matured in French oak, approximately 40% new, cork enclosure.) 92 Points. Click here to find this wine
Enjoying a splash off the Chesapeake Bay [Maryland]
About CellarPass TV: #CellarPassTV is an informative weekly wine broadcast in which some of California’s top winemakers, winery owners, and people in the food and wine industry are interviewed by host Sarah Elliman. Their website, CellarPass.com, is a leading destination for online winery reservations that’s well worth checking out if you’re thinking about visiting California wine country. To view this episode of CellarPass TV, click here.
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