Rae’s Place WotW Nov. 25th 2019

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Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir 2017 Santa Barbara, California

100% Pinot Noir


On Sale $24.99

92pts Robert Parker!

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Wine of the week.

Our wine of the week for November 25th is Brian Loring’s 2017 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. While I highly recommend his single vineyard Pinots, I think he shines when he’s coaxing the very best out of his appellated wines. Brian has become a master of accentuating the sense of place from each of his offerings. He does this by putting his Pinots through the same barrel regimens and finishing the wines with the same level of alcohol. The resulting differences in the wines are expressions of the vintage, the soils and the vines. We chose the Santa Barbara County wine because it embodies the big style of Pinot that so many are looking for while still showing restraint and finesse. Grab a bottle or two and try for yourself, you’ll be glad you did.


Notes from the region:

Santa Barbara County-

Santa Barbara County is fortunate to enjoy a varied climate and great diversity in their soils. The Santa Maria Valley to the west is coastal with a maritime influence characterized by foggy mornings and sun during the day while areas like Santa Ynez and Happy Canyon are more inland and enjoy a continental climate characterized by warmer days and nights. As a result, Santa Barbara County is positioned to excel at both delicate varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as more robust varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Grenache.

Santa Barbara County has a long growing season, allowing the grapes extended hang time to develop mature flavors and a much-valued balance of sugars and acids.

Santa Barbara County’s soils are just as diverse as its climate – from sandy, silt and clay loams, to patches of limestone. This unique blend of climate and soils creates ideal growing conditions for a range of grape varieties, with Santa Barbara County producing some of the most sought-after (and most expensive) wine grapes in California.


Notes from Loring Wine Company:

The Philosophy

            My philosophy on making wine is that the fruit is EVERYTHING. What happens in the vineyard determines the quality of the wine – I can’t make it better – I can only screw it up! That’s why I’m extremely picky when choosing vineyards to buy grapes from. Not only am I looking for the right soil, micro-climate, and clones, I’m also looking for a grower with the same passion and dedication to producing great wine that I have. In other words, a total Pinot Freak! My part in the vineyard equation is to throw heaping piles of money at the vineyard owners (so that they can limit yields and still make a profit) and then stay out of the way! Since most, if not all of the growers keep some fruit to make their own wine, I tell them to farm my acre(s) the same way they do theirs – since they’ll obviously be doing whatever is necessary to get the best possible fruit. One of the most important decisions made in the vineyard is when to pick. Some people go by the numbers (brix, pH, TA, etc) and some go by taste. Once again, I trust the decision to the vineyard people. The day they pick the fruit for their wine is the day I’m there with a truck to pick mine. Given this approach, the wine that I produce is as much a reflection of the vineyard owner as it is of my winemaking skills. I figure that I’m extending the concept of terroir a bit to include the vineyard owner/manager… but it seems to make sense to me. The added benefit is that I’ll be producing a wide variety of Pinots. It’d be boring if everything I made tasted the same.

Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:

Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir 2017 Santa Barbara, California

Pinot Noir

One of the things we love about Brian Loring’s wines is that they all have the same alcohol (14.3%) and get aged for the same time (10 months in French Oak). The reason he does this is to showcase each wine growing area. We found the 2017 Santa Barbara Pinot Noir to have a mix or bright red fruit and darker, riper fruit. There’s good tannin and acidity but above all else, there’s balance. The fruit is on display as are the three different sites where the wines are grown. If you like big Pinots with good balance, Loring Santa Barbara Pinot Noir is for you.

Pair with grilled meats, roast pork or mushroom and shallot Bolognese.




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I'm a certified specialist of wine and spirits with almost 20 years in the industry. I've educated sales teams, wine buyers and customers on wine profiles, wine regions, varietals, pairings and much more. I'm now working with wholesalers and importers to bring the best wines possible to my customers.