Alta Maria Vineyards' 2010 Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley This rich, ruby-colored pinot noir is full of dark cherry and has perfect balance and a long finish. I enjoyed it alone but this beauty would pair with variety of meats ranging from steak to grilled salmon and anything in between.
The pinot is a blend of clones 777, 2A, Pommard, 115 and Martini sourced from premium vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley. It was aged in 33 percent new French oak for 17 months.
This wine has earned several top scores since its release, including being named one of the Top 50 Pinot Noirs in "America's Best Restaurants," in the April 2013 Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Winemakers James Ontiveros and Paul Wilkins, friends since their days at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, team to produce Alta Maria, and their separate labels are Native 9 and Autonom, respectively. All three are available for tasting and purchase at the tasting room, open daily in Los Olivos.
Production: 4,200 cases. Retail: $28. www.altamaria.com