Ep 050 – Central Coast Pinot Noir 1

Central Coast is a huge wine region spanning 250 miles down the coast from southern San Francisco to the tip of Santa Barbara County. Central Coast is a series of valleys running east to west leaving it open to coastal fog and afternoon breeze. Normally I hear California and visions of hot weather and big wines come to mind, but Central Coast’s cool climate gives us wines reminiscent of Old World Burgundy. With high acid and refined fruit, Central Coast Pinot Noir is the ultimate expression of terrior and the winemaker’s artistry.


This week’s episode dives into Central Coast with it’s unique geography, chilly climate and beautiful Pinot Noir.


Stone Corral Vineyards in Eden Valley. Picture from Stephen Ross


Wine Recommendations




La Crema Pinot Noir 2014 – priced around $23. This wine comes to us from Monterey Valley which is 90 miles long and runs south between Santa Lucia and Gabilan Mountains. This area has one of the longest growing season in California. Low rainfall combined with strong winds produce lower yields that ripen slowly providing the grapes time to develop good amount of acidity and those deep fruity flavors. This wine has a medium intense nose of black cherry and dried herbs. It’s dry with light, dusty tannins, medium plus acidity and flavors of cherry, orange rind and red plum. It’s light and fruity with an acidic bite but not too tart. It’s a great food wine and the flavors are there but not overpowering.








Stephen Ross Eden Valley Pinot Noir 2011 – priced around $32. Edna Valley is located in the South Central Coast of California a few miles southeast of the town of San Luis Obispo. With it’s location just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, it’s California’s coolest wine growing area – the average summer high is 72F. Rich volcanic and chalk soil and climate gives the wine in this area its complex flavors and balanced acidity. All of the fruit for this wine came from their estate property, Stone Corral Vineyard. This is a deeply colored, ruby-red wine with a wonderful fruity nose with cherry and raisin notes. It has very smooth tannins with a great fresh finish.








We received this wine as a free sample.

Nagy Pinot Noir 2012 – priced around $48. This wine hails from Santa Maria Valley AVA which falls in Santa Barbara county. This wine is from the Garey Ranch Vineyard. Named for William Garey who grew citrus in this area in the 1800s. This area’s low nutrient sandy loam soil keeps the vines well drained and its yields low. The funnel-shaped valley opens west to the Pacific Ocean providing dense morning fog and chilly afternoon wind. Winemaker Clarissa Nagy makes a beautiful Pinot Noir with aromas of cherry, leather, dirt and a hint of smoke. Its medium-high acidity, low tannins, and overall medium body provides a well balance wine with flavors of cherry, prune, dried herbs, and a slightly savory finish. Well worth the price tag.




If you are near the Twin Cities area on February 18th 2017 , Join us for the Winter Wine Fest at the DoubleTree in Bloomington. Tickets are $40 and include wine tastings, food tastings and live jazz entertainment. You can buy tickets here. We hope to see you there!





About Betty Notto

Betty Notto is a wine lover based in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. She is the co-creator and co-host of Weekly Wine Show Podcast. Find her out in the interwebs via Twitter @weeklywineshow @bettynotto

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