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2011 Pinot Noir ~ Santa Lucia Highlands
Tasting Notes

2011 Pinot Noir ~ Santa Lucia Highlands

More than any other variety, Pinot Noir is an expression of terroirTerroir is a word bandied about in the wine world meaning the unique characteristics of a particular locale—essentially the taste of the place.  And no other variety reflects its sense of place more than the temperamental Pinot Noir grape.  At Scheid Vineyards, we craft up to seven different bottled Pinots per vintage and our Pinot portfolio wouldn’t be complete without an SLH offering.  Pinots from Santa Lucia Highlands lean towards a darker and denser style than their Burgundian cousins.  They tend to have a little bit of tannin, a lot of dark fruit, and great leather and smoke on the nose.  Our 2011 SLH is an elegant wine crafted from exceptional fruit.  Intense and complex, this Pinot Noir is rich with black fruits, cherry and anise with a hint of cola.  Layers of flavor subtly unfold with a silky, elegant texture and a lingering dark fruit finish. 

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Marine influenced mornings and afternoon breezes coming off Monterey Bay are the foundation for Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot. Doctor’s Vineyard is planted on the southeast facing terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range, overlooking the Salinas River Valley. The ancient, glacial alluvial soils pair with the morning fog and afternoon winds to create a true Region I climate, perfect for the Burgundian Pinot Noir grape. The loose, nutrient-depleted foundation makes vines struggle to produce wonderfully complex fruit flavors with vibrant acidity. The 2011 growing season was cooler than normal, resulting in overall yields that were down about 20% - 30% from average. The lower yields meant we produced fewer cases of stellar wine with optimal acid levels, silky tannins and deep, delicious, concentrated flavors.
We picked our delicate Pinot Noir grapes by hand at optimum ripeness in the cool, early morning hours. Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermentation bins and allowed to cold soak for three days. Cold soaks are used to help stabilize color and enhance flavor. The juice was then fermented in small lots in open top fermenters and punched down three times a day at the height of fermentation, then held on the skins for two weeks before pressing. The must was drained, pressed to stainless steel tanks and, after settling the heavy solids, the juice was racked clean to barrels for secondary fermentation and aging. Aged for 18 months in 71% new oak barrels comprised entirely of small French cooperage, the wine was bottled unfiltered to preserve the lifted fruit aromas and silky tannin structure.
Varietal Composition
100% Pinot Noir
Doctor's Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 23 - October 14, 2011
Harvest Brix
Santa Lucia Highlands
Alcohol %
18 months in 100% French oak barrels, 71% new
Cases Produced
Bottling Date
June 16, 2013