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2012 Pinot Noir ~ Santa Lucia Highlands Image
Tasting Notes

2012 Pinot Noir ~ Santa Lucia Highlands

More than any other varietal, Pinot Noir is an expression of terroir.  Terroir 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 varietal 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 2012 SLH is an elegant wine crafted from exceptional fruit.  A complex blend of Pinot Noir clones 777, Pommard and Calera, it epitomizes the voluptuous side of Pinot Noir. Aromas of cherry and brown sugar unfold into dark fruit flavors, a silky texture, and a long, layered 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 2012 growing season was picture-perfect. The spring months were temperate and uneventful, with no significant frost threats and ideal temperatures. Cool nights and overcast mornings followed by breezy afternoons made the summer months perfect for even ripening and good flavor development. Excellent harvest-time conditions allowed us to let the grapes hang until optimal ripeness was achieved.
We picked our delicate Pinot Noir grapes by hand at optimum ripeness. Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermentation bins and allowed to cold soak for 2 – 3 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 3 times a day at the height of fermentation, then held on the skins for 2 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 20 months in 71% new oak comprised entirely of small French cooperage, the wine was bottled unfiltered to preserve fruit aromas and tannin structure.
Varietal Composition
100% Pinot Noir
Doctor's Vineyard
Harvest Date
October 4, 2012
Harvest Brix
Santa Lucia Highlands
Alcohol %
20 months in 100% French oak (71% new)
Cases Produced
Bottling Date
September 5, 2014