Wine Review – 2007 Samsara Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, California

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Winery: Samsara

Bottling: 2007 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

Region: California

Sub-Region: Santa Barbara, Central Coast of California

Estimated Retail Price: $30

Purchase Details: Purchased by the bottle for approximately $70 on the menu at Alan Wong’s Restaurant on Oahu.

Tasting Notes: Unlike their bevy of single vineyard syrahs and pinots, this Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is a blend of grapes from different vineyard sources in the area.

In the mouth, I tasted a nice combination of red fruits as well as dark fruits.  The wine had a nice red cherry sweetness on the finish and had a plump, fleshy mid-palate framed by dark fruits.  This wine was masculine and bold in flavor, but still feminine and caressing in texture and mouth feel.

Lots of bass notes and spice added to the complexity of this pinot.  This was a lot of wine for the price if you were looking at it from a retail perspective.  At this price point, I like this pinot a lot.  The wine is layered and complex enough to warrant analysis and thought, but also retains enough of a gulpability factor to just throw it back if you wanted to.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: Although the wine packed some punch, there was also a nice amount of acidity that allowed it to pair well with my fish dish of ginger crusted onaga.  I wouldn’t be too shy pairing this alongside a nice piece of filet mignon either.

Winery & Other Background Information: The husband and wife team of Chad and Mary Melville specialize in making single vineyard pinot noirs and syrahs from prime central coast vineyards, including one from their family’s estate, Melville Vineyard.

The Melville’s consider themselves winegrowers, not winemakers, and hold a firm belief that good wine is made in the vineyard and that they are merely stewards in the entire process of vine to wine.  I’m liking this philosophy and look forward to tasting more of their pinot noirs in the future.  For you Cal-Rhone fanatics, they also really do an excellent job with their single vineyard syrahs, so check them out as well.

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