2002 Sea Smoke Estate Ten Pinot - 93 pts!
Sea Smoke Cellars is a Californian winery in Santa Barbara County that focuses on premium Pinot Noir. The estate was established in 1999 by Bob Davids in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Its production is relatively small and mostly distributed through its mailing list. The name of the winery was inspired by the cooling marine fog that is carried into the vineyards along the Santa Ynez River.
All the grapes used in Sea Smoke wines come from the estate vineyard. The property has 40 hectares (98 acres) of vines planted with 10 different Pinot Noir clones as well as 4ha (10 acres) of Chardonnay. The vines are in transitional soils, with elevations between 300-700ft (90-210m) above sea level, which makes for varied growing conditions. Sea Smoke has used biodynamic farming practices since the 2013 vintage.
Sea Smoke makes three Pinot Noir wines: Botella, Southing and Ten, which is a blend of all 10 Pinot Noir clones. A change of winemaker before the 2009 vintage shifted the wine style of the Pinot Noir, with subsequent vintages undergoing less extraction and seeing less new oak. In the mid-2000s Sea Smoke introduced the Gratis Chardonnay exclusively as a reward for mailing list members. It was so well received that a second Chardonnay was introduced and added to the regular catolog of available wines.
Sea Smoke rounds out its collection with a sparkling Pinot Noir made in the traditional method as a Blanc de Noirs.