2019 Ryan Stirm Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Region: Santa Lucia Highlands < California
Grapes: Pinot NOir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; sandy loam soil made up of a mix of eolian sand dunes and alluvial deposits; rapes were picked by hand, sorted in the field. At the winery the grapes were de-stemmed into a redwood fermenter. Pumped over once daily, pressed after a 10 day fermentation then aged in old (10 year) barriques for 8 months before racking to stainless a month before bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered with minimal added SO2; 13% ABV 145 cases
Ryan Stirm is one of those winemakers whose talent and passion are evident the instant you taste his wines. Based near the town of Aromas (south of Santa Cruz) Ryan is best known for his mind-blowing Rieslings, but he also makes a handful of other cool wines, like the Pinot featured here. Ryan likes to work with old vines, and to work in the vineyards, where he spends the majority of the time. San Francisco Chronicle named him a 2017 ‘Winemaker to Watch, Ryan is definitely a rising star in the small world of natural wine, and one of the nicest people we know. Exactly the kind of vigneron we want to support.
And his Pinot is totally our jam. But to be clear, this is NOT your daddy's jammy RR Valley Pinot. It's the late bloomer, the wallflower, the surprise hitter. Soulful, thoughtful, restrained, with boatloads of sour cherry and woodsy herbs and a super compelling umami/alpine vibe, this is the Cali Pinot we want to drink forever and ever. Amen.