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2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

Yesterday I highlighted a Lucia Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir from 2009, a fairly ripe year. Today I’m offering a look at the same venue from a much cooler year. 2011 challenged grape growers up and down California. The Santa Lucia Highlands came through pretty well—that area seems almost immune to bad weather. However, today’s Pinot Noir exhibits red fruit rather than black due in large part to the cold growing season.

Testarossa makes wine—primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—from nearly 20 different California vineyards. The winery is located in the old Novitiate Winery building, long owned and operated by Jesuits to fund their seminary, on a hilltop in Los Gatos. Testarossa moved to the site in 1997. It’s open for tasting visits daily from 11am to 5pm. There’s also a wine bar there, Wine Bar 107, which stays open later (Wednesday through Sunday only).

The 2011 Testarossa Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir befriends with inviting aromas of caramel, brown and dark spices, red cherry, raspberry and vanilla. Those flavors, particularly the cherry, raspberry and brown spice, carry through on the palate where they’re joined by tart strawberry. The wine starts soft in the mouth but gains backbone steadily for a lengthy, flavorful finish with medium, talc-like tannins. Medium-plus body (as opposed to full) and marked freshness underscore the vintage. Drink now through 2019. Highly Recommended.

2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
full 22-11PinNoirGarysFr 1Rating: Highly Recommended

Drink: now through 2019
Release Date: June 29, 2013

Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $60.00

Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir

Origin: Garys’ Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands
Aging: 11 months French oak, 34% new
Alcohol: 14.2%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not recommended

Temperature: 54º - 58º F

Food Pairings: Roast chicken with buttery spaetzle


Interpreting my wine ratings

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid ads off as personal recommendations or who accept samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.