I was a big fan of the 2003 Pinot Noirs from the Santa Rita Hills, in California's Santa Barbara County, and bought more wines from that appellation in 2003 than ever before. I have been happily rewarded, time and again, by how well these wines have aged. They have held onto their fruit and show the depth, concentration and structure for even more development. Initially, I thought that '03s such as those from the Clos Pepe Vineyard would be good bets to age 10 to 15 years, and I’m still convinced of that.
This time I uncorked two from Clos Pepe. The 2003 Siduri is amazingly rich, layered, deep and elegant. It shows off supple black cherry and blueberry fruit, spice and mineral, and it drank well the entire evening. I liked the Siduri more now than on release, with a 95-point rating, non-blind.
The 2003 Loring offered a fresh, vibrant mix of ripe, zesty blackberry fruit that pushes toward balsamic blackberry then touches on syrupy, yet it maintains that delicate balance between ripe, solid and eccentric. The synthetic cork has held well. I hadn’t intended to age this wine this long because of the closure (synthetics are not good bets for aging more than a few years). But this one held up and served the wine well. I liked the Loring a little less than on release, giving it 88 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind tasting reviews for:
Siduri Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Clos Pepe Vineyard 2003 (93, $52) and Loring Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Clos Pepe Vineyard 2003 (92, $46).