2016 Loring Pinot Noir 'Clos Pepe Vineyard'
Sta. Rita Hills, California
The famous Clos Pepe Vineyard is in the northern valley of the Sta. Rita Hills. This 28-acre vineyard lies in the heart of the appellation on Hwy 246. Small quantities of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are produced and grapes are sold to several producers. The owners are "vigneron" Stephen Pepe and his spouse Catherine. Planted in sandy soils, the fruit is very deep, well structured, and shows a lot of white pepper and baking spice character.
Made from clones 115 and 777, this 100% Pinot Noir sees 10 months in 15% new French oak. 500 cases produced.
92 points, Jeb Dunnuck. "The 2016 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard from Loring sports a translucent ruby color to go with classic Sta. Rita Hills spice-box, dried earth and dried flower-like aromas and flavors. With a beautiful core of red and black fruits, medium-bodied richness, integrated acidity and a great finish, it's another terrific wine from this estate."
91 points, Wine Spectator. "Minerally and fresh-tasting, with good cut to the cherry, plum and minerally flavors that feature savory richness. Shows pure and lively spiciness on the finish, delivering hints of dark chocolate."
91 points, Wine Advocate. "Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard is intensely scented of violets, licorice and black pepper over a core of cherry and blueberry preserves, plus a waft of Chinese five spice. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with baked red and blue fruits, supported by big, soft tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy."