Presqu’ ile Winery in Santa Maria is producing some of Santa Barbara County’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as revealed in their new releases reviewed here.
When we last visited the winery it was still under construction. However, Matt Murphy and winemaker Dieter Cronje guided us through the construction site and then showed us the wines from their third vintage (2010). Our enthusiasm for the wines is evident in our tasting notes in our report on The Wines of Santa Barbara. Presqu’ile recently sent us their latest releases, from the 2012 vintage, which we review below.
The Murphy Family purchased their 200 acre estate in Santa Maria Valley a few years ago, planted 73 acres to vines, and built one of Santa Barbara County’s most stunning winery. In addition to their own estate fruit, the winery also sources grapes from several other outstanding vineyards in the Central Coast. [See map below.]
The winemaking team at Presqu’ile includes Matt Murphy, Dieter Cronje (who studied enology at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University), and vineyard manager Jim Stolberg.
Presqu’ile 2012 Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley ($35) 92 Stony minerals run through this very attractive, supple Chardonnay. It reveals an alluring purity of fruit on a finely balanced palate, finishing with lingering notes of pure fruit and minerals. Very well done and very well priced.
Presqu’ile 2012 Pinot Noir Presqu’ile Vineyard Santa Maria Valley ($60) 93 Earthy, savory and a touch wild, this barrel selection from the estate vineyard offers ripe dark cherry with notes of baking spice. A delicious wine that still a bit brash and youthful. Matured 17 months in French oak, 45% new.
Presqu’ile 2012 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley ($42) 92 Not the most expensive of Presqu’ile’s Pinot Noirs, but this is one of our favorites to drink right now. It offers spicy, dark cherry and plum with a note of underbrush. The palate is broad with a silky feel and fills the mouth with delicious, lush fruit. It spends 17 months in French oak, 25% new.
Presqu’ile 2012 Pinot Noir Steiner Creek Vineyard San Luis Obispo ($48) 91 The Steiner Creek Pinot Noir is ripe with a red cherry compote character. Attractive spice and loam notes also show in this easy to drink, food friendly wine. It sees 17 months in oak, 15% new. The Steiner Creek Vineyard is located on the Phelan Ranch three miles north of Cambria.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler