McIntyre Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The McIntyre estate vineyard is located in the central section of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Originally planted by the McFarland family in 1973, it boasts some of the Highlands oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. A 1979 Pinot Noir from the vineyard, under the Stony Hill label, is still regarded as one of the finest early varietally-labeled Pinots from the district.
Early bud break and fruit set are one of the advantages of McIntyres highland location. Mid-season leaf pulling and other canopy management techniques help focus the vine's efforts. Harvest on the McIntyre estate typically begins in mid-September and can run to late October. The McIntyre family employs sustainable viticultural practices on the home estate, through the use of biodiverse systems and cover crops.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”