Thursday, July 3, 2014

Arcadian 2007 Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands

Arcadian 1

Arcadian is a winery based in Santa Barbara County with a tasting room in the famous Lompoc Wine Ghetto. While the name of the locale might give you second thoughts, some of the coolest California wineries are based there.

Rather than sinking their money into impressive grounds and winery buildings, they follow the “garagiste” method – selecting grapes from the best vineyards and vinting them in industrial-style buildings. Wineries of the Ghetto do have nice tasting rooms and beautiful wines.

That’s where we picked this bottle up a couple years ago. Virtuoso winemaker Joe Davis poured the wine and downloaded the knowledge during our visit.

When I was informed of a special online wine tasting of Santa Barbara County wines, I hastened to the cellar in search of SBC wines. Although I had bought near a case during my visit, the only one that remained was the Arcadian Sleepy Hollow Pinot. It was in the wine rack reserved for my “treasure” wines.

Arcadian 2I popped it open. In one week I’ll be back in Santa Barbara County and can restock then.

Although Arcadian is Santa Barbara based, grapes are selected from prized vineyards around the state. Arcadian farms 10 acres of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard in the Santa Lucia bench in Monterey County. The grapes were handpicked, subjected to malolactic fermentation (for softness) and foot treaded three to five times a day. The wine was then aged for 27 months in French oak and then bottle aged for 10 months more.

Wow! That’s a lot of bottled love.

I decanted the wine for an hour. The aroma is full of ripened raspberries.

While the online chat was taking place, tweets were blasting back and forth in a hurried way, but sipping the Arcadian slowed things for me. I recalled Joe Davis, when I asked him about using an aerator saying he preferred not to “microwave” his wine. So, thinking of the relaxed time at the tasting room, I swirled and sipped.

On the tongue the Sleepy Hollow starts a bit hot, but then smoothens out nicely. The predominate flavor is sour cherry with undertones of earth and floral highlights. The tannins are very well mannered contributing to a balanced wine.

Arcadian is an elegant wine to be savored without cellphones or ticking clocks. It’s a handcrafted wine with complexity that deserves unhurried enjoyment.

Rating: 5 of 5  Value: 5 of 5 (based on $35 price at tasting room)

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