Domaine de la Cote is situated in the Santa Rita Hills, not to be mistaken with the Chilean brand Santa Rita which had originally objected to the creation of the Santa Rita Hills AVA or American Viticultural Area name. Located in Santa Barbara County in the Central Valley (again, not to be confused with Chile’s Central Valley), I had guessed the wine wrongly three days ago.
I thought it was from the Rhone and that it was grenache.
I was, however, very happy with my mistake as it conjured up memories of dear friend Gerard Basset. Three years ago, Gerard and I went to the same dinner in Hong Kong. He was the speaker and I was the guest of the wine importer. As we were staying in the same hotel, we shared a taxi to and from the restaurant. Along the way – because Gerard knew I had a house there – I remarked how much I had grown to the charms of the grenache from the south of France, to which Gerard was moved to say “ah, it is the pinot noir of the south”. So it was that dinner on Tuesday, a friend who is particularly knowledgeable about Burgundy brought the bottle. I thought it was from the Rhone and that it was grenache. It turned out to be a very ripe but totally beguiling California pinot noir. Floral, liquorice, very ripe raspberries and cherries. Texture. The fruit like a warm embrace from a forbidden lover. Love it!