DE LA COTE
SANTA RITA HILLS - USA
“Breathtakingly delicious and captivating…” - Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
“This new project from Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr is, even in its first vintage, a hallmark of California’s achievements with this grape. Layer upon layer unfold: intense white-stone minerality, a subtle peppercorn-like spice, bergamot, wintergreen, plum and watermelon. Astonishing energy in this rare bottling.” - Jon Bonne, Top 100 Wines
“Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr made some of the most epic, dramatically beautiful Pinots I have ever tasted in the Sta. Rita Hills, or anywhere for that matter. The wines are rich, potent and full of character. As always, the Pinots are done with a healthy amount of whole clusters. The 2018s were racked into tank before harvest 2019 and bottled in January and February of this year. I was utterly blown away by the 2018s, and you will be too.” - Antonio Galloni
Domaine de la Côte has, in a very brief period, established itself as one of California’s top proponents of Pinot Noir. It is based on six vineyards - Pinot Noir only - on the western edge of the Santa Rita Hills. Planted at extremely high vine densities (one site is as high as 17,000 vines/ha), each vineyard has a unique geology, aspect, elevation, and microclimate. The complexity and diversity of these sites, even though they are in close proximity, is unique in California. From these vineyards the aim is to produce a distinct expression of terroir.
The Domaine farms its vineyards organically and makes its wines with the philosophy of ‘add nothing; take nothing away.’ Fruit is picked early before any overtly ripe character can mask the personality of each vineyard, and the resulting wines naturally have a good level of acidity and a moderate level of alcohol - in most cases around 12.5%. The wines, which really are quite special, embody the philosophy of owners Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr, which centres around freshness, vitality and balance. In Jancis Robinson MW’s words, “these are wines that eschew the heavy-handed, overripe approach of so many Californian producers. They are beautifully elegant, always refreshing and effortlessly drinkable.”
In Raj and Sashi’s own words: “Domaine de la Côte is a collection of five vineyards in the far western reaches of the Sta. Rita Hills, seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here in Santa Barbara County, California, our vineyards negotiate a landscape narrated by faults and folds. In this moment of immense geologic upheaval, in a place remarkable for its rhythmic coalescence of wind, fog and sun, Domaine de la Côte presents a singular opportunity for engaging with Pinot Noir. We planted our vineyards in 2007, intent on comprehensively investigating the diversity of a south-facing hillside of marine sedimentary soils. To do so, we utilized California’s heritage selections of Pinot Noir, planted with extraordinary density, and today we farm in the service of posterity and ecological stewardship.When making wine we equally consult memory and intuition. We make use of the whole grape cluster – its berries and stems – and ferment without additives or temperature control. We raise our wine in barrels assembled by a single cooper. The winery is a simple and collaborative space in which we can compose wines with clarity, detail, and, above all, authenticity.”
Domaine de la Cote ‘Bloom’s Field' Pinot Noir 2018
98 points, Antonio Galloni -"The 2018 Pinot Noir Bloom's Field explodes from the glass with a heady concoction of dark red fruit, herbs, licorice, rose petal and orange peel. Aromatically intense and finely cut, the Bloom's Field is an unforgettable wine. Everything is so vivid, so nuanced. Beams of acid and saline minerality wrap around the sculpted finish. The 2018 Bloom's Field is an epic Pinot that redefines what the Sta. Rita Hills is all about. Don't miss it."
Domaine de la Cote ‘La Cote' Pinot Noir 2018
96+ points, Antonio Galloni -"The 2018 Pinot Noir La Côte is a dark, somber wine. Huge swaths of tannin wrap around a core of blue and purplish fruit. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2018 is not at all forthcoming. This is an especially brooding, potent style. Time in the glass brings out hints of lavender, sage and dried herbs, but the 2018 is in no mood of showing all its cards right now."
Domaine de la Cote 'Pure' Pinot Noir 2019
Wine Advocate -“The Pinot Noir Pure is a blend from multiple vineyards at the domaine, made in an infusion style without sulfur, additives, punchdowns or pumpovers. It fermented semi-carbonic in a closed bin, then was drained, pressed and put into big barrels. It's blended and bottled a year earlier than the other Pinots from Domaine de la Côte for an early drinking style. Sashi Moorman says, "Our other wines are whole bunches, but the Pure is always destemmed. We made the first one by mistake in 2016, because we had extra grapes from all the vineyards that we kept dumping into one tank. It's a great way to look at the fruit in its unmasked and unadulterated state. The wine isn't as serious as the other wines, but it's the most 'transparent' wine from the estate because of the way it's produced. Raj and I also know that doing this to other grapes, often times you end up with a not very interesting wine. So, this fruit, even with zero manipulation, the wine is quite impressive.”