Kingston’s vineyard in the Casablanca Valley was planted in 2012 to Calera and Pommard clones of Pinot Noir brought in from UC Davis. When I visited in March 2018, winemaker Amael Orrego told me, “I have high hopes for Calera. When you think of the Central Coast of California, we have a lot of similarities.” Both areas are washed by the cold Humboldt Current, and enjoy marine influences that slow ripening. At that moment, right before harvest, the 2018 vintage was looking cold, but, he said, “I like the flavors and complexity of Pinot in a cold year.”
When I first tasted this 2017 Tobiano at the winery — a vintage that was generally warmer in Chile — it read as tight and green. Six months later the wine seems to have relaxed, with firm red fruit notes and a polished texture. Flavors of cranberry, strawberry, and red currant complement a fragrance of rose hips and wild thyme. Overall, it’s a bright-fruited, cleansing wine to serve with lean meats and young cheeses.
2017 Kingston Pinot Noir Tobiano Casablanca Valley
12.5% abv | $24 (sample) Imported by Kingston Family Vineyards