Eric Kent Wine Cellars
The Wine Tour

2014 The Barrel Climber Pinot Noir

2014 The Barrel Climber

Pinot Noir

SONOMA COASTsonoma county

RETAIL: $65.00


Tasting Notes

Within the micro-climates of the Western Sonoma Coast, you’ll find large variations from vineyard to vineyard, even amongst parcels planted next to one another. Soil, exposure, clonal selections and elevation all make their mark on the character of the fruit.

A tiny block from Rayhill Vineyard was originally destined to be part of our Small Town Pinot in 2014. Once harvested and fermented, it became clear the fruit had other ideas. Sampled from barrel early on, the young wine displayed a uniquely earthy/spicy/forest floor quality and simply wasn’t happy sharing its talents with the other Small Town players. Try as we might to blend this lot, the wine just wanted to be on its own.
Utterly explosive on the nose, this beguiling Pinot turns from aromas of bright, spicy raspberry and red cherry to darker black fruits wound with exotic spice, smoke and earth notes. Sweet pipe tobacco, cinnamon and clove carry throughout.

Following right in step with the aromas, the palate adds plenty of fine tannins, more smoky goodness and a surprising twist of black pepper on the end. As we sat around last month sampling this wine on a beautiful Sonoma afternoon, the word we kept coming back to was “ethereal.” More savory and minerally than typical CA Pinot, this is really geeky stuff, so naturally we love it. (If you hadn’t noticed, we’re a bunch of geeks.) We’re sure that many of you will love it too.

Please take note: The 2014 Barrel Climber Pinot is pretty far off the traditional EK path. It’s lighter-bodied and less overtly fruity than many, but its delicacy and nuance have a distinct power all their own. We’re relishing the road less traveled here and are super excited to share it with those of you interested in this style of wine.

We highly recommend cellaring this youngster for a few years to let it further develop. Our patience has been gloriously rewarded so far and we know this wine’s journey has just begun.


Prime drinking: late 2017 through 2021
Graceful ageability: 2022 through 2024


100% Rayhill


100% 828


pH: 3.65  |  TA: 6.0 g/L  |  Alcohol: 13.9%
Bottling: November 24, 2015  |  Release: Fall 2016
Cases Produced: 79

Body Painting Photograph by Mikki Willis

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