2019 Deovlet Pinot Noir, La Encantada Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara – WA95+

2019 Deovlet Pinot Noir, La Encantada Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara – WA95+



While visiting family in Kona, Hawaii, the memorable flavor of single-plantation coffee opened Ryan Deovlet’s mind to a whole new universe. In 2003, bitten by the “ag-bug,” he discovered the Willing Workers on Organic Farms program which allowed him to learn and work across vineyards in Australia and New Zealand. During that time he bounced around the Hunter and Yarra Valleys  before working the 2004 harvest in Mornington Peninsula at Turramurra Estate. From there, travels swept him to Central Otago and Hawkes Bay to prune alongside vineyard crews.

Upon returning to California in 2005, he spent 2 years  with Central Coast legend Stephen Dooley, owner/winemaker of Stephen Ross Wine Cellars.  Motivated to stretch his education, get exposed to a wide variety of winemaking styles, and work with new vineyard sources, Ryan became assistant winemaker at Red Car Wine Company in 2007.  While there, he soaked up invaluable tips from consulting winemaker David Ramey, highly renowned winegrower Ulises Valdez, and sought-after soil scientist Dr. Daniel Roberts.

More excited than ever to dive deep into the world of wine, Ryan trekked to Vina Cobos in Mendoza, Argentina to work the 2008 harvest under the tutelage of renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs. Inspired, he returned to California in the spring of 2008 and sat in front of Richard Sanford sharing his desire to source from one of the pioneers of California Pinot Noir—and with that, in the 2008 vintage Deovlet Wines was born with two tons (~100 cases) of Pinot Noir from the La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills AVA.

La Encantada Vineyard was planted by Santa Rita Hills AVA pioneer Richard Sanford in 2000 on loamy soils with some blocks richer in clay, and others with lighter sand and shale mixed throughout.  The vineyard is roughly 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean on the southside of the AVA along side Santa Rosa Road with mainly north and northwest facing blocks at 200 to 700 feet above sea level.  Clones: Pommard, 667, 777.

“Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2019 Pinot Noir la Encantada Vineyard has intense, alluring aromas of red cherry, pomegranate and blueberry with slowly emerging nuances of crème de violette, mint, cocoa and hints of balsamic. The medium-bodied palate has a powerful core of dark, floral fruit supported by grainy tannins, energetic acidity, and it has a long, youthfully coiled finish. Offer it another 2-3 years in bottle to unwind. 2024-2034.” – 95+ points, Wine Advocate (Erin Brooks, December 2022)

My Tasting Notes – Intensely alluring aromas are right!  But for me the fruit was more black cherry and almost “smoldering” with a wisp of “campfire”.  Agreement on the balsamic suggestion and also the floral notes.  Add a little “5 Spice”.  This a medium-bodied Pinot, but deft on its feet.  Extremely impressive for its enhanced expressions which are not built on over ripeness as the alcohol is only 13.9%.  Already showing its bloom, but really still a “baby” as indicated by its fine acid balance, and tight, slightly grainy underlying tannin.