Our superb wine-growing region is
gaining a lot of attention from the media, and we’re
quite thrilled that our vineyard and our wines are sometimes
profiled. You can read a few excepts below.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate
#208 August 2013
2010 Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard
Vivid ruby. Deep aromas of black raspberry, violet, smoky Indian spices and licorice. Then sappy, chewy and lush in the mouth, with juicy dark berry flavors complicated by candied flowers and star anise. Finishes with silky, fine-grained tannins and superb spicy length. 92 Points
Antonio Galloni presents Vinous
I found a lot to like in Peter Cargasacchi's wines this year. These two Pionots are loaded with personality and pedigree.
2010 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard
- 94 points
The 2010 Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard is absolutely striking in this vintage. An exotic melange of dark red fruit, pomegranate and wild and savory herbs all burst from the glass. The wilder, gamier notes that are typical of this site emerge over time, but they only add complexity. This rich, full-bodied Pinot is firing on all cylinders. There is no shortage of personality or character here.
2011 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard - 92 points
Sweet red berries, crushed flowers, licorice and spices are all woven together in the 2011 Pinot Noir Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard. A refined, polished Pinot, the 2011 impresses for its delicate personality and overall balance. Sweet floral notes reappear on the finish.
© 2013 All Grapes Media, LLC
Peter on Video
Check out this video on Vine Stories where Peter talks about his background, his philosophy and the Sta. Rita Hills.
On the Rise
KCET named “Five Santa Barbara Pinot Noir Stars on the Rise” recently. Our own Cargasacchi Cargasacchi Vineyard release earned one of those spots: “Most of the grapes from this Santa Rita Hills vineyard go to other top local winemakers at Brewer-Clifton, Ken Brown, Babcock and Hitching Post, but Peter Cargasacchi reserves just enough to bottle some fantastic pinot noir himself. The 2009 Pinot Noir is a complex, fruit-forward wine, and might be too rich for some pinot lovers, but we were into it, and can't wait to open a bottle with some grilled meats.”
By Josh Raynolds
This was my first time to taste with Peter Cargasacchi,
whose family vineyard at the western end of the Sta.
Rita Hills supplies fruit to Bonaccorsi and Brewer-Clifton,
among others. In fact, wines made from that fruit have
been some of the best I've tasted from those notable
producers. This September I had the chance to spend
a morning driving and walking through his vineyard
and surrounding sites before tasting with him in his
tiny facility in Lompoc. To call Cargasacchi a wealth
of knowledge on the Sta. Rita Hills is a gross understatement
as he, along with Wes Hagen (Clos Pepe) were responsible
for creating the petition that led to the creation
of the AVA in 1998. That, plus the fact that his family
has been farming in the area for over a century. Cargasacchi
is a thoughtful and soft-spoken guy but getting him
going on the subject of terroir can be an entertaining
exercise as he isn't short on opinions. Chief among
his views is that "too many flawed wines, especially
from Europe, have been able to get away with being
screwed up by hiding behind the smokescreen of terroir.
It's been a way to make excuses for bad viticulture
and bad cellar practices. Of course, where a vine grows
and what type of soil it's planted on and its exposure
matter, a lot, but good farming and getting proper
ripeness is the real essence of making good wine," he
told me. "You can have the most perfect spot for
a vine on earth but if you don't take care of it, you
can forget about making decent wine."
2009 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard
Sta. Rita Hills
Vivid red. Sexy, highly
perfumed aromas of red fruit preserves, potpourri and
seamless, with very good depth to its raspberry and
cherry-cola flavors. Primary but already delicious,
finishing with excellent lift and length. Give this
youthful wine at least another couple years of bottle
age or decant it. 90(+?)
2009 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard
Santa Barbara County
Bright red. Red and dark berries on the fragrant
nose and in the mouth, with musky herb and anise notes
adding complexity. Velvety and open-knit, with sappy
raspberry and blackberry flavors braced by juicy acidity.
Closes on a refreshingly spicy note, with impressive
clarity, cut and persistence. 90
2008 Brewer Clifton Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Sta. Rita
Deep red. Ripe cherry and candied plum on the
pungent, spice-accented nose. Deeply pitched and chewy
on entry, then livelier in the mid-palate, with very
good intensity to its sappy cherry and dark berry flavors.
This smooth, velvety pinot finishes with lingering
licorice and bitter cherry flavors and gripping tannins.
I'd let this wine rest a bit more or decant it for
a couple of hours. 90(+?)
2007 Siduri Wines Pinot Noir
Cargasacchi Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills
Seductive aromas of black raspberry, cherry compote,
sassafras and candied flowers. Deeply
pitched, spice-accented cherry and dark berry flavors
show very good energy and gain sweetness with air.
Finishes long and spicy, with echoes of flowers and
musky herbs. This wine appears to be entering its drinking
2007 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi-Jalama
Vineyard Santa Barbara County
Full red. A smoke-accented
bouquet displays scents of black raspberry, cola and
a hint of cherry pit. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors
gain energy with air and pick up a brighter raspberry
quality. Finishes with gently gripping tannins and
a persistent note of spicy dark berries. In a rich
style but vibrant as well. 89
2009 Cargasacchi Pinot
Grigio Invincible Sun Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard
Santa Barbara County
(late-harvested, with no botrytis;
14.5 degrees Brix residual sugar and 16.3% alcohol):
High-pitched, spice-accented aromas of pit fruits,
melon and honey, with a suave floral overtone. Broad,
sappy and seamless, with intense peach and ginger flavors
and slow-building smokiness. A bright note of citrus
pith adds lift and cut to the sweet, strikingly persistent
finish. Very energetic for a late-harvest wine; this
would be great with blue cheeses or a terrine of foie
eRobertParker.com, August 2011
The 2008 Pinot Noir Cargasacchi
Vineyard is a gorgeous wine full of character and personality.
Medium in body, it flows from the glass with sweet
red fruit intermingled with sweet scents of tobacco,
autumn leaves, spices and licorice. The aromatics aren’t
quite as clean as they could be; still I am struck
by the sheer complexity of the wine. The Cargasacchi
was made from the Dijon 115 clone and aged in French
oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2016. 91 points
The 2009 Pinot Noir Cargasacchi-Jalama
Vineyard comes across as rich in its textured, open
fruit and inviting personality. It is quite a bit richer
than the 2008 Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot tasted alongside
it. This doesn’t look to be a long-term wine
but it is unquestionably attractive, and should drink
well for a handful of years. Anticipated maturity:
2011-2015. 91 points
Wine Enthusiast, July 2011
Cargasacchi 2008 Cargasacchi Vineyard
Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)
91 points. Lots of
herbs and earthy notes in this dry Pinot Noir. Lots of
too, giving a slightly sour candy tang to the cherries.
A bit tough now, but should blossom in 5–6 years. —S.H.
Cargasacchi 2009 Jalama Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara
91 points. Available
in half bottles, this
Pinot Noir is a block and barrel selection
from the Cargasacchi Jalama Vineyard. It’s elegant
and classy, with polished red berry and spice flavors.
Drink now. —S.H.
California's late grape harvest of
2010: What it could mean
Los Angeles Times
“This is a normal cyclical pattern for La Niña," says
Peter Cargasacchi of Cargasacchi Winery in the Santa
Rita Hills. "If you were aware of that, you could
incorporate farming practices based on the historical
patterns of the weather." For Cargasacchi, that
meant leaving a cover crop between vine rows to suck
up excess winter rainwater, then deficit irrigation
to stimulate the vines into ripening — "to
give them a sense of urgency," he says.” Read
the entire article here.
2006 Cargasacchi Vineyard
Pinot Noir - 94 points
A very "Burgundian" Pinot Noir in the mushroom,
pine needle and herb scents that accompany the deeper
fruit flavors of black cherries and red currants, accented
with savory clove spice. Structurally, the wine shows
a brilliant architecture of firm tannins and crisp acids,
with a deft touch of oak. Really a treat to drink, and
should evolve for many years.
Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast
Santa Barbara Edge
Wine Spectator featured our
vineyards in an article on grapegrowers at the frontier
of California vineyard expansion that help define a
"The Cargasacchi Vineyard
Pinot Noirs have been consistently very good to outstanding.
The site usually yields a fairly hefty style of Pinot,
with excellent depth to berry, blueberry, spice and
Read the complete article here.
One Last Summer Wine Tour...
Nutz toured the Cargasacchi vineyards with Peter
- read the full article here.
of Pinot Noir
Peter Cargasacchi, the namesake
for this brand, is a hardworking farmer, winegrower,
winemaker, and cattle wrangler. Somehow, in the midst
of being a gentleman farmer, he manages to create sublime
pinot noirs from his estate vineyard. Though this brand
is relatively young, it has already produced dazzling
pinot noir and, from the looks of it, these wines will
only continue to get better. Peter knows his vineyards
inside and out, so his wines possess true varietal character
and are as lovely as they are austere.
at the Edge
Patrick Comiskeym in the Wine
Review Online, made some interesting comparisons
of wines from Cargasacchi vineyard:
The Santa Rita Hills, and Cargasacchi
in particular, represent an interesting paradox in trying
to direct a clear eye to California Pinot Noir at this
moment in time. Clonal developments--technology, in
short--have made formerly untenable places viable for
the grape, which in turn has led to unexpected results
and vastly different wine styles. But at the end of
the day the winemaker decides when to pick when and
what to make of the raw material that nature has provided.
He decides whether Pinot will taste like a thing we
know, or morph into something we no longer recognize.
Read the full article here.
Barbara: Pinot Noir comes on strong in Santa Rita Hills
and Santa Maria Valley
James Laube, in Wine Spectator,
discussed how Sta. Rita Hills had benefited from new
clones, new vineyard methods and lessons learned from
mistakes made in Santa Maria Valley:
"When Cargasacchi planted
the first 12 acres of his vineyard, in 1998, it looked
as if he had taken the ultimate risk - planting grapes
in a damp, windy area famous for its bone-chilling proximity
to the churning Pacific Ocean a few miles to the west.
Now he looks less like a gambler and more like a visionary
sitting on a gold mine of a vineyard."
Read the full article here.
Select Tasting of California Pinot Noirs:
2005 Cargasacchi Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Beautifully lifted and light,
there's a gentleness to this Pinot with its scents of
wild strawberry and plums. Nicely balanced with a bit
of complexity and an earthy bottom note that grounds
the wine and gives it length. One of the prettier wines
on the table.
Great Santa Barbara Vineyards to Watch
In 1998, in one of the coldest corners in the Santa
Barbara region, Peter Cargasacchi planted a 16-acre
Pinot Noir vineyard on his family's bean farm on the
far western edge of Santa Rita Hills. On a recent afternoon,
he pointed out the ancient calcareous seabed subsoils
visible as white streaks in the surrounding hillsides
under loamy clay topsoils and then launched into a monologue
on vineyard soils. It's his favorite topic, and he shares
his enthusiasm in a rat-a-tat recitation of facts about
the full article here
Rita Hills in Three Days…
Peter’s passion for his vineyard was obvious
the minute we got out of the truck and started walking
up the rows.
Read the full report.