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Jip Jip Rocks Sparkling Shiraz

Pinot Noir,


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Winemaker's Notes

A bountiful deep red, this wine features scents of baked cherries, toasted wood and fresh out of the oven baguette, with hints of cranberry and flinty graphite. On the palate, there is an intensity and creaminess to the fruit, evoking the ripe richness of pie filling. Toasted oak and vanilla add intriguing layers, while grippy tannins create depth and dimension. The finish tapers off with this wine’s lush fruit

John's Notes

More like a medium-bodied, juicy Cab Sauv than a Pinot Noir, Sea Sun 2018 has exciting aromas of lush red and black cherry, blackberry, cranberry, violets, campfire, and a hint of cigar box. The story of the palate is all about 2 headlines – juicy and smooth.  The same red and black fruits as the nose are complemented by black pepper, sweet spice, toasty wood, and wet leaves rounding out to a protracted finish

Nerdy Details

Winemaker:  Wagner Family of Wines, winemaker Charlie Wagner

  • It all began at the dinner table. Charlie Wagner Sr., who co-founded Caymus Vineyards in 1972 with his wife, Lorna, and son, Chuck, would mix wines to find the perfect glass to pair with his meal. No one blended wines back then, so his experiment was pretty radical
  • Charlie Wagner (Chuck’s older son, who is named after his grandfather) now leads and produces Conundrum, Mer Soleil Chardonnays, Sea Sun Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and Red Schooner

Variety: Pinot Noir

Region: Monterey County, Solano County, and Santa Barbara County California


  • Flanked by the Gabilan mountain range to the east and the Santa Lucia Mountains to the west, the Salinas Valley maintains its cool coastal conditions due to the influence of the Monterey Bay. Under these waters lies the deepest submarine gorge on the west coast of the United States, known as the Monterey Canyon. As massive as the Grand Canyon, this steep, twisting phenomenon almost perfectly bisects the seafloor of the Bay and causes a condition called upwelling. Upwelling brings the frigid water of the deep sea to the surface, cooling the marine air that hovers over the Monterey coast
  • Each day, the rising hot air from the Salinas Valley pulls the chilled marine air down its corridor. This cooling down effect allows grapes to ripen more slowly and evenly, resulting in a growing season which can be up to two months longer than other wine growing regions. Winegrowers call this lengthening of the growing season “hang time.” Increased hang time leads to exceptional wines that exhibit intense fruit flavors, deep color extraction, and full varietal expression


  • The majority of our fruit is from Monterey County which provides both a perfect climate and high-quality vineyard land. Ripening slowly, Pinot Noir from this region features fruit pushed to full ripeness and a freshness that comes from being farmed close to the coast
  • A portion of our grapes also come from Solano County which is only a 40-minute drive east of Napa Valley and shares a similar maritime climate. While largely undiscovered, Solano is capable of producing excellent grapes, and they give Sea Sun Pinot Noir added richness and depth
  • The remaining fruit comes from Santa Barbera County, which is the southernmost of the three regions lending roundness to the palate
  • The wine was aged in a combination of new and neutral French oak

Alcohol: 14.4%

Pairs Well With:  Roast duck, beef stroganoff, grilled burgers


Vinformateur:  I found this Pinot Noir to be atypical of the grape variety, but oh so tasty, tasty, and generous.  I certainly wouldn’t have found it in an anonymous (blind) tasting.  It reveals itself with notes of jammy cherries, woody notes, eucalyptus, and sweet spices.  The palate is remarkably smooth, velvety and even slightly oily which creates a nice contrast with a fairly fresh acidity.  Sweet spices as well as well-integrated woody notes dominate the mouth with flavors of very black fruits.  It’s generous, flowing with a nice feeling of volume and amplitude.  Very nice length!!  You will make great pairings with duck, roasted pieces of beef, and lamb dishes.  Claude Lalonde November 2020

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