OK. It’s true. I am partial to Santa Lucia Highland (SLH) Pinot Noir from Monterey County. To me, the terroir imparts a balanced, slightly-fruit-forward, smokiness (almost tarry?) with a full mouth feel. No astringency. No flintiness. No over-refinement.
For those who are unfamiliar with these wines, look for the following wineries from SLH: August West, Belle Glos, Bernardus, Boekenoogen, Hahn, Hope and Grace, Kori, Ludienne, Mansfield-Dunne, Manzoni, McIntyre, Mer Soleil (owned by Caymus), Morgan, Novy, Paraiso, Pelerin, Pessagno, Pisoni, Poppy, Puma Road, Scheid, Sequana, Siduri, Talbott, Testarossa, Tondre, Tudor and Wrath. La Rochelle uses SLH grapes but the winery is outside the area. Mooney Family Wines in Paso Robles makes a great Pinot Noir exclusively using SHL grapes.