14% | USA

This Pinot Noir is dark ruby in colour and is very spice-driven on the nose with fresh cherry, wild strawberry, spice cake that are complemented by white pepper and rose....
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This Pinot Noir is dark ruby in colour and is very spice-driven on the nose with fresh cherry, wild strawberry, spice cake that are complemented by white pepper and rose. The palate delivers spice and savoury, dark fruits, espresso, and leather with balanced acid and suave tannin structure, which carries the lovely finish. The wine was aged in French Oak barrels (25% new oak) for 11 months where it gained complexity and elegance.

The grapes come exclusively from the two estate vineyards in the cool-climate area of Sta. Rita Hills AVA: the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard and the La Rinconada Vineyard. The unusual east-west orientation of the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains allows the cooling maritime breezes from the Pacific Ocean- just seven miles away- to flow over the vineyards, bringing with them cooling morning fog. Afternoon breezes dry out any residual moisture and reduce disease pressure. Temperatures rarely exceed 27°C, which suits the delicate Pinot Noir vines. The vineyard is split into 52 blocks and each block has an individual soil composition. Broadly, the marine-based soil in the ‘Sanford & Benedict Vineyard’ is a mixture of clay, loam, fractured shale and chert (a rocky soil), which forces the vine’s roots to dig deep for nutrients and hydration. The result is naturally low yields of small-berried, concentrated fruit delivering excellent minerality and acidity. The ‘La Rinconada Vineyard’ is made up of sandy, gravelly soil which imparts precise minerality to the wine. There are 33 different Pinot Noir clones planted across the vineyard and 40% of the vines are from the original 1972 ungrafted plantings.

Sanford Winery is a renowned pioneer of cool-climate wine from the Sta. Rita Hills, north of Santa Barbera. The legendary Sanford & Benedict vineyard was planted in 1971 by Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict, and from the very first vintages, they produced highly acclaimed wines of great complexity. In 1980, the team of Michael Benedict and Richard Sanford would go their separate ways. Richard Sanford continued to make the wines, and subsequently planted the La Rinconada vineyard adjacent to the original vineyard. In 2002, the Terlato family became partners, by 2007 they bought the entire vineyard and have been making exceptional wines from these two sustainably cultivated Cru vineyards ever since.

A blend of vineyards: 44% from the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard and 56% from La Rinconada. Each block was vinified separately, to reflect the personality of the vineyard. The wine went through 100% malolactic conversion and was matured for 11 months in French oak, of which 25% was new.

93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
"Aromas of dried cranberry, hibiscus, rooibos tea, mace and grated ginger combine on the nose of this appellation blend. Intense flavors of elderflower and violet make for an elegantly vibrant palate, which is framed by intense black-raspberry fruit. Editors’ Choice"

91 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills comes from the La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict vineyards and aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. Pale to medium ruby-purple, it has a nose of macerated strawberry, red licorice, dried red cherry, cranberry, warm blackberries and touches of tar, loamy earth, potpourri and dried florals. Light to medium-bodied, it offers good intensity in the mouth with juicy acidity and soft, grainy tannins, finishing with earthy notes. 7,860 cases produced."

Key Facts

Pinot Noir

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