Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, California
The wine at first has a light ruby color. It has aromas of black cherry/cherry and violets with the characteristic Bien Nacido dried herbs and light pepper spice balanced by the toasty oak spice and vanilla influence of French oak barrel aging. There are flavors of cherry and red berry with dried herbs followed by a light pepper spice. The sweet oak spice and vanilla is nicely balanced by the fruit flavors. The wine is concentrated and elegant with a rich mouthfeel and lingering finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "A terrific Pinot from a winery that's building up a great track record with this bottling from Santa Maria's most famous vineyard. It's their best yet, with near-perfect acid-tannin balance, and gorgeous, opulent flavors. Tremendously rich in raspberry and cherry pie with dusty Indian spices, Provencal herbs and a lovely coat of sweet, smoky oak. So easy to like, and should develop for a good six years."
Dennis Martin shows a master’s touch as he selects lots from distinguished vineyards for Sanctuary wines. He considers Sanctuary a winemaker’s dream project that has been a lifetime in the making. With experience he has gained over decades, it takes him but a moment to size up potential for a Sanctuary wine.
He is a member of a storied group of winemakers that began changing the face of California wine in the 1970s. He graduated from California State University at Fresno with a master’s degree in oenology and food science, then went on to gain more experience as a winemaker. As his experience grew, some of his wines became favorites throughout America. The portfolio under his care continued to expand, and he began crafting special-reserve wines that were known only to a few.
Dennis appreciated the old-world focus of single-vineyard wines and true expressions of the terroir they represented. He also knew which vineyards were special, producing outstanding fruit, vintage after vintage. Given the chance to showcase what he had found over the previous three decades, the decision was easy, and Sanctuary wines came to life.
Working hand in hand with longtime colleague, friend and collaborator Christian LeSommer, who had tended the grapes at Chateau La Tour for more than a dozen years, for the initial offerings of Sanctuary, Martin identified grower partners who shared a special affinity for the land they farmed and the wines that were created from these unique vineyards.
On a mountaintop in Mendocino, Dennis found promise in a Zinfandel that was as distinctive as the Mariah Vineyard perched high above the clouds. From the famed Rutherford dust of Napa came a Cabernet Sauvignon from the historic Usibelli Vineyard, which has been for many years a source of great wines. And along the cool coastal range in Santa Barbara, a Pinot Noir that was born out of a 20-year partnership with the Miller family at Bien Nacido. View all Sanctuary Wines
About Santa Maria ValleyView a map of Santa Maria Valley wineries
Situated near the ocean in the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley appellation runs east to west. Pacific Ocean air funnels in to cool the vineyards, allowing the grapes to evenly ripen and reach their full potential. This unique climate paired with the region's well-drained soils helps create some sought-after grapes.
Notable FactsPinot Noir and Chardonnay are the most planted varieties in the AVA, which covers over 7,000 acres of land. Syrah is gaining more ground as it consistantly produces outstanding wines. Many vineyards are owned by growers and sold to wineries, so seeing a vineyard name on multiple producer's bottles is common. One of the better known vineyards, Bien Nacido, is found on the labels of some of the most prestigious wines of the area.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4 }div>4 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 2
- 4 Stars: 3
- 3 Stars: 2
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 0
7 ratings, 5 with reviewsPeter Bradley - Walnut Creek, CA512/12/2011
Had this last night at a friend's house with Cioppino. Delicious wine, got better as it opened up. Smoky, multi-layered, ripe berry fruit. Can't wait to get more, but now hard to find!37/1/2011foodchik - Dinuba, CA46/10/2011
- Smooth & Supple
- Pair With
Well balanced Pinot noir. Nice fruit up front and a solid finish. Good with grilled pork and bacon sauteed zucchini. Price is reasonable on sale.Linda J Brockriede - Long Branch, NJ36/5/201146/4/2011Somewhat thinner than a good  Napa, but with good fruit and finish. For 24 dollars, a steal, as it will be even better next year.SteveY - Willoughby, OH45/28/2011
- Smooth & Supple
Lovely, elegant Pinot. Very reminiscent of old world burgundy style wine. Extremely smooth, lots of fruit balanced by acid and spice. Not quit a 5 star, but close. Great effort and excellent PQR.susan little - San Francisco, CA55/26/2011Outstanding Pinot Noir from one of my favorite vineyards! Cherry cola, white pepper, and raspberry pie- great price on this highly rated wine.
- Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: