Riverbench Estate Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
Riverbench Estate Pinot Noir 2018  Front LabelRiverbench Estate Pinot Noir 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Riverbench Estate Pinot Noir 2018

  • V92
750ML / 13.8% ABV
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  • WS90
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750ML / 13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Pinot Noir is their flagship; a way to really showcase Riverbench Vineyard. Each year, they carefully select the clones and barrel lots that will make up this bottling so that it combines the best qualities of all different parts of the property. After nine months in barrel to develop amazing complexity and deliciousness, the wine is fresh and bright, and very typical for the Santa Maria Valley. The palate boasts juicy red fruit flavors that meld nicely with a hint of our signature Riverbench smoke and clove.

Try it with duck breast or anything that involves mushrooms.

Critical Acclaim

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V 92
The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate Grown is redolent of cedar, crushed autumn leaves, dried rose petals and star anise, all of which give it striking aromatic nuance. There is a feeling of ethereal weightlessness to the 2018 that is quite appealing. Lively acids bring out the brighter side of the sweet red cherry fruit. Beautifully lifted and perfumed in the glass, the 2018 is a winner.
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Riverbench, California
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Situated on the southeastern edge of the Santa Maria Valley, the northernmost AVA in Santa Barbara County, the vineyard originally consisted of 220 acres of Chardonnay and 55 acres of Pinot Noir. Riverbench continually evaluates the vines as they age, replanting as necessary. In 2008, they committed themselves to their premium sparkling wine program. We continue to work hard making wines that are inspired by Champagne in France. In 2015, they added the third great grape varietal famous in that area, Pinot Meunier, to our vineyard. We anticipate incorporating these grapes into our sparkling wine blends beginning in 2017.

Riverbench vines are planted on the Santa Maria Bench, which is made up of alluvial soils. These soils are formed of sediment deposited by flowing water thousands of years ago, and contain particles of clay, silt, sand and gravel. They are extremely fertile because of their medium to fine textures; yet they are shallow in depth which allows for a great growing medium. The rocky benchland provides excellent drainage and in turn allows us to define growth without a large amount of outside input. Sandstone filled with fossils and remnants of ancient sea life, along with large rocks and river cobble, can be found all over the property, reminding us of the history of this ancient riverbed.

Winemaker Clarissa Nagy is known for her elegant and sophisticated winemaking style, and for her appreciation for fruit that comes from the Santa Maria Valley. She continues to refine Riverbench wines each vintage, and adds her own unique twists to the portfolio.

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Santa Maria Valley lies mainly in northern Santa Barbara County, with a small portion of it overlapping southern San Luis Obispo County. It is close to the Pacific, and runs east-west, which means warmer air in the eastern end draws cool air off the ocean in the west, and brings it through the valley. This effect, combined with abundant sunshine, lengthens the growing season. The longer growing season leads to long hang time, which promotes both ripeness and optimal acidity levels in grape berries. As early as the 1970’s, Santa Maria Valley was recognized as being a superior source of wine grapes, certainly including Chardonnay and Syrah. But arguably the top variety here is Pinot Noir.

Originally a domain primarily of growers, including the Miller Family of the justifiably famous Bien Nacido Vineyard, this AVA is now home to over 30 wineries. Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir consistently offers full flavors of cherry, strawberry and raspberry, often accompanied by notes of spice, cola, vanilla and earth. They show impressive balance and elegance, as well as great versatility with food.

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HNYRIHPNE18C_2018 Item# 795036

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