Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2016
Bright ruby red. Bursting with black raspberry and orange peel, along with savory notes of lavendar and white pepper. The palate delivers dense dusty, berry flavors with balanced acid and tannin structure, which carries on with a long & lovely finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.
The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”