Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2017
Bright ruby red. Bursting with cherries and baking spices, along with savory notes of lavender and star anise. The palate delivers dense dusty, cherry flavors with balanced acid and tannin structure, which carries onto a lovely finish.
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Crisp aromas of black-cherry sorbet, slate and wet earth show on the nose of this appellation blend. There’s a great mineral streak on the palate, where concrete and crushed stone flavors frame the cranberry core.
Moving to the reds, the 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Estate comes mostly from the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard and was brought up in 25% new French oak. Impressive mulled cherries, black tea, spice, and forest floor notes all emerge from the glass, and it's medium-bodied, with a supple, elegant texture, no hard edges, and a great finish.
The 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills was aged 15 months in 25% new French oak. Medium ruby-purple, it is scented of roasted blackberries and cranberries with nuances of tar, tea leaves, earth and charcuterie. The palate is medium-bodied, silky, fresh and uplifted with a great dichotomy of bright fruit and earthy accents, finishing long.
Lots of minerality accents the red currant, plum and dried berry flavors. Cardamom notes linger midpalate, leading to a refined finish filled with sandalwood hints. Drink now through 2024.
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.”