Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2020  Front Label
Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2020  Front LabelSanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2020  Front Bottle Shot

Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2020

  • JD94
  • WS93
  • RP93
750ML / 13.5% ABV
Other Vintages
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  • WS90
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Rich and beautifully focused from top to bottom. Deep, and vibrant red fruits and baking spices aromas inform the palate which is supple, serious, and wonderfully fresh. Although charming now, it will continue to improve over several years.

The Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is always a blend from both of our estate vineyards: the historic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard (44%) and La Rinconada (56%). These singular vineyards are in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. A wide range of Pinot Noir selections are planted on these sites, and this wine is a blend of 8 of these from several different soil types.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck

The entry level 2020 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills comes from a mix of the Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict vineyards and spent 11 months in 27% new French oak. This ruby-hued effort gives up a gorgeous perfume of ripe raspberry and strawberry fruits as well as white flowers, spice, and a touch of chalky, mineral-like nuances. Medium-bodied, seamless, and balanced on the palate, it's just a flat-out beautiful expression of Sta.

WS 93
Wine Spectator

Ripe and juicy but restrained in style, with the core of black cherry and raspberry notes taking equal turns with dried anise, red and black tea and chaparral hints. Keeps a juicy edge through the finish, with a smoldering intensity. Drink now

RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Pale ruby, the 2020 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is scented of tar, cranberries, bergamot and garrigue with earthy touches. The medium-bodied palate is dusty in texture and very refreshing, featuring crunchy red fruits streaked with spices. This is easy to drink! Best After 2022.

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Sanford Winery

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Sanford Winery, California
Sanford Winery Sanford Winery Winery Image
In Santa Barbara wine country, it all started with Sanford Winery. Recognizing a magical combination of climate and soil conditions, the Sanford & Benedict vineyard was plated in 1971, and the resulting wines are now the benchmark of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Pinot Noir has thrived in the Sta. Rita Hills ever since, and ranks among the best and most distinctive in the world. Sanford's estate vineyards - Rancho La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict - lie within the 100 square mile AVA, and they rely exclusively on these vineyards for their luscious, signature Pinot Noir. The area owes its magic to an unusual east-west mountain valley that runs from the vineyards to the Pacific Ocean; ideal for cool-climate varietals.
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Sta. Rita Hills Wine

Santa Barbara, California

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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.

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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.”

SOU549586_2020 Item# 1103489

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