Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2018
This Pinot Noir is dark ruby in color and is very spice driven on the nose with cloves, lavender, wild mushrooms, and forest floor. The palate delivers spice and savory, dark fruits, espresso, and leather with balanced acid and suave tannin structure, which carries the lovely finish. The wine was aged in French Oak barrels (25% new oak) for 11 months where it gained complexity and elegance.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Muddled black-plum-paste, tart cranberry, mace and vanilla aromas show on the nose of this appellation blend, which comes mostly, perhaps entirely, from estate fruit. The dark-plum and mulberry flavors of the palate are lifted by bay leaf, light thyme and dried sage, and set against a chiseled stone structure.
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.”