Planted in 1971, the fruit we use is selected from the oldest section of Sanford & Bendict Vineyard located in the very cool Sta. Rita Hills appellation. It is truly one of the great Pinot vineyards of America.
After careful hand picking in the early morning hours, the grapes arrived at the winery nice and cold. Cold grapes give time for a cold soak and a slower fermentation. During the cold, extended soak, the fruit driven aromas and flavors were extracted from the grapes. The slower fermentation also assisted in the gradual extraction of additional aromas and flavors as the alcohol content slowly rises.
After the grapes reached dryness, the grapes were pressed, and the wine was put in new french oak Francois Frères barrels. The wine was gently racked in the late spring and was returned to barrel for a total of 22 months. No fining or filtration was necessary.
Antonio Galloni's Vinous
Score: 94+ "The 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is very pretty, especially in its aromatics, although it is quite a bit less expressive and giving on the palate. There is tremendous energy and persistence to the 2016, with plenty of underlying grip that gives the wine its sense of proportion. Bright red berry fruit, chalk, incense and white pepper add a brilliant upper register. This is another absolutely exquisite wine in the range." - Antonio Galloni
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Score: 90 points "The 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is pale to medium ruby in color and has an herbal/earthy nose with sage and mint, bitter citrus peel, amaro, tart red cherries and wild blackberries. The palate is light to medium-bodied with herbal and bitters-tinged fruit and spicy berries notions, grainy tannins and great juicy freshness on the finish. 325 cases produced."
Prince of Pinot
Score: 94 points "This bottling is part of the winery’s Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection. Extended cold soak, aged 20 months in Francois Frères French oak barrels. Light garnet color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasant aromas of oak-kissed red cherry and berry. Admirable in every way, with impressive harmony and class. Red fruits enhanced with baking spices are featured in this middleweight styled wine that offers great elegance, hidden tannins, and a persistent finish. This is the best example from this vineyard that I have tasted in recent memory."