Recently we’ve been busy at work with Banshee in Sonoma. That winery is a leader in all of California in terms of value – make some great wines up and down Sonoma County.
But just like Chalk Hill who makes their Russian River Valley specifically for restaurants, Banshee releases a Santa Barbara Pinot Noir that is meant to be at least one step up from their regular Sonoma County Pinot Noir release. There’s a few reasons for that.
For one, the production is a fraction of what the Sonoma County production is each year. The SC is their workhorse Pinot, but the Santa Barbara PN is a more luxurious micro cuvee of which only a few barrels are made each vintage.
Then you also have to factor that the fruit for this one is almost exclusively from Santa Barbarba’s Santa Ynez Valley and Rancho Las Hermanas Vineyard – which is far better vineyard sources than the regular bottling.
Here each block is tasted meticulously to ensure optimal ripeness prior to picking, and the fruit is given the stainless steel treatment with minimal oak use to bring out the full expression. The result is quintessential Santa Barbara Pinot. Lush and balanced with a little bit of spice, this one is a crowd pleasure, no doubt about it.