I love history as much as the next guy, whether it be world history, U.S. history or wine history. Regardless, this is one for both the historians and the wine enthusiasts alike. This is a special offering of Sta. Rita Hills’ first vineyard together with the first winery established and still to this day one of the best vineyards in the world.
The sacred vineyard isn’t just home to Sanford and Benedict; Au Bon Climat, Brewer-Clifton, Fess Parker, Foxen, Longoria, Sandhi and Tyler also make wine off this very special place, a who’s who of the best wineries in Santa Barbara. Wine Enthusiast recently named it one of the five most famous and important vineyards in the state.
But the namesake winery continues to lead the pace, with Sanford’s 97-point 2017 Pinot Noir a perfect sampling of the incredible quality that consistently comes off the vineyard, and the potential for a few wines to flat out steal the show.
As Vinous says, “the wines are done in a style that prizes energy and a micro-expression of the site. The range is vast and includes a number of single-block offerings from both Sanford & Benedict and La Rinconada that give readers a rare opportunity to explore the nuances of both sites.”
These wines are famous for their flare and world class expression of Pinot Noir but in the 2017 vintage, something special happened. While much of the rest of California struggled including their Napa Valley counterparts, the protected Sta. Rita Hills thrived. In fact, this historic site produced its highest rated Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir EVER made, an incredible feat for a winery that has made countless winners since their early 1970’s inception.
97 Points, Decanter
“The 2017 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict comes from one of the top sites in the Sta. Rita Hills and was 60% destemmed and brought up in 15% new French oak for 15 months. It has a beautiful bouquet of sweet strawberries, toasted spices, forest floor, and earth, with just a hint of salty minerality and seaside-like notes. Ethereal, medium-bodied, ultra-pure, and flawlessly balanced, it’s a stunning Pinot Noir that ranks with the finest releases in the vintage. It will keep for 10-15 years.”
93 Points, Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2017 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, aged 15 months in 30% new French oak, has a medium ruby-purple color and lovely aromas of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and wafts of floral perfume with a spicy touch of aniseed. The medium-bodied palate is silky with expansive, perfumed fruits and seamless freshness, finishing long and layered.”