Regardless, this is one for both the historians and the wine enthusiasts alike. This is a special cuvee that features mainly fruit from Sta. Rita Hills’ first vineyard together with the immaculate La Riconada Vineyard made by the first winery established in Sta. Rita Hills and still one of the top 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 this particular wine is just flat out the best deal going in Sta. Rita Hills. I don’t even think it’s all that close.
That’s because their 2018 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a highly rated cuvee featuring fruit off Sanford’s two east vineyards with nearly ¾ the blend coming from the iconic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard and the rest coming from the gorgeous La Rinconada Vineyard (pictured below).
It’s a gorgeous and vibrant blend with spicy and bramble notes the result of mixing fruit from eight different soil types. It’s an intricate blend with lots of twists and turns, complexity, savory notes and depth. Even better, this Pinot Noir goes for about half the price of the single-vineyard Pinots from Sanford and nearly ⅓ of the price of most of these upper-echelon Sta. Rita Hills Pinots being made these days.
92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
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.