2019 Pinot Noir, Sanford and Benedict 750ML
We must admit a special excitement about the first Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir. The vineyard is legendary, planted in 1971 to a mixture of secret heritage clones, and it lies in the tenderloin of the Sta Rita Hills. It is one of the principal reasons that there is a Sta. Rita Hills.
A few years ago, we began working with S&B fruit, employing organic farming in our blocks and evaluating the grapes for our various Pinot Noir programs. By 2018, S&B was responsible for 40% of the Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir. When we began tasting the 2019 Pinot Noirs it became clear the S&B wine deserved to be bottled on its own. The cool 2019 vintage was excellent, and the grapes enjoyed extended hangtime into mid-September. More importantly, the barrels of S&B were simply dripping with terroir, contrasting sharply in character (though of similarly excellent quality) from the wines that come from Fiddlestix, only a few hundred yards away. Was it the vine age? Soil differences? Row spacing? Row orientation? Slight elevation differences? Probably all the above, and we found the wine complete and fascinating, with deep, concentrated red fruits, earth and spices, fine tannins and great persistence. So here it is. We think you will love this wine.
The wine was aged on its lees for 16 months in French oak barrels (40% new) and bottled without filtration. Extremely Limited. Only 120 cases produced.
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points