Sta. Rita Hills

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My! This drinks well now. So poised and down right regal, yet utterly delicious. Of all the pinots we make, this is the one that many people don’t quite get because it possesses a subtlety and finess that is easily overlooked. In its delicate way this wine is alive and bursting with berries and flowers, but without being light or insignificant. It is much like the 2005 that I am so fond of, yet a bit more intensely flavored and higher in acidity.

I like that its inherent quality sneaks up on you, rather than hitting you on the head. In my book this is a real success-and it points out where we, as a winery, are going. By picking a little earlier we are capturing the more savory aspects of pinot-its zippy acidity and quenching tannins-along with the more floral aromatic aspects that are lost with greater ripeness.

The fruit arrived at the winery early in the morning and was destemmed without crushing the berries. After a 5 day cold soak, the native yeast began fermenting. We punched down (mixed) the vats by hand until the fermentation was complete. The wine was pressed and transferred to French oak barrels for aging (30% were new), and was left untouched for the next 14 months. At which time it was carefully racked off the sediment and bottled without filtration.

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: 30% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 14 Months | Total Production: 376 cases

Press Reviews

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

“Bright red. Sharply focused red fruit aromas are deepened by smoky minerals and fresh rose. Sappy raspberry and cherry preserve flavors are impressively lithe yet at the same time muscular, with clean, brisk mineral snap on the back end. Graceful, pure and utterly delicious right now. There’s no fat on these bones.” – JR 92 Points


“A discreet if not invisible touch of wood frames an intense and very fresh dark raspberry fruit nose that is nuanced by hints of plum and cassis that continue onto the nicely rich and generous middle weight flavors that possess good definition and punch with really lovely balance and despite the reported alcohol, absolutely no discernable warmth. Lovely and understated and while there is perhaps a touch less depth than one normally finds with this vineyard in Tolmach’s hands, the material appears to be here to allow it to develop over time.” 90 Points