By 2016 Justin Willett, a son of Santa Barbara and career winemaker, had over a decade of experience coaxing forth the character of the region's best vineyards. Etienne and Justin turned to compelling vineyard blocks that Justin had long coveted, and together they have presented refreshing new entries in the most important discussions of the appellation.
The wines here possess more structure and resonance than encountered in Tyler's ethereal approach. New cooperage and custom vats, tailored to Etienne's technique, have been imported. The Pinots are composed using further stem inclusion, more extraction, and longer vatting. The Chardonnays are raised with more finessing of the fine lees and longer elevage. The results are immediately apparent in the glass: these are tensile and crystalline expressions of the Sta. Rita Hills- at once familiar and rendered anew.
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "A rich, effusive wine, the 2019 Chardonnay Sanford and Benedict offers a stunning expression of this site. All the classic S-and-B signatures come through, kicked up with an extra touch of textural richness. Creamy and silky in the glass, the 2019 is outrageously beautiful. Lemon confit, marzipan, white flowers and tangerine oil are some of the many notes that build in a soft, silky Chardonnay that dazzles from start to finish. Impressive."