- Item #: i_202960Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Notes: "As in years past, this 2017 bottling is very dark and rich by Pinot Noir standards. But in this vintage, it's the complexity that is absolutely uncanny. In the nose, there is almost an extreme presentation of earth with gobs of spice. It's to the point where if I had to pin a single concept on it, it would be SPECTACLE. There is a sweetness in the nose that is like a baked, almost smoky mocha. I have never smelled anything quite like it. The fruit is identifiably cherries on the nose and palate, but it is enveloped by the beautiful French oak that was hand made for me by my buddy, Jerome Fouailly, in Burgundy. In the finish, there is a density of fruit and fineness of tannin that I find in very few Pinots. For a full presentation of how good this vineyard is, let the wine rest in the bottle for a few years or more. If, before then, your corkscrew calls, it is a rich wine, so you will definitely enjoy it. I recommend at least putting it in a nice big glass so it gets some air and a chance to wake up just a bit. Over the next couple years, decanting it would not be a bad idea."
- Item #: i_208810Bottle Size: 750mlTerry Bering is the cellarmaster for Rochioli Vineyards. When he isn't busting his hump helping out the Rochioli family produce fantastic wines, Terry works on his own Pinot Noir Project! Terry makes flavorful, aromatic, and wonderfully nuanced wines that do justice to his Rochioli vineyard source.
The wine has really bright fruit tones of cherry and currants with a background of earth and mushroom. Aside from the flavor and nose the 2017 has an extremely pleasant effect on you that is noticeable in all higher quality wines. As with all my pinots, the 2016 has a long lingering finish that leaves you craving more. The wine tastes good now but it is better the next day and still great the 3rd day so the longer you wait to drink it the better it will be.
- Item #: i_222660Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The more translucent, ruby-colored 2017 Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard comes from a vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and was all destemmed before spending 16 months in 44% new French oak. Classic raspberry, forest floor, sweet spice, and sappy floral notes all flow to a medium-bodied, vibrant, incredibly classy effort. It's balanced, has integrated acidity, and a great finish. It's another terrific Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County that's going to evolve for at least a decade."
- Item #: i_252620Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 91Racines is a collaboration of four great voices of wine. Justin Willett of Lieu Dit and Tyler has been joined in his home appellation, the Sta. Rita Hills, by Etienne de Montille and Brian Sieve of Domaine de Montille, and Rodolphe Peters of Pierre Peters. Together, they are marrying the time-honored techniques of Burgundy and Champagne with the pioneering energy of California-and, in the process, they are rediscovering the nuances of the appellation's most iconic vineyards.
Following the consolidation of Domaine de Montille, a family estate that dates back to the 1730s, Etienne de Montille looked to California, eager for an opportunity to engage new terroir with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as his lens. In 2016 he set off on a month of travel among the state's myriad appellations, meeting their winemakers, tasting their wines. In short order it became apparent that the promise he was seeking lay in the Sta. Rita Hills-and the partner for such ambition was already there.
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. And then, of course, there's Rodolphe Peters. In 2018, Rodolphe joined Racines in deepening their understanding of Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay. Their first sparkling wines, now en tirage, are likely to debut in late autumn.
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.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir has lovely aromas of orange peel, cranberry, rhubarb and mixed berry preserves with dust, sagebrush, tobacco, tea leaf and floral notes. It has a light to medium weight with intense spiced berry flavors, dusty tannins and juicy freshness, finishing long and spicy. This was bottled a week before I tasted it but is showing well."
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is bold, punchy and super-expressive, with lovely aromatic nuance to play off the dark cherry and plum fruit. Classy and layered, the appellation Pinot is a wine of real character and breeding. Then again, that is not surprising given that vineyard sites are La Encantada, Sanford and Benedict, La Rinconada and Bentrock. The 2017 is a gorgeous wine from Etienne De Montille and Justin Willett."
- Item #: i_200027Bottle Size: 750mlThis vintage has not been scored yet but the last 8 vintages scored 90 points or above by the top Pinot Noir critics. Valerie's terroir driven one-acre Carneros vineyard has come of age and we think that vintage to vintage this one is another winner, very Burgundian. The winemaking and the attention to detail in the vineyard has never been better.
The 2017 extols a rich velvety mouth-feel and well balanced fruit, oak and tannins. The cherry/plum flavors blend with traditional Burgundian nuisances such as cola and tea. The French oak program of new and two-year old French oak from numerous makers has created a unique flavor profile and aging regimen. The wine lives no less than 18 months in the oak.