Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Other regions that have gained a reputation for Pinot Noir include the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Carneros, Central Coast and Russian River AVAs of California, the Walker Bay wine region of South Africa, Tasmania and Yarra Valley in Australia and the Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough wine regions of New Zealand. Pinot Noir is also a primary variety used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape's tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. The thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lends Pinot to producing mostly lightly colored, medium bodied low tannin wines that can often go through dumb phases with uneven and unpredictable aging. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wines age, Pinots have the potential to develop vegetal and "barnyard" aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine.
- Item #: i_275877Bottle Size: 750mlAlma Rosa can be translated from Spanish to English to literally mean the "Soul of the Rose." Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards was founded in 2005 by Sta. Rita Hills pioneer winegrowers Thekla and Richard Sanford.
Bright nose, with dusty raspberry, sage and thyme, laced with butterscotch and light-toast coffee bean cues from the French oak barrels. Flavors of ripe raspberry, red cherry and baking spices are lifted by the fresh acid backbone. On the palate, it is focused and medium-bodied, with fine grip from the seed tannin
- Item #: i_202960Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "A powerful, heady wine the 2016 Pinot Noir Deja Vu shows all the pedigree of the year. Vertical, deep and compelling the Deja Vu offers soft touches of graphite and licorice framine a core of deep fruit, with plenty of underlying structure and tons of class."
- Item #: i_202990Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 90 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is a rich, luscious wine that shows the riper side of the vintage off to great effect. Super-ripe red cherry, plum, tobacco, licorice, spice, menthol and new leather are front and center. The boisterous, juicy style is ideal for near and medium-term drinking."
- Item #: i_210420Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of fruit from some of the more prestigious vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, including Zotovich, Lindsay’s, Bentrock, and La Encantada Vineyards.
- Item #: i_214400Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - I learned to make Pinot Noir at the Hirsch Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast (read the book), Goldeneye Vineyards in Anderson Valley, and Whitethorn Winery in South Humboldt County. For my 2017 Pinot Noir, I produced two barrels from Sta. Rita Hills, a mix of Mt. Eden and Swan clones, aged in 50% new oak and finishing at 13.4% alcohol.
- Item #: i_215560Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94+ POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard is a brilliant wine that ranks with the creme de la creme of the vintage. Coming from one of the top sites in the Sta. Rita Hills, 70% destemmed, and aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, it has a vivid purple/plum color as well as captivating notes of black cherries, blackberries, ground herbs, forest floor, and scorched earth. With medium-bodied richness, a tight, vibrant, racy texture, and present tannins, it's another wine from this great estate that's going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age, and it will see its 15th birthday in fine form. It's the real deal."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "An explosion of red and purplish berry fruit makes for a strong opening in the 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. Exuberant, racy and full of flavor, the 2016 offers notable intensity while retaining the mid-weight style that is so typical of the year. This is classic S-and-B Pinot. "
- Item #: i_215930Bottle Size: 750mlOn the nose, the wine is beautifully aromatic, combining notes of ripe, fresh cherry, rasberry, and strawberry jam, along with intense floral notes of hibiscus and orange blossom, baking spices of cardamom, cacao and vanilla, and a touch of fresh herbs (bay leaf, celery leaf). On the palate the wine is medium bodied and silky, with waves of complex ripe red fruits (cherry, raspberry, cranberry) complicated by notes of rhurbarb, fresh herbs and hints of wood smoke. The wine has ample, bright acidity, and sturdy tannins which provide structure, energy and cut on the long smooth finish.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is a gorgeous appellation-level wine from Dragonette. Rose petal, lavender, mint, spice and sweet red/purplish berry fruit are all finely knit. More than anything else, the Sta. Rita Hills is a wine of pure and total finesse. I especially like the wine's translucence and energy. Vineyard sources are Bentrock, Radian, La Encantada, Cargasacchi, Spear, Fiddlestix, and John Sebastiano. The 2016 punches well above its weight. Don't miss it."
- Item #: i_274798Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "I loved the 2016 Pinot Noir Ashley's. This beauty just jumps out of the glass with notes of black cherries, raspberries, scorched earth, spice box, and dried herbs. Rich, medium-bodied, elegant, and seamless, it's beautifully balanced and long, and certainly a great drink. This cuvee spent 16 months in 58% new French oak and is ideal for drinking over the coming 7-8 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Fess Parker winemaker Blair Fox characterizes 2016 as 'an exceptional vintage for Pinot Noir, with lots of depth, character and concentration.' The vintage's heat spikes, he adds, impacted later-harvested Rhône varieties more, bringing soaring sugars. In size, this was an average crop: smaller than 2014 but larger than 2015."
"The 2016 Pinot Noir Ashley's Vineyard is one of my favorites, wafting from the glass with aromas of wood smoke, earth, berries and aromatic bark. On the palate, it's full-bodied, rich and supple, with a layered mid-palate, fine-grained tannins and a generous but balanced profile. Enjoy it over the next five to six years."
- Item #: i_249555Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "A gorgeous entry-level wine in this range, the 2017 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is a blend of four sites across the appellation. Sweet floral notes, red berry fruit, spice and blood orange add myriad shades of nuance to this very pretty, inviting appellation-level Pinot. The 2017 is a real overachiever in its peer group."
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills (11 months in 43% new French oak) is a great introduction to this estate. Black cherries, spice, and hints of scorched earth all emerge from this charming, medium-bodied, balanced beauty that has real Pinot Noir charm."
- Item #: i_222120Bottle Size: 750mlThis 100% Point Noir showcases dark and concentrated ruby hues which speak to this wine's Sta. Rita Hill's pedigree, bright aromas of raspberry, Bing cherry, leather and root beer. On the palate, this wines multiple layers speak to flavors of cherry cola, strawberry marmalade and forest floor. A luscious California Pinot Noir that pairs seamlessly with pulled pork sliders or chicken coq au vin.
- Item #: i_228680Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "A new wine in this range, the 2016 Pinot Noir Truly Rita is gorgeous. Bright and vibrant in the glass, the 2016 offers terrific drive in a mid-weight, energetic style that holds considerable appeal. Red and purplish berry fruit, rose petal, lavender and mint are all beautifully focused. A touch of whole clusters adds lift without being especially evident."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Aged 17 months in 26% new French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, the medium ruby-purple colored 2016 Pinot Noir Truly Rita comes sashaying out of the glass with seriously spicy notions of cinnamon stick, cloves, anise and black pepper with a core of red currant jelly, kirsch and raspberry preserves plus a waft of wild thyme. Medium-bodied, the palate has lovely restraint with elegant red fruit layers framed by soft tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a mineral note. 216 cases produced."
- Item #: i_275300Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 93 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 93 POINTS - "Intriguing aromas of red cherry, mulberry, turned earth and rainy gravel show on the nose of this bottling by one of the region's earliest producers. The palate is dark and earthy with flavors of boysenberry, star anise, rhubarb and cardamom pods, all wrapped in fresh acidity."
- Item #: i_241270Bottle Size: 750mlBlock M is a wind swept mesa on Melville's western parcel adjacent to our Terraces block. Sitting atop a sun exposed mesa with several feet of botella clay soil, the extremity of Block M is enhanced by the gravitational pull on three exposed sides forcing the roots to search deeper for sustenance. Block M is made up of equal amounts of clones 114 and 115. The lesser known 114 is lush, velvety and textural with an elegantly pliant internal core, while clone 115 delivers fruit at a higher pitch coupled with a more structurally pronounced personality. The marriage of these complementary components is what renders Melville's Block M bottling so complete. 20% of the fruit was gently destemmed with 80% remaining as whole clusters.
Boasting a dark crimson hue, the Block M bottling is always layered with richness. Vivid aromatics of rosemary, cinnamon stick and star lily are intertwined with the warmth of ripe persimmon, mulberry and cherry pie filling. Texturally, the wine is crisp and fresh on the palate, with an intense tannin profile that finishes with gorgeous purity and length.
- Item #: i_241360Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90Vinous Media: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate (Sta. Rita Hills) is laced with sweet floral notes and bright, red-toned fruit. Delicate and medium in body, and made in a decidedly gracious, open-knit style, it is a good choice for drinking now and over the next few years."
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is the largest production cuvee of the estate and it's a year in, year out value. The 2015 (this was also reviewed last year) is a spice-filled, cherry, and forest floor-scented effort that has medium-bodied depth and richness, the focused style of the vintage, and a good finish. It's showing slightly better than this time last year and should age gracefully going forward."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate reveals aromas of red cherry, fresh herbs and strawberry preserve, followed by a supple, medium-bodied, succulent palate with a saline, savory finish. Fermented with some whole bunches and matured in neutral barrels, this is very much in the Melville style to which readers will have become accustomed."
- Item #: i_241370Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The recently bottled 2016 Pinot Noir Block M is the most powerful and tight-knit of these Pinot Noir cuvees, unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherry preserve, hard candy, herbs and wood smoke. On the palate, it's full-bodied, concentrated and textural, with a deep core of fruit and a firm chassis of fine-grained tannins. This will need a few years in the cellar before hitting its stride."
- Item #: i_247640Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsWinemaker Rick Longoria lovingly farms this terrific site and generously allows Ojai to purchase a small portion of his vineyard's production. Rick and Adam Tolmach (owner and winemaker at Ojai) agree that there is only a moment in time when the character of the vineyard fully expresses itself. Picked a couple of days too soon or too late and all is lost. The raw material here at Fe Ciega is so interesting--it has the acidity that is needed for good balance and it possesses a unique vineyard personality that is intriguing. While it is always fruit filled, deeply colored and dense, it is not particularly fruity—this is a wine that speaks of its earthy origins!
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "I always love the tasting with Ojai Vineyard's Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. Consistent with just about every winemaker I spoke to, both commented on the tiny yields of 2015, which Adam attributed to an accumulation of drought and salt buildup as opposed to poor weather in the spring. Over the past decade or so, the style of the wines from this estate has significantly changed with harvest occurring much earlier than in the past. Today, the wines lean heavily towards the racy, lean end of the spectrum, while still offering fruit and texture."
"One of my favorites in the lineup was the 2015 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega, which comes from a terrific site in the Sta. Rita Hills. Offering terrific, fruit forward notes of framboise, ripe cherries, spice and flowers all flow from this classic, elegant Pinot Noir. It has a sappy, grippy style, plenty of salty minerality and fine tannin. Give it a year. "
- Item #: i_249600Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsPeake Ranch is a boutique winery owned by John & Gillian Wagner. Like all of us who have visited Santa Barbara County, the couple fell in love with the beautiful country side and the friendliness of the people.. They purchased Peake Ranch with a vision of building a winery and a house on the property. Years later they are in their third vintage garnering rave reviews from the top critics. Paul Lato leads the team as winemaker and with nearly two decades of experience, has earned critical acclaim with top critics along with placements of his own wines in top restaurants in the United States, Europe and Japan!
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "There are three Pinot Noirs from Peake Ranch, all brilliant wines. Black cherries, black raspberries, smoked herbs, and hints of licorice define the bouquet of the 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills, which is the entry level Pinot Noir of this estate. It's a rich, concentrated, powerful Pinot Noir that has moderate tannins, good acidity, and beautiful upfront charm. Aged 18 months in 62% new French oak, drink it any time over the coming 6-7 years."
Winery Notes - A compelling example of what can be achieved with Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills, this wine captures the natural balance and complexity of this special appellation. The aromas blend bright cherries and blueberries with a subtle and distinguished earthiness expressed as dried oregano, white pepper and black tea. An engaging, seductive texture is supported with a backbone of French oak and finely- grained tannins.
- Item #: i_276504Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsFruit is hand-picked at optimal ripeness and gently sorted at the winery. The fruit is then gently transported to two ton stainless steel fermenters. A saignee is pulled after a day or two help concentrate the flavors and color. Over the next 10-12 days, native yeast fermentation takes place. From there, the fermenter is emptied into a small stainless steel basket press, which then gently and methodically presses the wine for a continuous 6-8 hour cycle. The wine then goes into French oak barrels (25% is new). Secondary fermentation occurs during the following Spring/Summer. The finished wine is neither fined nor filtered before being bottled via gravity.
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "Leading off the two Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills comes from the Rancho La Vina and Rio Vista vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent 12 months in mostly neutral French oak (25% was new). Its deep ruby/plum color is followed by notes of black cherries, mulberries, applewood, and earth. It's nicely concentrated, has a supple, rounded texture, and plenty of upfront charm. Still, it has the concentration and density to benefit from a year or two in bottle and should age gracefully."
- Item #: i_260240Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 90ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is made using fruit from the Domaine de la Cote vineyards (80%) with the rest from the Sanford and Benedict vineyard and was 100% destemmed and aged in neutral barrels. Pale to medium ruby, the nose slowly opens to pretty layers of spice and savory fruit, with aromas of rose petal, sliced blueberries, warm Bing cherries, wild blackberries, peppered salami, amaro and raspberry jam. Light to medium-bodied, the palate gives up lots of spices and savory notes with ripe, grainy tannins and seamless acidity, finishing long and nuanced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is a gorgeous appellation wine that punches well above its weight. Then again, most of the fruit is from Domaine de la Cote, with a healthy dollop (20%) of grapes from Sanford and Benedict. Dark cherry, plum, spice, licorice and menthol infuse this radiant Pinot with tremendous fruit density and power. Dark cherry, plum, licorice and spice are pushed forward. There is so much to like."
- Item #: i_257550Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottleThis wine is deep violet red in color and is bursting with raspberry, black cherry, pepper and clove notes. The palate delivers dusty berry flavors framed nicely by bright acidity and supple tannins, and the finish is long and complex.
- Item #: i_268210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Estate is the larger production red from this team, yet it certainly gives a good view into the quality coming from the Hilt wines. Black cherries, black raspberries, graphite, peppery herbs, and underbrush notes flow to a medium-bodied, supple, beautifully layered Pinot Noir that has ripe, present tannins, plenty of mid-palate flesh, and remarkable purity. Drink it any time over the coming 7-8 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The Hilt's 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is excellent, wafting from the glass with an exciting bouquet of dark wild berry fruits, licorice, rich soil, rose hip and orange peel. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, bright and expansive, with velvety tannins and a crunchy core of primary fruit, its bright line of acidity carrying through to the mouthwatering finish."
- Item #: i_222140Bottle Size: 750mlThee Two Sisters wines are named after Bill and Carol Foley's daughters Lindsay and Courtney. The wines come from the best blocks of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Lindsay's and Courtney's vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. These limited-production bottlings feature heritage, heirloom and select clones chosen specifically for their inherent attributes and compatibility with the terroir of each vineyard block.
This limited production Reserve 2015 is an elegant, sophisticated wine for the true Pinot Noir connoisseur. The nose is filled with dark fruit notes of spicy plum, earthy pomegranate and cacao. Intense black pepper and juicy blackberry flavors fill the palate with accents of cured tobacco. The nicely structured mouthfeel is followed by lingering black cherry on the finish.