2018 Pinot Noir Bentrock Vineyard

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93 Points, Wine Enthusiast

Our first-ever S.V. Bentrock Vineyard Pinot Noir spotlights a new source appellation for us:  the Santa Rita Hills AVA. Over the last two decades, the region has become one of California’s most influential Pinot Noir growing districts. Located in Santa Barbara County, the Sta. Rita Hills is part of the larger Santa Ynez Valley AVA. The hills of the district run east to west, which allows cool ocean breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean to enter the valley, providing fairly cool micro climates – perfect for growing top-flight Pinot. In particular, the Bentrock Vineyard there is just 10 miles from the coast and is a proven provider of exceptional Pinot fruit to many well-known labels. The Bentrock estate lies on shale and diatomaceous soils, reminiscent of the chalky limestone throughout much of Burgundy. A resulting core of minerality runs through the rich cherry/plum character of the finished wines from this exceptional property. 

Tasting Notes

Pinots from the Sta. Rita Hills are known for their dense fruit core and a savory, “brushy” herbaceous character. From Tim’s tasting notes:  “On the nose, lots of black cherry and plum accented by sage and lavender. On the palate, those ripe fruit elements are joined by cloves and spice on the long finish. Pair with herbed pork chops off the grill or a green lentil curry.”


The Pinot Noir fruit arriving at the winery in early September from Bentrock was of superb quality, with focused flavors and acids.

After a cold soak, fermentation began using yeast RC212 in small, open top bins. Manual punchdowns of the cap occurred three times daily prior to the wine being pressed and barreled down for eleven months aging in small French oak cooperage, with a high percentage of “new wood.” Just 132 cases were bottled in late August of 2019. 

Vineyard Sources

Appellation: Santa Rita Hills
Vineyard: Bentrock
Grower: Kroenke Family

Technical Data

Alcohol: 14.1

Cooperage: French oak, 37% new, 11 months

Bottling Date: August 2019

Production: 132

2018 Pinot Noir Bentrock Vineyard