92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Our third vintage of 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 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.
The ’20 Sarah’s Vineyard Bentrock Pinot Noir is ever-changing in the glass and has a vast bright red fruit and floral presence with tart cherry and violets. On the palate, the fruit is complemented by spice, white pepper, and a hint of vanilla with smooth, silky tannins. This delightful Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with the recipe for Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cherry-Thyme Pan Sauce.
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills
Grower: Kroenke Family
Cooperage: French oak, 25% new, 11 months