92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Our fourth vintage from the Santa Rita Hills AVA spotlights a new Pinot Noir vineyard source for us: Rancho La Viña. 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 microclimates – perfect for growing top-flight Pinot. Dense morning fog gives way to sunny afternoons, and loamy soils make Rancho La Viña and incredible cool climate growing site. In addition to 34.5 acres of top-quality Pinot Noir wine grapes, a variety of other crops are also grown on the ranch, which includes 126 acres of the best walnuts in California. We are excited to have been invited to work with this small, quality grower that really takes pride in their work – and feel that this vintage is a truly excellent wine.
The 2021 Sarah’s Vineyard Rancho La Viña Pinot Noir has a vast bright red fruit presence of cherry, raspberry, and crushed pomegranate. Along with the
freshly picked red fruit aromas and flavors are notes of chocolate and a hint of violets. On the palate, all these elements are complemented by baking spice and a hint of vanilla with smooth, silky tannins. This Pinot Noir pairs wonderfully with Creamed Chestnut Soup.
Appellation: Santa Rita Hills
Vineyard: Rancho La Viña
Grower: Erik Mallea
Cooperage: French oak, 33% new, 11 months