The Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County are no longer an emerging threat to Willamette and Sonoma for Pinot Noir. They are full on competition. This Pinot Noir is a spicy blend of 3D, Machado, and Hapgood Vineyards done in neutral barrels with strong spicy woodsy notes from whole cluster fermentation, a technique that includes the stems in the winemaking process, improving the balance of fruit and savory tones in New World Pinot Noir. These Pinots are easy to confuse for Burgundy blind and their top wines are benchmarks for the region. Despite making only 10,000 cases of wine per year, the winery’s exotic aromatics and ripe but Burgundian aesthetic earned its 2012 vintage the #8 Wine in Wine Spectator’s Top 100.
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