The 2017 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is bold, punchy and super-expressive, with lovely aromatic nuance to play off the dark cherry and plum fruit. Classy and layered, the appellation Pinot is a wine of real character and breeding. Then again, that is not surprising given that vineyard sites are La Encantada, Sanford & Benedict, La Rinconada and Bentrock. The 2017 is a gorgeous wine from Etienne De Montille and Justin Willett.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Jun 2019)
Decanter (Jul 2019)
jancisrobinson.com (Mar 2021)
About this WINE
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.