About This Wine:
This wine is a superb representation of Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir featuring bright, fresh fruit aromatics and a rich, silky profile. Lively aromas of cherry and blackberry are highlighted by an undercurrent of earth tones and spice. On the palate, attractive flavors of dark cherry and black raspberry are supported by unfolding layers of complexity and a beautifully flowing texture from start to finish. The wine’s soft tannins and balanced acid profile will conserve the wine’s freshness and assure great cellar potential.
50% Rio Vista Vineyard, 30% Rita’s Crown Vineyard, 20% La Rinconada. This wine provides an excellent overview of the Sta. Rita Hills, combining Pinot Noir from several temperature zones of the appellation. Rio Vista Vineyard is located at the eastern end of the appellation where slightly warmer temperatures result in a rich texture, smooth tannins and dark cherry flavors in the wine. Situated further west on a dramatic hillside, Rita’s Crown is one of the newest vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills and produces wine with a deep and extracted dark cherry and wild blackberry expression. Just south of Rita’s Crown in the heart of the appellation is La Rinconada known for its complex dark red cherry aromatics.
Mother Nature set the stage for a challenging vintage in 2011 with a hard freeze in January and frost in April, causing damage to the buds and green tissue in certain vineyards. Spring and summer brought below average temperatures, which resulted in a long, cool growing season. This, combined with lower crop yields, fostered excellent development of depth and complexity in the fruit. A light rain event in early October was followed by warm, sunny days that gave the grapes the push they needed to reach full maturity. Grapes from Rita’s Crown were harvested on September 29, while La Rinconada Pinot Noir was picked on October 1, and Rio Vista fruit on October 13.
Pinot Noir clusters for this wine were hand sorted before being de-stemmed and gravity fed to fermenters. The must was immediately chilled for a pre-fermentation cold soak where the most beneficial extraction of color, aroma and flavor occurs. During fermentation, concentration was enhanced by gently punching down the cap several times per day. The wine aged 17 months in French oak barrels with 36% new French oak and was bottled on March 5, 2013.