WALT “Sanford & Benedict” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Established some 35 years ago by Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict, this eponymous vineyard was Sta. Rita Hills’ first Pinot Noir planting. Steve Heimoff has since deemed it one of the five most important vineyards for Pinot Noir in the United States. Situated in a sweet spot of the appellation, the cool maritime conditions dictate slow, even ripening.
The 2010 WALT “Sanford & Benedict” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is comprised of two small vineyard blocks, one old and one young. The mature vines provide the solid structure and firm tannins, while the younger vines give this wine its fragrance and spice. Huge red berry aromas, woven together with jammy plum and red rose petal, emanate from the glass. The texture is pure and deep, with bright raspberry, red cherry and brown spice. Solidly focused and seamlessly integrated, expect this wine to evolve and expand over the next 5-7 years.
BLEND: 100% PINOT NOIR
VINEYARD: 100% SANFORD & BENEDICT, STA. RITA HILLS
CLONE: MT. EDEN
PRODUCTION: 206 CASES
PRICE: $60/750 ML BOTTLE
94 points | Pure, rich and complex, with vivid blueberry and blackberry fruit that’s well-centered, gaining depth and breadth and ending where this started, with a wonderful purity of flavor. Drink now through 2022.—J.L., Wine Spectator