While it’s easy to think of the appellation blends as being the entry-level cuvées, with the quality always being higher with the single vineyard release, don’t make that mistake. The appellation blends can often surpass single vineyard releases and, in my experience, can age just as gracefully. The 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is a beautiful wine well worth your time and money. Offering classic cherry and framboise fruit, complex spice, forest floor, and rose garden nuances, medium body, and a seamless, savory personality, it’s going to keep for 8-9 years.
I like the smoky, burnt orange peel and dark fruits on the nose that follow through to a medium body. Firm and silky tannins and a salty, beautiful finish.
Plump, rich and juicy, this lithe, graceful charmer is centered on blackberry and wild berry flavors and smoke and charcoal accents. Easy to drink and has the balance for short-term aging. (JL)
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