Though this winery's single-vineyard expressions are awesome, this appellation blend is also a strong choice. Intense aromas of tart pomegranate, cinnamon, sumac and turned soil lead into a smooth, fresh and high-toned palate of rhubarb and French toast flavors. *Editors' Choice* (MK)
Dragonette Cellars’ Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir blend is sourced primarily from Bentrock, John Sebastiano and La Encantada, aged for 16 months in 10% new French oak, and almost completely de-stemmed. Cinnamon toast, black cherry and metallic aromas on the nose lead to black raspberry compote and allspice flavours on the palate. Dragonette always seems to harness a somewhat riper style with taste and class, as evidenced by this excellent entry into Sta. Rta Hills Pinot Noir. (ML)
Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills comes from a mix of sites in the Sta. Rita Hills, was mostly destemmed and spent 16 months in 10% new French oak. It’s classic Sta. Rita Hills Pinot, offering loads of spice cherry and blackberry fruits, plenty of background earthy minerality and salinity, some herbs, stemmy notes, medium body, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It's worth seeking out and a great example of the quality coming from this producer.
The 2016 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is a gorgeous appellation-level wine from Dragonette. Rose petal, lavender, mint, spice and sweet red/purplish berry fruit are all finely knit. More than anything else, the Sta. Rita Hills is a wine of pure and total finesse. I especially like the wine's translucence and energy. Vineyard sources are Bentrock, Radian, La Encantada, Cargasacchi, Spear, Fiddlestix, and John Sebastiano. The 2016 punches well above its weight. Don't miss it. (AG)
This glides across the palate with a mix of dried rose petal, cherry tart and red plum flavors that are well-spiced. Sandalwood and forest floor notes show on the broad finish. (KM)
Medium ruby, the 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is scented of spiced blackberries, cranberry, Bing cherry, pipe tobacco, woodsmoke and underbrush plus loads of earthy accents. The light to medium-bodied palate has an earthy profile, a sturdy frame of grainy tannins and great freshness on the finish. (EB)
Backing away from boldness but showing a good deal of tart cherry and raspberry fruit with light notes of dried flowers and gentle oak in both scent and taste, this mannerly middleweight scores well for balance and its pleasantly rounded palatal feel. It is never a big wine, but it is nicely sustained with a persistently fruity finish, and, from beginning to end, it maintains very keen varietal focus. *One Star*
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