Moving to the reds, the appellation 2018 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills was all destemmed and brought up in one-third new French oak. This perfumed, medium-bodied effort has lots of raspberry and floral notes, a clean, balanced, elegant texture, good acidity, and tons of personality. It's beautifully done, and I'd be happy to drink bottles.
Limpid ruby-red. Fresh cherry, black raspberry and a hint of mocha on the fragrant, spice-tinged nose. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering gently sweet red and dark berry flavors sharpened by peppery spice and cola nuances. Shows very good energy and seamless texture on the gently tannic finish, which clings with tenacity and lingering spiciness. (JR)
This lengthens out nicely, with cedar and hot stone accents to the dried red fruit and spice flavors. Wild herb and dried mushroom notes emerge on the finish. (KM)
A bit richer and fuller in flavor than its mid-density aromas suggest and opting for a more savory than sweet aspect throughout, this nicely structured effort teams nominal cherry-like fruit with mildly woodsy spice and distant touches of dried herbs. It is not overly tannic, yet its slight finishing astringency is accentuated by its firming acidity, and, if certainly drinkable now, it will benefit from another year or two of softening. *One Star*
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