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2009 Babcock Rita’s Earth Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills CA 13.6% $23

This smells lovely, with balanced, soft notes of sage, soil, sour cherry, dried grapefruit rind and floral aromas. Round on entry with a fine combination of brightness, from acid and flavor, and round suppleness. This is absolutely wonderful in the mouth. It is round and playful, yet silky and transparent, with precise flavors of small red berried fruit accented with clear mineral and pollen spice notes. There’s even an edge of dried herb or grass that adds complexity to the moderately long, fruit and soil toned finish. 91pts

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