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  • WS: 92

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Sanford Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep violet red color. Bing cherry, raspberry, pepper and clove with hints of vanilla and licorice. Wild berry flavors framed nicely by bright acidity and supple tannins.

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3.56 5 0.5
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Sanford Winery:
The story and timeline of Sanford Winery and Vineyards parallels those of Santa Barbara wine country. In fact, Sanford was a pioneer in the Santa Rita Hills, planting the first Pinot Noir vines in a region now heralded for that varietal. That was 1971, and five years later, the winery released its first wine, startling critics with the quality of its inaugural release. With the 1976 vintage, S... Read more
The story and timeline of Sanford Winery and Vineyards parallels those of Santa Barbara wine country. In fact, Sanford was a pioneer in the Santa Rita Hills, planting the first Pinot Noir vines in a region now heralded for that varietal. That was 1971, and five years later, the winery released its first wine, startling critics with the quality of its inaugural release. With the 1976 vintage, Sanford gave the world its first taste of the great wines to come from the Santa Rita Hills. By 1981, Sanford had outgrown the converted hay barn that had served as its winery. It moved to larger, more modern facilities, previously operated by another producer. Sanford Winery has an uncomplicated approach, focusing on nurturing the fruit in the vineyard, and minimizing handling throughout the winemaking process. That philosophy guided a continual improvement in quality, all while production has gradually increased. In 1996, Sanford Winery found a vineyard site with soil qualities nearly identical to those in its Sanford & Benedict parcel, the site where it first planted Pinot. That year, it planted both Pinto Noir and Chardonnay at the La Rinconada vineyard. Two years later, Sanford Winery helped lead efforts to certify the Santa Rita Hills as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). In 2001, Santa Rita Hills became an AVA. That same year, Sanford opened a new, state-of-the art winery at the La Rinconada site. By 2002, Sanford Winery and Vineyards faced its next challenge: bringing its wines to a growing and more sophisticated market. To achieve that goal, the winery turned to Terlato Wines International, the leading marketer of luxury wines in the United States. Owned by the Terlato family - Anthony and his sons Bill and John - Terlato was the perfect partner for Sanford. Anthony Terlato brought 50 years of experience in the wine business, having succeeded in every aspect of the industry. He and his sons represented the finest wines from the world's most important regions. The Terlatos believed deeply in Sanford's wines and in its future, and they took an ownership interest in 2002. Since then, with Terlato's expertise as a driving force, Sanford Winery's reputation as a world-class producer has grown, and awareness of the Sanford brand has exploded. With the enormous success of Sideways, a 2004 Oscar winner, millions of filmgoers discovered Sanford along with the movie's lead characters, who made Sanford Winery their first stop on their Santa Barbara wine country tour. In 2005, the Terlato Family assumed a majority ownership interest in Sanford Winery, laying the groundwork for a future every bit as successful as its past. Read less

Member Reviews for Sanford Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills

Add your review
Snooth User: drdebs
6497900
4.00 5
12/26/2007

Still drinking well, living up to it's promise several years ago. Bright ruby in color, very clear. Aromas of cherry, pine, and cedar. These are echoed in the palate, which picks up notes of clove and allspice. A spicy Santa Rita pinot, not a lot of weight in the mid-palate. Will seal and retaste tomorrow. This still may not be quite at its best, and may still improve a bit over the next 12-24 mos. 3 days later: this wine continues to open up and develop, and the flavors are more knit together and integrated so I've notched it up a bit. This has become much smoother, less hot, and more classically pinot in its profile with aromas of wet earth, cherry, and that distinctive note of Sanford clove. It will never have much weight in the mid-palate but this is still not ready to drink. If you have some, try to wait.


Snooth User: drdebs
6497900
4.00 5
11/29/2006

Bright pinot, with raspberry and clove aromas and palate. Nice acidity. Some oak. Will be better with age. Not for drinking right now.


Snooth User: Have61willdrink
3817582
3.50 5
12/10/2007

Great fruit in mid-palette and supple tannins, needs cellaring. Drink 2010-2012 if you can keep from drinking it!


External Reviews for Sanford Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

What a nice glass of Pinot this is. It shows off the terroir of its famous appellation very well, with high acidity perking up cherry, cola, tea, spice and mineral flavors, and with a wonderful balance. It's not a cheap wine, but is a comparative value.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

Ripe, yet beefy and leathery, it offers richness and concentration even if the cola and herb-laced cherry flavors taste a bit muddled. Could use short-term cellaring. Drink now through 2007.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

Earthy, oaky aromas show on the nose and palate. Tight, firm and closed, with hints of cedar, lead pencil, dried berry and currant notes that slowly unfold. Needs time. Best from 2007 through 2011.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

A great example of Californian Pinot Noir from the Central Coast. Rich texture and medium to full body make this wine a great match for grilled or roasted meats.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

Wonderful intensity and vibrancy of flavor, with a core of dusty blackberry and blueberry fruit that's supported by firm acidity and a chewy, minerally quality. Firmly tannic, too, so it's best to decant. Drink now through 2007.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

Well-focused, wnveiling a supple core of spicy cherry and wild berry flavors shaded lightly with a toasted oak quality, this is an elegant and understated California red that delivers lots of flavor and finesse, and is ready to drink.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

Readers will enjoy a lush, sexy, smoky, chocolate/cherry-flavored 1997 Pinot Noir. Round and lush, with a dark ruby color and abundant fruit, it requires consumption over the next 1-2 years.


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Deep violet red color. Bing cherry, raspberry, pepper and clove with hints of vanilla and licorice. Wild berry flavors framed nicely by bright acidity and supple tannins.

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