Sandhi Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, California 2016

Sandhi Santa Rita Pinot.jpg
Sandhi Santa Rita Pinot.jpg

Sandhi Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, California 2016


“Positively stellar… A very serious wine” - Antonio Galloni

This “positively stellar” Pinot Noir is a blend of Sandhi’s vineyard holdings in the Santa Rita Hills. Over half of the fruit comes from 40 year-old vines in the Sanford & Benedict vineyard with the rest coming from vines in the Rita’s Crown and Bentrock vineyards. Given that the fruit at the core of this wine comes from the same vineyards as Domaine de la Cote’s Pinot Noir, a considerably more expensive wine from the same owners, this is a steal at £32.00. It showcases the exuberance of the Santa Rita Hills appellation with bright, shiny cherry and raspberry fruit on the nose that dives much deeper on the palate into layers of plum, cola, softly-scented sandalwood and tobacco leaf. It’s absolutely delicious now, there’s no need to defer gratification, but it will age gracefully for another 5 to 7 years.

The Winemakers

It’s made by two of California’s most respected wine figures, Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr, who are also behind the tremendously exciting Domaine de la Côte, and who are both fanatical about Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They were involved in setting up ‘In Pursuit of Balance’, a movement whose aim was to “promote dialogue around the meaning of balance in Californian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay”. It’s fair to say that in a very short time it has led to a paradigm shift in the Golden State’s attitudes towards lower alcohol, less new oak and lighter fruit extraction. The results will be felt for decades to come.

Press review:

Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “Just bottled, the 2016 Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills) is positively stellar. Powerful and deep in the glass, with unusual depth, the 2016 has so much to offer. There is a level of sheer richness I have never seen in this bottling before. Blue and purplish berry fruit, lavender and spice flavours are all amped up. This is a very serious wine at the appellation level. Then again, the core of this wine is now composed of vineyards that belong to Domaine de la Côte. If there is one wine that over delivers big time in 2016, Sandhi's Santa Rita Hills Pinot is it. Don't miss it.” 93 points

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Farming: organic