Racines (Northern California only), 2017 Sta Rita Hills Cuvée Pinot Noir
Soil & Vineyards: Gazos Clay Loam over Shale. A blend of fruit from Bentrock, La Encantada, La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict vineyards.
Production & Aging: Native yeast fermentation using 1/3 whole clusters with occasional punching down during 3 week maceration before pressing into barrel. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. 10% new oak.
The 2017 Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills) is bold, punchy and super-expressive, with lovely aromatic nuance to play off the dark cherry and plum fruit. Classy and layered, the appellation Pinot is a wine of real character and breeding. Then again, that is not surprising given that vineyard sites are La Encantada, Sanford & Benedict, La Rinconada and Bentrock. The 2017 is a gorgeous wine from Etienne De Montille and Justin Willett. 91pts.
— Antonio Galloni