' Ken Brown - Wines

2017 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

A superb overview of Sta. Rita Hills with fruit from five outstanding vineyards, including Rita's Crown, Radian and Sanford & Benedict.
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$35.00 per Bottle


This wine is a superb representation of Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir featuring vibrant fruit aromatics and a rich profile. Aromas of cherry and strawberry rhubarb are highlighted by hints of chanterelle mushroom and white pepper. On the palate, hints of raspberry, black cherry, pomegranate and cola give way to a velvety mid-palate and lush, lingering finish with a touch of mulling spices. Soft tannins and a balanced acid profile make this wine ready to drink now, though it will continue to develop with additional time in the cellar.

Vineyard Notes

50% Rio Vista, 25% Rita’s Crown, 10% Radian, 10% Sanford & Benedict, 5% Rancho La Viña. This wine is a beautiful overview of the Sta. Rita Hills, combining Pinot Noir from across the temperature zones of the appellation. Rio Vista Vineyard represents the eastern end of the appellation where temperatures are slightly warmer. The rest of the vineyards sourced for this wine are located further west in the heart of Sta. Rita Hills’ cool Pinot Noir zone. Radian is the coldest vineyard in the appellation where its location in the southwest corner of the AVA is unsheltered from direct exposure to cold winds and fog from the Pacific.

Production Notes

Abundant winter rainfall in 2017 helped ease a five-year drought in California, replenishing soils and leaching out any accumulated salts. Mild spring weather averted any frost issues, and set the stage for excellent bloom and set. A heat spike in early September sent grape sugars soaring toward ripeness and vintners hastened the pace to keep up. Cool temperatures quickly returned, and remained cool for the rest of the harvest season. Yields ranged from average to 50% below average, resulting in excellent concentration and intensity in the fruit.

Winemaker Notes

Pinot Noir clusters for this wine were hand sorted before being de-stemmed and gravity fed to fermenters. The must was immediately chilled for a pre-fermentation cold soak where the most beneficial extraction of color, aroma and flavor occurs. During fermentation, concentration was enhanced by gently punching down the cap several times per day. The wine aged 11 months in French oak barrels with 30% new French oak and was bottled on August 8, 2018.
Vintage 2017
Wine Style Red Wine
Varietal 100% Pinot Noir
Appellation Sta. Rita Hills
Acid 6.0 g/L
PH 3.72
Alcohol % 14.1%
Size 750 ml