' Ken Brown - Wines

2020 Rancho La Viña Pinot Noir

91 Points - Wine Enthusiast A rich, bold Pinot from this tiny but mighty vineyard.
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$65.00 per Bottle


Rich, bold and elegant are the words brought to mind while sipping this Pinot Noir. We are greeted by intense aromas of raspberries and strawberries, but a swirl of the glass brings forth undercurrents of portobello mushrooms and flinty minerality. Contrary to the nose, the palate features darker fruits like blackberries and plums, while classic Pinot Noir earthy flavors lurk in the finish. Additional cellaring will add even more complexity to this wine, inviting us to revisit this wine through the years.

Vineyard Notes

This remarkable vineyard is located at the far western edge on the south side of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The 17-acre site was planted in 2005 on a gently sloped mesa, which is several hundred feet above the valley floor. The vines are fully exposed to the cool winds coming off the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the coldest Pinot Noir plantings in California. The block used for Ken Brown Wines is planted to Pinot Noir clone 115.

Production Notes

Fast-paced and at times challenging, Sta Rita Hills’ 2020 vintage was spared from wildfire damage experienced in other areas of California and produced outstanding fruit. Harvest began slightly earlier than normal with our first Pinot Noir pick on August 24. A Labor Day weekend heat spell nudged several of our Pinot Noir vineyards to ideal ripeness and by September 8, about 60% of our grapes had been harvested. Cooler temperatures resumed and we completed the Pinot Noir harvest on September 18. Overall, grapes were beautifully expressive with pure fruit aromatics and flavors, excellent color, and superb structure.

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 on its lees for 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels and was bottled unfined and unfiltered on August 3, 2021.
Vintage 2020
Wine Style Red Wine
Varietal 100% Pinot Noir
Appellation Sta. Rita Hills
Acid 6.3 g/l
PH 3.6
Alcohol % 13.9
Size 750 ml