Bien Nacido Pinot Noir
As mentioned above, we feel fortunate to have an opportunity to work with the fruit from this historic vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. Our section is from Block 1 and was planted in 1971 to Mount Eden selection and Pommard on alluvial soil, loam and river silt and is one of the oldest vineyards in the county. Owned and farmed by the Miller Family, Bien Nacido (meaning “good birth” in Spanish) has long supplied fruit to some of the best producers in California. For us this site produces very rounded, complex wines with broad cola and tobacco aromas. The wines are always complex and flavorful reminding us of dark cherries.
Sanford & Benedict
Planted in 1971 by the legendary and pioneering Richard Sanford, this site represents the oldest Pinot Noir plantings in all of Santa Barbara County and is largely synonymous with the creation of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. Tucked into the eastern corner of the Santa Rita Hills with north-facing blocks, this vineyard is planted on hard, silica gravel and well-drained soils. Because of Richard Sanford’s legacy, both as a farmer and a gentlemen, within the region and industry we feel honored to be working with the fruit that he first planted. Our sections both come from the oldest blocks where the vine trunks are gnarled producing small amounts of beautifully graceful, concentrated and textured fruit. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blocks are both from the Mount Eden selection, widely considered to be some of the first cuttings brought into California.
Located on the very western edge of the Santa Rita Hills appellation, this vineyard is a magical site producing very low yields (less than 2 tons/acre) of perfectly balanced Pinot Noir. Planted by Evening Land seven years ago on diatomaceous and clay soils, this site will hopefully set new benchmarks for quality in the appellation. We feel fortunate to have our precious two acre section that is southeast-facing and are excited about the promise to come from this special site. To give you a sense of how cold it is here at Tempest, we registered only two days over 80˚ in the 2011 growing season.
Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
This is our entry level Pinot Noir and is a blend of our vineyard holdings in the Santa Rita Hills. Over half the fruit is from 40 year-old vines at Sanford & Benedict vineyard with the rest coming from our sections and younger vines at Rita’s Crown and Bent Rock. This wine showcases the exuberance of Santa Rita Hills with bright, shiny red crunchy raspberry fruit that is layered with cola spices and tobacco. The wines are delicious now and will age gracefully for another 5-7 years. The appellation Pinot Noir also offers a great introduction to the style of our wines and will assuredly over-deliver for its price.