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Tasting Report: Wines of the Santa Rita Hills 2011

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Made famous by its appearance in the film Sideways, the Santa Rita Hills area near Santa Barbara is still riding high, thanks to a continued focus on quality winemaking, particularly in the realm of its storied Pinot Noirs.

Recently a dozen or so wineries from the Sta. Rita AVA trekked up to San Francisco to show off their wares, giving the Pinot-happy crowd a chance to try wines from a few old favorites and a number of newer wineries. Overall I was quite impressed with the quality on display, particularly with Pinots from D’Alfonso-Curran, Foley, and Zotovich, all showing off that textbook So-Cal character, rich with satiny fruit while exuding real terroir.

Grades and some notes follow.

Tasting Report: Wines of the Santa Rita Hills

2009 Cargasacchi Pinot Grigio / B+

2007 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard / B- / tobacco notes

2006 D’Alfonso-Curran Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard / A-

2006 D’Alfonso-Curran Pinot Noir Rancho Las Hermanas Vineyard / A / intense, very big pinot

2006 D’Alfonso-Curran Pinot Noir Rancho La Vina Vineyard / A-

2006 D’Alfonso-Curran Badge Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills / B-

2009 Dragonette Cellars Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills / B+

2009 Dragonette Cellars Pinot Noir Hilliard Bruce Vineyard / A-

2007 Fiddlehead Cellars Pinot Noir “Lollapalooza” Fiddlestix Vineyard / A-

2007 Fiddlehead Cellars Pinot Noir “Seven Twenty Eight” Fiddlestix Vineyard / B

2005 Fiddlehead Cellars Pinot Noir “Lollapalooza” Fiddlestix Vineyard / A-

2008 Lincourt Pinot Noir Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard / A-

2008 Foley Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills / A / rich and smooth, vibrant

2009 Gainey Vineyard Chardonnay Gainey Vineyard / B+

2008 Gainey Vineyard Pinot Noir Gainey Vineyard / B

2009 Gypsy Canyon Winery Pinot Noir Gypsy Canyon Vineyard / A-

NV Gypsy Canyon Winery Ancient Vine Angelica Gypsy Canyon Vineyard / B

2006 Hitching Post Wines Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard / A-

2006 Hitching Post Wines Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard / B

2006 Hitching Post Wines Pinot Noir “Perfect Set” Fiddlestix Vineyard / B

2006 Hitching Post Wines Pinot Noir Santa Rita’s Earth Santa Rita Hills / B+

2007 Ken Brown Wines Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills / A-

2007 Ken Brown Wines Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard / B+ / was with it til the odd finish

2009 Ken Brown Wines Pinot Noir Santa Barbara / A-

2008 Kenneth-Crawford Wines Pinot Noir Babcock Vineyard / B+

2006 Kenneth-Crawford Wines Syrah Lafond Vineyard / B- / rough finish

2006 Kenneth-Crawford Wines Syrah Turner Vineyard / B

2008 Kenneth-Crawford Wines Pinot Noir Turner Vineyard / A-

2008 Pali Wine Company Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard / B+ / jammy

2009 Pali Wine Company Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard / B+

2009 Pali Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard / A- / more pepper

2009 Pali Wine Company Pinot Noir Huntington / B+

2007 Sweeney Canyon Pinot Noir Sweeney Canyon Vineyard / A-

2008 Sweeney Canyon Pinot Noir Sweeney Canyon Vineyard / A-

2007 Zotovich Cellars Estate Pinot Noir Zotovich Family Vineyards / A

2008 Zotovich Cellars Estate Syrah Zotovich Family Vineyards / A-

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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1 Comments

  1. Lisa May 11, 2011

    Thank you for the feed back. We had a great time doing the tasting in SF.

    Reply

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