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2018 Pinot Noir
93 pts Wine Enthusiast94pts Jeb Dunnuck93pts Antonio Galloni
Bentrock Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
To experience a true Déjà vu is to experience something that is familiar yet inexplicable. This is how I have always felt about Block 3 at the Bentrock Vineyard. Of course, you could say that its wines have always been rich, earthy, and robust. But in Block 3 these things come together in such a unique, almost haunting way. In a word, I can only pin it down as terroir. Of all my wines, this is the one that really drives home this phenomenon of being able to sense a soil in a wine. In Pinot Noir, this is an elusive thing that microcosmically is in perhaps almost every bottle that is produced worldwide. It’s like a spirit that local growers here have built the Sta. Rita Hills upon, similar to the way the French built Burgundy long ago upon the world’s greatest conduit to the soil.
There is a lot of talk these days about Terroir. Too often I taste wines that are supposed to be terroir driven but there’s really no “there” there. A lot of times those wines are perfectly nice, but they don’t tell the story of soil or specific vineyard location. With this wine, dirt and location are front and center. While the foundation is the soil, part of it is also the farming. Bentrock is farmed by Ruben Solorzano of Coastal Vineyard Care who is one of the best in the business. As for the dirt, Block 3 at Bentrock is arguably the best block of Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. In this wine, it shows.