Sanford, Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills 2012
This was the Pinot Noir – the crown jewel – that inspired the entire current generation of southern California winemakers. I first tasted it in the 1980s, on assignment from Playboy magazine no less, when the appellation didn’t yet exist. The vineyard itself was established in 1971 by maverick vintners Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict. Countless advice at the time warned the two men that they were out of their minds, for the region was considered way too close to the Pacific Ocean and therefore too cold to grow grapes. Once the vineyard was proven, Richard Sanford established his eponymous winery and began making elegant, liltingly long Pinot Noir with the Sanford & Benedict grapes. Today, Sanford winery is owned by the Terlato Wine Company.
Taster Karen MacNeil
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