Sunday, April 8, 2012

2007 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Pinot Noir

We had a couple of friends come over for an early afternoon traditional Easter lunch of spiral-sliced ham, deviled eggs, garden-fresh asparagus, roasted sweet potatoes and a squash casserole. Nothing gourmet, but tasty nonetheless. I figured a Pinot Noir would be a nice pairing. Knowing we were dining al fresco on a warm afternoon, I chose to chill it down for a few minutes.

The 2007 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley is a very light, borderline transparent wine with a clear rim. Lean and lithe in the nose with tart cherry, cranberry and menthol notes. Might even be a bit of pencil lead/graphite hiding in there, too. Tartness carries over onto the palate where the acid and under-ripe fruit notes dominate the charred oak and dusty, herbaceous notes. Much leaner than the Pinots I typically enjoy, yet somehow this all comes together quite well; particularly with the food. A nice change of pace from this classic, cooler climate vineyard. About $25.


  1. In general, I really like Bien Nacido Pinots. My friend Adam makes a great one...sadly, I can rarely afford it. However, like you, I prefer my Pinots with some heft to them. Not as in the winemaker added a bunch of Syrah - you get my drift. I'm glad it all worked out with your food, though.

  2. "Adam" as in Adam Tolmach of Ojai? I've had a couple of Ojai's Syrahs, but never tried any of the Pinots.

    1. Nope, Adam LaZarre. He has his own label, but he's the winemaker for Villa San Juliette out of Paso. For years before that, he was the winemaker for Hahn. Great guy, great winemaker. I've always loved Hahn, & now I feel the same way about the VSJ wines. His LaZarre label has a couple of Pinot Noirs, a Pinot Blanc & a Sauvignon Blanc that I know of, & all are delightful.

      As far as Ojai, I've only had a Syrah or 2 from them. Oh, & a rose'. I can't seem to stay away from those...