2016 Rita’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir - Byron Winery
Spiced bing cherry, forest floor, ripe pomegranate. Juicy strawberry, pulverized sea salt, rhubarb compote. Fresh lavender and iris, wild thistle and dry leaves. Tense and focused yet expansive and expressive fruit beams with ethereal complexity, exploding with cranberry cocktail and fresh raspberries of extreme purity and depth. Pine cone, white mushroom, and olive tree sit not far behind bringing droves of beautifully clean forest tones that steal the show from pronounced fruit. Sage and Asian spice showcase perfectly integrated stem inclusion while cardamom and cinnamon reveal just a touch of tasteful oak. Iron, clay, and feathered game compliment ever-so-subtle rusticity that quickly succumbs to a distinctly briny salinity. Marvelously balanced, tremendously layered, and excitingly contemplative; merely medium in body with medium tannin and oodles of fresh and juicy acidity. This 2016 Rita's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir by Byron Winery is a simply outstanding single vineyard Santa Barbara Pinot.
The Rita's Crown Vineyard is one of the highest-elevation growing sites in the entirety of Santa Barbara's Santa Rita Hills. It sits perched at the crest of a singular hillside and is fully exposed to the fog and intense winds that make growing wine grapes in this region so challenging and unique. It tends to produce thicker-skinned fruit of intense purity and concentration and in the right hands can create some of Santa Barbara's most compelling Pinot Noir. This bottling, crafted by Byron Winery using Pinot Noir sourced solely from the Rita's Crown Vineyard, is an extremely impressive example of the magic of this site. It is packed with pure and beautiful Pinot fruit yet remains quite weightless and lean despite its remarkable intensity. A touch of whole cluster has also contributed gorgeous exotic spice notes that play brilliantly with earthy and savory underpinnings. This is textbook Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir on par with the very best examples of this grape found anywhere in the world.