2015 Estate Pinot Noir - Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

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Spiced pomegranate, dried leaves, crushed cranberry. Cherry pit, pink peppercorn, tangy rhubarb. Fresh lavender and forest floor, rosemary and holiday spice. Juicy raspberry fends off portobello mushroom, stems, and savory tones in a brilliantly lean and clean advance. Exotically seasoned and spiced while maintaining pristine balance; finishing with wonderfully precise saline freshness. This 2015 Estate Pinot Noir by Riverbench Vineyard & Winery is energetic, focused, and just plain fantastic.

The cool maritime climate and sandy alluvial soils of the Santa Maria Valley of Santa Barbara have proven apt at creating some of the best conditions for growing Pinot Noir in the state of California. This bottling, crafted using a blend of Pinot Noir fruit from multiple parts of the sprawling Riverbench Vineyard, is a compelling testament to that claim. Bright red fruits are the star here as they transcend a dazzling cornucopia of sous bois and spices with effortless poise and finesse. Merely medium in body with medium tannin and above average acidity, this stuff is far from an inky California fruit bomb. First impressions might even place this wine closer to Oregon or even Burgundy thanks to its lighter fruit profile, prevalent expression of terroir, and weightless elegance. Best of all this is just the entry level offering from Riverbench. Fantastic stuff and an even better price.