2016 Peake Ranch "Bellis Noir" Sta. Rita Hills

SKU #1392711 95 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2016 John Sebastiano Vineyard Bellis Noir checks in as an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was aged 18 months in neutral barrels. This medium ruby/purple-tinged red gives up rocking amounts of spiced black raspberries, olive, spring flowers, and bacon fat. While the Syrah dominates this wine right on opening, the Grenache emerges with time in the glass (I followed this wine for two days) and it's ethereally textured, seamless, and incredibly layered, with sensational purity of fruit. It's a brilliant bottle of wine.  (10/2018)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Bellis Noir is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah from the John Sebastiano vineyard. Pale to medium ruby-purple, it's scented of mixed berry jam, dried black cherries, blueberries, dried violet, chocolate-covered cherries and garrigue. Medium-bodied, it offers great intensity of tricolored fruit in the mouth with lots of savory character, segueing into chocolate and red fruit sparks, with very fine, ripe, grainy tannins and good freshness, finishing with pleasant warmth. 98 cases were made. (EB)  (9/2019)

K&L Notes

Peake Ranch Winery is only a few vintages in, but already they're on to something: sexy, expressive Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and a soupçon of Grenache from excellent vineyard sites in the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley. Owner John Wagner is a physicist-turned-hedge-fund-manager-turned-winemaker, who developed a passion for the grape when he bought Sierra Madre vineyard and got "sucked in," as he puts it. He's brought talented folks on board-an exciting young winemaker named Wynne Solomon who cut her teeth at Melville; Michael Anderson, a veteran viticulturalist; and somm/winemaker Paul Lato. They're currently in the throes of building a state-of-the-art winery and tasting room at the old Richard Sanford property, being careful to preserve the historic spaces that harken back to the founding of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA (and Sideways fame, of course). The future looks bright for Peake Ranch, but, in the here and now, they've got some fantastic wines on the roster.

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Price: $39.99
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By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2019 | Send Email
At a recent visit to Peake Ranch, I tasted a range of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay, all of which were very, very good, yet the one that stood out for me (and the one that was repeatedly poured into my glass) was this 50/50 blend of Grenache and Syrah. The spice of Syrah introduces itself first, but then the bright, raspberry personality of Grenache follows and they play back and forth on the palate. The texture is lush and the acidity bright, this is very well-balanced and flavorsome. Overall a very divine wine.

Additional Information:


Rhone Blends


United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.