2017 Byron "Rita's Crown Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1559886 95 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark The 2017 Pinot Noir Rita's Crown Vineyard saw the same one-third stems as well as 16 months in 57% new French oak. It's a more ethereal, elegant effort and has gorgeous notes of ripe strawberries, white flowers, spice, and forest floor. Pure, medium-bodied, and layered on the palate, it shines for its seamless, elegant texture as well as its length. It's unquestionably one of my favorites in the lineup. Inner quote mark (10/2019)

95 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2017 Pinot Noir Rita's Crown Vineyard is one of the most distinctive wines in this range. Powerful and vertical in feel, with a real sense of energy, the Rita's Crown is fabulous. Firm tannins give the 2017 much of its shape and overall drive, but there is more than enough fruit to keep things impeccably balanced. The interplay of aromatic intensity, transparency and structure is compelling. The 33% whole clusters add complexity without overpowering the wine. (AG) Inner quote mark (9/2019)

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Price: $34.95
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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/12/2021 | Send Email
I couldn't believe it when we secured this screaming deal on a Pinot Noir from the legendary Rita's Crown Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills! You almost never see wine from this heralded vineyard at a discount. Rita's Crown is arguably the most sought-after fruit in all of Sta. Rita Hills. The vineyard wraps around a perilously steep, west-facing hillside, and is one of the highest elevation sites in the region. The soils are very lean and heavily calcareous. The vines struggle in these meager soils, constantly buffeted by the cool, onshore winds. The resulting wine has stunning concentration of aromas and flavors from the tiny yields. In the 2017 bottling, I found stunning aromas of warmed spices, dry leaf litter, bright red berries, and rose petal. On the palate, Benton cherry, pomegranate juice, and exotic Asian spices backed by so much energy and vitality in the form of resonating minerality and soil tones. Medium-bodied but quite linear in feel, it's focused, pure, and refined. With time in the glass, the array of floral notes, red berries, and spices grows, and the palate becomes a little broader and more generous as layers unfurl. It's a captivating Pinot Noir that shows exactly why this vineyard is so revered and typically commands top-dollar prices.
Top Value! Drink from 2021 to 2030

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