2004 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 370 cases, $36. Winemaker Dennis Martin focuses on Blocks N, G and Q from Bien Nacido Vineyard that are planted primarily to the Pommard clone. Aged 15 months in primarily Francois Frèrés oak barrels, 60% new and 40% once-used. · The exotic nose includes cooked cherries, burnt toffee and spice. The flavors remind me of an arugula salad with strawberries and cherries (there is a subtle note of pepper in arugula which is also typical of Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido Vineyard). Lush and voluptuous, but elegant and balanced, this is a complete Pinot of distinction. Impressive debut. Reviewed May 30, 2006

Winery: Sanctuary Estates