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A newer producer of Pinot Noir in 2012 from Pence Ranch Vineyard located in the far eastern portion of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation (technically outside the appellation), across from Rio Vista Vineyard and adjacent Sebastiano Vineyard. About 40 acres are planted on the 200-acre property primarily to Pinot Noir with a small amount of Chardonnay. Both heirloom (Swan and Mt. Eden) and French clones.
The first crop was 2009 and the wine was vinified by the owner at Tantara. The inaugural commercial release was the 2010 vintage vintage vinified by veteran winemaker Jeff Fink, formerly a winemaker at Tantara. Jeff crafted the wines from vintages 2010 to 2013. 4 Pinot Noirs were released from the estate vineyard in 2010.
In August 2016 an eastward expansion of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA was approved and Pence Ranch is now officially in that AVA.
The wines are offered through a mailing list.
2014 Pence Ranch Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $27. Winemaker Sasha Moorman. Produced and bottled by Pence Ranch, Lompoc, CA. I could not find this wine on the website or wine-searcher. I bought it at Whole Foods. · Light ruby red color in the glass. The nose opens beautifully over time displaying scents of cherry, cardamom spice, rose petal, pipe smoke and a touch of toasty oak. Light to mid weight in style, and forward drinking, offering flavors of cherry, cranberry, raspberry, and exotic spices backed by easy going tannins. A deft touch of oak plies the background, and the wine finishes with a nice cherry kiss. A terrific value in a Pinot displaying some whole cluster sensibilities. Score: 90. Reviewed September 24, 2017 ARTICLE »
2010 Pence Ranch Estate Estate Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
14.5%, 620 cases, $30. From all five producing blocks. 15% whole cluster. Aged 22 months in 1-year and older French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Generous nose with aromas of black plum, blackberry jam, fruit leather and a touch of dark strawberry glaze. Middleweight core of dark red and black berries, plum and Hoison sauce with a touch of earth and spice. Noticeable oak in the background which recedes over time in the glass. Well-managed tannins with good acidity. About the same the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »
2010 Pence Ranch Estate Uplands Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 295 cases, $40. From two producing East Blocks. Pommard and 115. 15% whole cluster. Aged 22 months in 1-year and older French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very giving nose offering aromas of red and black berries, exotic spices and a hint of peppery herbs. Very satisfying flavors of dark berries with hints of spice, vanilla and smoky oak. Nicely balanced and easy to cozy up to, leaving behind a pleasant impression. Still pumping out the aromas and flavors the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Plenty of Pinot singing here. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »
2010 Pence Ranch Estate Westslope Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 94 cases, $50. From three producing West Blocks. 667, Swan and 828. These blocks are exposed to significant wind and have heavier soils than the East Blocks. 15% whole cluster. Aged 22 months in 1-year and older French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very pretty aromatics with plenty of pure dark red cherry and just the right touch of oak. Soft and inviting on the palate with a discreetly concentrated core of dark red cherries and berries, finishing with a surge of cherry fruit with just a hint of oak. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »