Babcock Sta. Rita Hills "Rita's Earth" Pinot Noir 2019
Food & Wine has named Babcock one of the best wineries to visit in Santa Barbara County. Babcock Winery and Vineyards was established in 1978 when the original owners Mona and Walter (restaurant proprietors of Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach) purchased a 110 acre property with lima beans and fallow land in the countryside in the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley. In 1983, the first vintage was born.
Mona and Walter's son Bryan has continued the tradition and has become one of the great pioneers in Santa Barbara County and the creation of the Sta. Rita Hills Appellation. With a degree in Viticulture and Enology form UC Davis, Bryan is completely hands on in tackling all aspects at the winery. Recently he developed a new farming method called Integrated Nature that integrates the nature of the vine with the forces of nature (gravity, wine and sun) in order to minimize costs, while maximizing ergonomic efficiencies and wine quality.
This wine is an homage to the strength and beauty of Saint Rita, the namesake of the vineyard’s appellation, the Sta. Rita Hills. The timeless rose on the label was drawn by Bryan's artistic daughter, Chloe. It represents the final, miraculous rose that was taken to Saint Rita after being plucked out of her garden in the middle of winter, shortly before her passing.
The wine offers a richness and complexity that suggests a Pinot Noir that is more expensive than its $25 suggested retail. Its Central Coast earthiness is center stage in an aroma that is enveloped by cherries, herbs and a touch of rhubarb. On the palate, it has a nice fruit weight with fine tannins that are nicely placed but by no means over bearing. Yes, this Rita’s Earth Pinot should age well. While it’s a pleasure to drink now, it is still just a baby, and should continue to spread its wings over the next few years. 13.5% Alc.
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