Sanctuary Pinot Noir Weathers the Snowstorm

The first snow of the season.

Not a ferocious storm, thankfully.  The snow came in big flakes, more sifting down than wind-driven. It piled up in big, heavy mounds.

I grabbed a book and a blanket and holed up in my cozy reading room.  Everyone should have a cozy room for avoiding winter storms.

When it was finished, we celebrated its end with an appropriately named wine–Sanctuary.

Sanctuary Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, 2012.

Winemaker Dennis Martin searches for the perfect place for his vines to thrive, a “sanctuary”, so to speak.  This Pinot Noir vineyard is found in Santa Maria Valley in the northern end of Santa Barbara County.  This is one of California’s coolest regions due to the string of east-west ranges and valleys that allow cooling maritime breezes and fogs far inland.  Martin uses 100% Pinot Noir grapes and barrel ferments 48%, with the rest fermented in open top tanks.  The wine sits in 100% French barrels 12 months before bottling.

Brilliant cherry-red color foretells this wine’s beauty.

Aromas are full of cherry, red licorice, violets and savory herbs–sage and mint.
The palate is delicate and velvety, becoming more plush and full as it sits in the glass.

Pure, bright cherry flavor greets the senses with hints of anise, vanilla and baking spices interwoven throughout. Brisk acidity balances the lush texture and everything wraps up in a cloak of velvet.

The snow sifted down as I sat in my own sanctuary, warm and cozy.  What better wine to open than this?

Ignoring the cold of winter;
Sipping in a cozy, tranquil corner;
Wine drinkers who seek an elegant, pure expression of Pinot Noir.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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