Rising in the middle of the western Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Rita Hills are the distinguishing feature of the region. The valley runs east to west inland from the Pacific, a channel for cool coastal air and afternoon fog that rolls in from the ocean to be trapped by the hills, resulting in a swing between warm days and cool nights. The hills are home to Lafond’s vineyards. It’s a small appellation that has gained recognition for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay: the very cool growing season stretches from February bud break to September harvest, a long period for vine physiology. This long growing season imparts ripe, complex flavour to Pinot Noir.
Fruit is harvested from three blocks on the north and south sides of the Santa Ynez River. Fermented in small lots prior to blending, the wine matured in oak barrels (22% new). This is a spicy, concentrated Pinot with rich notes of dark fruit.
“Taut, featuring crisp red fruit and berry flavors, supported by glistening acidity. Lithe midpalate, offering ample slate notes. The finish lingers, with dark chocolate hints. Drink now through 2024.”
92 points, Wine Spectator, June 2020