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Racines Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2018

Red Wine from California, United States

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A blend of fruit from the Bentrock, La Encantada, La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict vineyards. On average, one third whole cluster is retained during fermentation and only punched down for about three weeks before being put to standard 228l barrel for elevage.
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Among the many great Burgundy winemakers who have landed on the West Coast and are making wine here, the most exciting of all might be the most recent arrival, Etienne de Montille. His wines are sought after by all those who love burgundy, especially fellow winemakers.

When Etienne decided to make wine out west, he took a road trip with his Chef du Cave, Brian Sieve. Focusing their efforts on the cool climate sites, they started in the Willamette Valley, worked their way down the Sonoma Coast through the Santa Cruz Mountains and ended their journey in Santa Barbara. Of all the sites they explored, soil and climatic conditions they witnessed and wines they tasted, it was Santa Rita Hills north of Santa Barbara where they saw the most potential.

The other draw to this area was the tremendous talent, Tyler Winery's Justin Willett. Along with Rodolphe Peters of Pierre Peters, the four joined forces in a new project they call Racines. Racines is French for "roots", but the seeds for this project were planted a few years back. Raj Parr introduced Justin to Etienne in 2012 and a few years later, Justin found himself in Burgundy tasting with Montille's cellar manager Brian Sieve. The two became fast friends and also started a regular correspondence to exchange advice during harvests. Fast forward a few years - Etienne and Brian approached Justin to partner in their US project. Étienne brought along Rodolphe Péters of Champagne Pierre Peters, who wanted to start a sparkling wine venture in the US - and the rest is history. 2017 is their inaugural vintage.

We were very proud to host Etienne and Justin for a tasting of the first vintage of Racines. Even with our high expectations, each wine easily surpassed them. The application of Burgundian winemaking with the cool climate and limestone rich soils of the Santa Rita Hills produces something that lies in that magical spot between Californian and French wines. Layered and complex with the ability to age but so elegant and delicious when in their youth. The Chardonnays are crystalline and transparent with edges of savoriness and salinity. The Pinots are layered and structured with that brooding quality that Montille's Burgundies are known for.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 92
"The 2018 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Cuvee is a gorgeous appellation-level wine. Crushed flowers, mint, sage, cedar, tobacco, star anise and rose petal give the 2018 a striking aromatic upper register. Savory, deep and yet light on its feet, the 2018 has so much to offer. This is such a pretty wine, and a terrific introduction to both the vintage and the Racines lineup. Vineyard sites are Domaine de la Côte, Encantada and a few barrels from S&B." -Antonio Galloni


D 94
"Racines is a collaboration between Tyler Winery’s Justin Willett, Domaine de Montille’s Étienne de Montille and Brian Sieve, and Rodolphe Péters of Champagne Pierre Péters, working with entirely Sta. RIta Hills fruit. For the most part, the entire lineup levels-up the intensity and structure of the Tyler wines, as is the case with their Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Sourced from multiple sites across the appellation with a backbone of La Encantada Vineyard. Meaty, dense and reminiscent of a damp forest on the nose and palate, with a balanced, dark-fruited, saline-heavy finish." -Matthew Luczy


  • Grape Variety

    Pinot Noir

  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Style

    Earthy , Fruity , Minerally

  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Light Bodied

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