Wenzlau Vineyard, 'Drawing Board' Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2016
If we were to make another factual claim which is based solely on our opinion it would be that the best Pinot Noir in the US comes from Santa Barbara. This is a new area which is home to some of the most exciting winemakers around. The reason we like it is because the wines are crisp and lighter than what you normally associate with California Pinot. Cali Pinot is lighter than a grape like Cabernet of course but for a long time producers pushed the wine in a direction of being overly fruity and jammy rather than light and earthy- the French style. Santa Barbara is colder than Napa per se which helps with the lightness as well. More than anything, there are simply better winemakers devoted to Pinot in Santa Barbara than in other spots around the country right now.
Santa Barbara Pinot should always be: kind of tart, smell not just like fruit but also herbs, and not too expensive.