2013SandhiSRHPN2013 Sandhi, Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills.
The latest from Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman’s Sandhi Wines are absolute gems, I loved tasting the Chardonnay and especially this 2013 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot, it is wonderfully expressive, lush and detailed with balance and drinkability. Sasha, who also makes Stolpman and wines under his own label, poured at a great event at Bay Grape in Oakland, last night March 24, where Stevie and Josiah the owners had a full house at their shop and wine bar on Grand Ave, I can’t say enough about how awesome these guys have done in bringing in honest wines and fun to this neighborhood. The wines of Sandhi are made to be pure California examples of terroir and highlight the flavors and wonderful nature of the SRH region, but also to remain true to a core believe that wines should have restraint in alcohol and keep vitality to their personality, they were leaders in the In Pursuit of Balance movement, along with Hirsch Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast and others that have formed that collective of like minded wineries. The Sandhi 2013 Pinot starts with flamboyant whole cluster aromas with juicy red fruits, mixed floral tones, spice and savory elements both on the nose and on the surprisingly decedent and rich palate, even with the 13%, rather low for Sta. Rita Hills, this wine feels perfectly lush and ripe with succulent cherry, raspberry and plum fruits forming the main layers. There is silken tannins, bright acidity holding things together and the background holds interest with dried celery, minty herbs, lavender, rosewater, cedar and cinnamon as well as very soft and subtle sweet French oak/wood framing. Light mineral and earthy notes come through as contrast to the open fruit in this highly entertaining Pinot, this wine has a good drinking window ahead of it, but as serious as it is, it shows it doesn’t need too much extra waiting to be a thrill, drink from 2016 to 2028. It was great to catch up with Sashi, and I highly recommend trying any or all of the wines he has a hand in crafting from Stolpman to Evening Land in Oregon, his own Syrah, the Salem Wine Company Gamay, one of my new favorites, and of course the Sandhi offerings, he is one of California’s outstanding talents.
($36 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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