Jeb Dunnuck 94+
Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2018 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is 100% Pinot Noir from the Peake Ranch and John Sebastiano vineyards and was all destemmed and aged 18 months in 40% new French oak. Tart Bing cherries, raspberries, forest floor, and sappy flower and violet notes all define this beauty. It has a clean, focused, yet concentrated style that will benefit from a year in bottle. A relatively new estate in Santa Barbara County, Peake Ranch was created by John and Gill Wagner, who released their first wines in 2015. The estate lies on the eastern end of the Sta. Rita Hills, and they pull from both their Peake Ranch Estate Vineyard around the property as well as the John Sebastiano Vineyard, which John partially owns. The wines have been made by Paul Lato since 2015, yet starting in 2017, the winemaking has slowly moved over to the current winemaker Wynne Solomon. Wynne worked with Lato on both the 2017s and 2018s and has been fully in charge since 2019. These are incredible wines, and as I ve written in the past, readers need to get on this estate s bandwagon!