|Owner(s)||Sashi Moorman, Rajat Parr, Steve Webster|
|Link to this site|
Sommelier Rajat Parr joined with Charles Banks, the former owner of Jonata Wines and Screaming Eagle, along with winemaker Sashi Moorman, to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from select vineyards in Santa Barbara County. The inaugural release was February, 2011.
The name, Sandhi, is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning "alliance" or "collaboration" and reflects the partnership of the winery. The stylistic goal of the wines is to avoid extreme ripeness, alcohol and oak and emphasize finesse, minerality, acidity, structure and balance.
All wines are wild yeast fermented with a preference for neutral barrel and concrete vessels, but a small amount of new French oak is employed. All Chardonnays go through malolactic fermentation but lees are not stirred or re-suspended. The white wines go through a light fining and filtration. All Pinot Noirs are mostly whole cluster fermented and are unfined and unfiltered. There are zero additions of water, sugar, acid and enzymes.
In 2016, Charles Banks sold his interest in Sandhi Wines to Rajat Parr, Sasha Moorman and venture capitalist Steve Webster.
The wines are offered through a mailing list, the tasting room in Lompoc and the website.
2017 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $45. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Whole cluster driven aromas of spiced cherry, strawberry, and burnt tobacco. Lighter and elegantly composed, with a core of cherry fruit. A bit smoky and stemmy (green), with a tart cherry finish of modest length. Score: 89. Reviewed September 19, 2021 ARTICLE »
2014 Sandhi Mt. Carmel Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 367 cases, $55. Sourced from an organically farmed vineyard planted in 1991 and is located below Rita’s Crown and above Sea Smoke. · Light garnet color in the glass. More mainstream in style with little whole cluster character. Aromas of cherry and earthy flora lead to a mid weight style with a discreetly sappy core of black cherry fruit that is nicely spiced. Nicely put together, with noticeable length and juicy cut on the refreshing finish. Score: 91. Reviewed May 7, 2017 ARTICLE »
2014 Sandhi Rinconada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 450 cases, $55. This historic vineyard was planted by Richard Sanford in 1997 in silica-based soils tending to produce an earthy expression of Pinot Noir. · Light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry and red raspberry, rose petal, pine sap and turned earth lead to a lighter-weighted style wine with an array of red and blue fruits backed by vibrant acidity. There is a hint of leaf and herbal tone in the background. The most austere wine in the 2014 Sandhi lineup, offering a slightly tart cherry finish. This wine did assume more character and flavor over time in the glass and the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89. Reviewed May 7, 2017 ARTICLE »
2014 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 260 cases, $65. Planted in 1971 by Richard Sanford, these are the oldest Pinot Noir plantings in Santa Barbara County. Mt. Eden selection. · Light garnet color in the glass. Laudatory aromas or blueberry, cranberry, spice, forest floor and rose petal. Light to mid weight in style, with a vivid core of fresh cherry and cranberry flavors infused with polite acidity. Silky in texture, with slightly astringent tannins on the finish. Score: 90. Reviewed May 7, 2017 ARTICLE »
2014 Sandhi La Côte Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
12.5% alc., 99 cases, $90. This 9-acre vineyard was originally called Evening Land Tempest. It is located on the far western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA 3 miles west of other vineyard sites. This magical site produces very low yields and is extremely cool. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Nicely appointed whole cluster infused nose with aromas of cherry, spice, rose petal, pipe smoke and burnt tobacco. Mid weight flavors of cherry, cranberry, orange peel and tobacco are framed by mellow tannins. A slight thread of wood and green herbs is noted in the background. The slightly tart, lipsmacking finish has good length. For whole cluster aficionados only. Score: 90. Reviewed May 7, 2017 ARTICLE »
2014 Sandhi Mt. Carmel Vineyard Old Vines Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 68 cases, $90. Sourced from an own-rooted block planted in 1990. Yields are barely 1 ton per acre. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely appointed aromas of purple berries, spice, mulch and marzipan. The mid weight flavors of boysenberry and plum have noticeably more layers of flavor and more pedigree. Silken in the mouth, with ideal integration of acidity, a respectful hint of oak, a tannic structure that predicts age ability and an appealing savory whole cluster overlay. Score: 93. Reviewed May 7, 2017 ARTICLE »
2012 Sandhi Rinconada Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $55. 100% whole cluster fermentation. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Exhilarating nose offering aromas of dark cherry, rose petal, exotic spices and a little sous-bois at play. Seductive elegance upon entry with layers of dark red and purple berry fruits backed by youthful, muscular tannins. A wine to contemplate with nuances arriving over time including a floral riff. Silky in the mouth with a good spark of acidity to buffer the tannins. Still very enjoyable the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine needs cellaring for the tannins to meld. Score: 93. Reviewed December 10, 2014 ARTICLE »
2012 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $65. Sourced from the original 1971 plantings at Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Very engaging nose that is whole cluster inspired with aromas of rose petal, spicy cola, cherry and spiced pear. Soft and silky on the palate with succulent flavors of red cherry and red berries with a hint of dried leaf and rose water in the background. More brightness and more savory than the Rinconada bottling. Plenty of bones for aging, with a nice interplay of juicy acidity and suede tannins on the finish. A sommelier’s wine built for food. Considerable better and more expressive the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with plenty of spice, cola and fruit flavors dancing on the palate. Score: 94. Reviewed December 10, 2014 ARTICLE »
2011 Sandhi Wenzlau Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
13.0% alc.. · Dark purple color in the glass. Intense aromas of black cherries. Soft and juicy on the palate with moderately concentrated flavors of black cherry and blackberry wrapped in powdery tannins. Finishes with noticeable sappy fruit. A fruit dominated wine that shows little whole cluster influence but is nevertheless enticing. Very good. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »