Sanctuary Estates

Owner(s) Brown-Forman
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Dennis Martin (Director of Winemaking at Fetzer Vineyards) delivers limited production single vineyard wines from exceptional vineyards under his private label, with a focus on Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido Vineyard, Cabernet from Usibelli Vineyard in Rutherford, and Zinfandel from the Mariah Vineyard in the Mendocino Ridge. The first Pinot Noir was produced in the 2005 vintage.

Reviewed Wines

2006 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,853 cases, $30. Crafted by Fetzer winemaker Dennis Martin who has worked with the Miller family, owners of Bien Nacido Vineyard, since 1985. This is Martin’s private label produced at Fetzer’s winery in Hopland. · Moderately light garnet color. Needs air to open. Earth kissed berries and cherries which are bright and focused augmented by hints of earth, herbs, oak and petrol. Supple tannins make for pleasant drinking. Much better when re-tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle. I would suggest decanting if you choose to pop a cork now but patience for another year or two will be aptly rewarded. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 1,800 cases, $36. · I was taken by the gorgeous deep ruby color of this wine. The nose is earthy and filled with decomposing wet leaves. The dark stone fruits create a weighty mouth feel, and earthiness, cigar box and toasty oak add intrigue. Like the 2004 vintage of this wine, this a very distinctive Pinot which is a treat to drink. Reviewed April 30, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 370 cases, $36. Winemaker Dennis Martin focuses on Blocks N, G and Q from Bien Nacido Vineyard that are planted primarily to the Pommard clone. Aged 15 months in primarily Francois Frèrés oak barrels, 60% new and 40% once-used. · The exotic nose includes cooked cherries, burnt toffee and spice. The flavors remind me of an arugula salad with strawberries and cherries (there is a subtle note of pepper in arugula which is also typical of Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido Vineyard). Lush and voluptuous, but elegant and balanced, this is a complete Pinot of distinction. Impressive debut. Reviewed May 30, 2006

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