Reviews & Ratings

Sanford 2007 Vintages Praised on GoodGrape.com - June 29, 2009 - By Jeff Lefevere
Sanford Pinot, in the past, has always being a nice, well-made wine, but it never quite transcended to the top of the vista in between the twin peaks of delicious and reliable. The Terlato Family have added much to quality in the bottle.

The thing you should know is simple: Sanford Winery makes some killer Pinot and Chardonnay. So good, in fact, they have now been inducted into my brand ambassador hall of fame alongside other favorites like A. Rafanelli and Dry Creek Vineyards. To my palate, both the Pinot and the Chardonnay typify what is great about California wine —wines that are wrought with a deft touch and speak to a fruit-driven California sensibility that is unmistakable, while also being food-friendly. The 2007 vintage is currently available; I would urge you to try both the Pinot and the Chard.

2007 Sanford Pinot Noir – Sta. Rita Hills
Garnet-tinged purple with beet juice, black cherry, plum, cola and mushroom on the nose. The palate offers up more black cherry, black tea, hints of cinnamon, plum and an earthiness framed by perfect acidity. This is a delicious wine.

2007 Sanford Chardonnay –Santa Barbara County
Killer nose gives off a panoply of aromas—tropical fruits salad with vanilla syrup, cashew, cantaloupe and green apples on the edges. The palate and finish are world class… pineapple, peach, lime zest with a creamy mouthfeel that runs counter to the integrated minerality. 

Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir – Sta. Rita Hills Named ‘Wine of the Week’ in South Florida Sun-Sentinel , June 25, 2009
The Sanford Pinot Noir is a classic red. Produced from grapes grown in Santa Barbara County's justly famed Santa Rita Hills region, its rich berry flavors and subtle hints of vanilla make this red a must-buy wine for the serious aficionado. Pinot Noir just doesn't get any better than this. Great Pinot Noirs show their best when served with lamb, veal, salmon and blue-veined cheeses. By Bob Hosmon

Sanford Wines Receive Great Reviews in Restaurant Wine – June 2009 – By Ronn Wiegand
* * * * FIVE STARS - Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir – Sanford and Benedict Vineyard
Sanford’s wines are improving vintage to vintage. The 2007 Pinot Noirs are its best in years. The single vineyard Sanford & Benedict wine is exceptional full bodied, richly flavored and lightly tannic. A fairly powerful wine with plum, blueberry, toast, pepper, sage, cedar and spicy oak aromas flavors.

* * * * FOUR STARS - Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir – Sta. Rita Hills
The Santa Rita Hills version is a rich, full bodied, fairly powerful wine that is moderately complex in character and very long on the finish. Tasting of blackberry, cherry, pepper, toast, cedar and spicy oak.

* * * * + FOUR STARS PLUS - Sanford 2007 Chardonnay – Santa Barbara County
A ripe generously flavored full bodied Chardonnay with moderate complexity, honey, butterscotch, pineapple, peach, roasted nut and a very long finish. Excellent. Sanford’s wines are improving vintage to vintage. The 2007 Pinot Noirs are its best in years. The single vineyard Sanford & Benedict wine is exceptional full bodied, richly flavored and lightly tannic. A fairly powerful wine with plum, blueberry, toast, pepper, sage, cedar and spicy oak aromas flavors. The Santa Rita Hills version is a rich, full bodied, fairly powerful wine that is moderately complex in character and very long on the finish. Tasting of blackberry, cherry, pepper, toast, cedar and spicy oak. A ripe generously flavored full bodied Chardonnay with moderate complexity, honey, butterscotch, pineapple, peach, roasted nut and a very long finish. Excellent. The Santa Rita Hills version is a rich, full bodied, fairly powerful wine that is moderately complex in character and very long on the finish. Tasting of blackberry, cherry, pepper, toast, cedar and spicy oak. A ripe generously flavored full bodied Chardonnay with moderate complexity, honey, butterscotch, pineapple, peach, roasted nut and a very long finish. Excellent. The Santa Rita Hillis version is a rich, full bodied, fairly powerful wine that is moderately complex in character and very long on the finish. Tasting of blackberry, cherry, pepper, toast, cedar and spicy oak. A ripe generously flavored full bodied Chardonnay with moderate complexity, honey, butterscotch, pineapple, peach, roasted nut and a very long finish. Excellent. A ripe generously flavored full bodied Chardonnay with moderate complexity, honey, butterscotch, pineapple, peach, roasted nut and a very long finish. Excellent.

Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir – Sanford & Benedict Vineyard featured in 805 Living, June 2009
Winemaker and General Steve Fennell talks about his marquee Pinot Noir from the iconic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. Click here to read the article.

Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir - Sta. Rita Hills featured in Houston Chronicle May 26, 2009
WHAT I’M DRINKING COLUMN
Who: Stephanie Burleigh, General Manager and Sommelier at Morton’s Steakhouse, Houston, Texas
What: 2007 Sanford Pinot Noir – Sta. Rita Hills
Why: I was sold on Sanford’s Pinots the first time I had them. The winery is located in California’s Santa Rita Hills and they blend from several vineyard blocks, adding complexity and length to the wine. The color is flirty and the nose intoxicating, with hints of black cherries and plum and a soft smoky texture on the palate. It maintains its structure all the way through while supple tannins allow the wine to linger. At a dinner with Angelo Gaja in Italy last fall he told me the Sanford Pinot was one of his favorite American wines.

Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir - Sta. Rita Hills featured in Sierra , the magazine of the Sierra Club, May/June 2009
The taste is rich and chewy; as sophisticated as a Henry Moore sculpture in a Tuscan oak grove. Sanford 's barrel room walls are made of adobe, eliminating the need to heat or air condition.

Sanford 2007 Chardonnay - Santa Barbara County called "excellent" on popular wine blog Biggerthanyourhead.com, April 24, 2009
Excellent. Talk about pedigree; two of the best vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills — La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict — contributed grapes to this wine, as well as El Camino Vineyard in Los Alamos and Bien Nacido near Santa Maria Valley. This is right up there at the borderline of ripe, bright, vivid and spicy, toasty (especially on the finish) and smoky, but essentially balanced and integrated. This is well-made, flamboyant, say, but not decadent, not Liberace-like. Apple, pear, grapefruit and pineapple, a pass at the tropical, loads of acidity and minerals, very dry, handily avoids any creamy-buttery exaggeration. By Frederic Koeppel

Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir - Sta. Rita Hills Featured in 805 Living magazine, March 2009
The Sanford 2007 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills is big and upfront with fruit. It demonstrates typical soft varietal character, while remaining balanced throughout with warm spice and vibrant dark berries. This is a definite food wine, too. It’s big enough to handle steak, but it’ll be just fine with poultry as well. It’ll also pair nicely with a movie, if you’re so inclined. By Anthony Head

92 points
Sanford 2006 Pinot Noir - La Rinconada Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills, March/April/May 2009Bright garnet hue. Fresh bouquet of strawberry preserves, bacon fat and buttered popcorn. Round, accessible cherry and strawberry fruit with a smoky nuance shadowing the flavors. Rich, lasting close drinking nicely right now. Wine News Tasting Panel

92 points
Sanford 2006 Pinot Noir - Sanford & Benedict Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills, March/April/May 2009
Inky black-garnet hue. Earthy, smoky charred oak aromas. Ripe black cherry and raspberry fruit with flinty, drying tannins. Tight, crisp finish with a lick of white pepper checking the sweetness. Wine News Tasting Panel

93 points
Sanford 2006 Pinot Noir - Sanford & Benedict Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills, December 2008
A beautiful Pinot Noir, showing off the variety's rich, velvety texture and the way it seduces the palate. Balanced in the tension between acids, tannins and oak, it shows deliciously ripe flavors of red and black currants, cherries and dusty spices. By Steve Heimoff Wine Enthusiast magazine. By Steve Heimoff Wine Enthusiast magazine

90 points
Sanford 2006 Pinot Noir - La Rinconada Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills, February 2009
This feels relaxed and cool, its generous black cherry flavors wrapped in silky tannins. It becomes more saline with air, a mineral mark to contrast the lasting flavors of plum and smoke on the finish. Decant a bottle for seared duck breast. By Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits magazine

Sanford 2006 Chardonnay - Santa Barbara County, December 2008
I would swim in this if I could. I love the tropical impressions of Santa Barbara chards and this one just explodes out of the glass. Again, you receive the "micro treatment" with fruit that is sourced from three different estate locations in Santa Barbara County to make one lovely dram. Nice citrus and acidity keeps the wine balanced and food-friendly. By Mark Nothaft, East Valley Tribune , Arizona

90 points
Sanford 2006 Pinot Noir - Sta. Rita Hills, June 2008
Cherry and cranberry aromas with a wisp of a smoky oak. Delicate cherry and red licorice flavors with a note of bell pepper. Lengthy finish with dusty, fine tannins and cleansing, fresh acidity. By Tasting Panel, Wine News magazine

IntoWineTV.com reviews Sanford 2006 Pinot Noir - Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, March 2009
Led by Bartholomew Broadbent, three oenophiles taste and talk about the wine and the legendary Sanford & Benedict Vineyard owned by the Terlato family, and the wine crafted by GM and Winemaker Steve Fennell. They call it "inspirational!" Click here to watch the video

Radio Interview with San Diego Wine Columnist Robert Whitley - February 2009
San Diego-based, nationally syndicated veteran wine writer Robert Whitley interviews Winemaker and General Manager Steve Fennell for his online radio broadcast, "Whitley on Wine." Click here to listen to the entire half-hour broadcast: