John Benedetti
June 4, 2018 | News and Reviews | John Benedetti

Lots of Love from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Our 2016 vintage (and a 2015 cellar selection) were recently reviewed by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, and the results are more than we could have hoped for.

About the winery, reviewer William Kelley had this to say:

Proprietor and winemaker John Benedetti is producing noteworthy wines for his Sante Arcangeli that seem to get better each year. The style is quite giving and gourmand, finding its perfect foil in the high-altitude Split Rail Vineyard perched at 1,700 feet in Corralitos, a site planted in the late 1980s that’s become the source of Sante Arcangeli’s flagship bottling. Serious and meticulous, Benedetti is establishing himself as one of the rising stars of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

He also doled out some generous scores:

2016 Split Rail Vineyard Pinot Noir: 94
From a site perched high in the Santa Cruz Mountains at around 2,000 feet, the 2016 Pinot Noir Split Rail Vineyard is lovely, wafting from the glass with a distinctive bouquet of mandarin orange, coniferous forest floor, griotte cherry, wild strawberry and cinnamon. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, supple and deceptively open-knit, with melting tannins, succulent acids and a long, sapid finish.

2016 Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir: 93
The 2016 Pinot Noir Lester Family Vineyard is very promising, wafting from the glass with a youthful bouquet of cherries, pomegranate, mossy soil and coniferous forest floor. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and ample, with a lovely layered mid-palate, good concentration and depth and a focused, mouthwatering finish. Simultaneously earthy and textural, this is one of my favorites in the Sante Arcangeli portfolio, and while it’s already delicious, it should be interesting to follow for the better part of a decade.

2016 Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir: 93
The 2016 Pinot Noir Saveria Vineyard reveals lovely aromas of cinnamon, raspberries and candied peel, framed by a judicious application of creamy new oak. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, fine-grained and one of the raciest wines in the Sante Arcangeli range despite its ripe core of fruit, concluding with a racy, mouthwatering finish.

2015 Toulouse Vineyard Pinot Noir: 92+
The 2015 Pinot Noir Family Reserve Selezione Susie Toulouse Vineyard offers up aromas of black plums, raspberry preserve, warm spices, currant leaf and rich soil. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and ample. It’s also riper, richer and more full-bodied than the other Sante Arcangeli wines, but it’s also a touch more foursquare, so I’d cellar this for a few years. It has the concentration and substance to evolve for a decade or more.

2016 McConnell Vineyard Pinot Noir: 92
The 2016 Pinot Noir McConnell Vineyard (from a site on Skyline Ridge opposite Rhys) offers up fragrant aromas of red cherry, raspberry and rose hip. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and rich, with lots of ripe fruit but balancing acids too, simultaneously textural and racy in profile. Dark and powerful, this is distinctly different from the more delicate Corralitos offerings from Sante Arcangeli.

2016 Integrato Pinot Noir: 91
A Santa Cruz Mountains cuvée built for restaurants, the 2016 Pinot Noir Integrato Barrel Selection offers up aromas of ripe cherries, candied peel and warm spice. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, round and supple, with juicy acids, a generous core of fruit and a tangy, flavorful finish. This should be versatile at table and drink well in its youth.

2016 Split Rail Vineyard Chardonnay: 91+
The 2016 Chardonnay Split Rail Vineyard offers up a bright bouquet of green apple, pear, Meyer lemon and pastry cream, framed by a touch of new oak (27% new). On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated and intense, with a bright line of acidity and a taut, structured core that will unwind with time: right now, it’s almost angularly youthful. This was fermented in barrel and spent nine months on the lees.


Commenting has been turned off.