Domaine Jean Francois - The Twelve Rows Sanford and Benedict Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
François Labet, Consulting Winemaker at Jean-François and Vigneron/Owner at Chateau de la Tour, says that great wines can only come from great vineyards. So, it was off of a visit to the historic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in 2016 that he left impressed enough to want to create a wine from this heritage vineyard. As owner of Chateau de la Tour, François Labet works with some of the oldest vines in one of the greatest vineyards of Burgundy, the Grand Cru, Clos de Vougeot. His family has over 450 years of experience growing grapes in Burgundy so he knows what a great vineyard is.
The Sanford & Benedict Vineyard was first planted in 1972. Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard's marine based shale soils. So unique is this terroir that grafting the vines onto American rootstocks is not necessary, phylloxera is not a threat. This wine comes from the best twelve rows within the vineyard.
Antonio Galloni: 94 Points
The 2018 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard The Twelve Rows is sourced from Block T6, which was planted in 1995. It was done with very gentle extractions, the fruit crushed by foot, with native ferments, after which it spent 16-18 months in barrel, all Chassin, 1/3rd new. Bright red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, rose petal and spice are all laced together in a very pretty Pinot Noir that shows the more transparent side of Sanford and Benedict off to great effect. Whole clusters add pretty top notes without being overly intrusive. This is such a classy wine, and an impressive debut.
Burghound: 92 Points
Ripe and fresh aromas include those of violet, poached plum and subtle spice wisps. The round and suave, even plush, middle weight flavors possess a refined mouthfeel that is enhanced by the bright acidity supporting the dusty, complex and balanced finish. This is really quite lovely and a wine that should amply reward mid-term cellaring.