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Our Lady of Guadalupe Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara Co., California 2022

  • $95.00

Selling fast  - 3 left


**Second Vintage of a new estate by Dave Phinney**

This vineyard was planted for and by Dave Phinney. It reflects his excruciating attention to detail. With a focus on showing the terroir of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dave Phinney is producing single-vineyard wines from the property starting with the 2021 vintage.

  • Winemaker: Dave Phinney
  • Farming: Sustainable
  • Variety: 100% Pinot Noir from Our Lady of Guadalupe Vineyard. Clonal Selection: Pommard 4, 777, 459, 828, 115 and 667
  • Terroir: Western edge of Sta. Rita Hills, sandstone, diatomaceous earth.
  • Aging: French Oak for 13 months, 54% New. Cooperage Selection: Alain Fouquet, Francois Freres, Cadus and Ermitage.
  • Tasting Note: A fluorescent ruby core and a flashing vermilion rim pour into the glass gracefully. Immediate aromatic complexities abound, rife with notes of black cherry, hibiscus, rose petal, a touch of strawberry, caramel apple and confectioner’s chocolate. The entry dances across the palate with framboise, pomegranate and baking spices, enhanced by the soft texture and ripples of acidity. The piquant finish continues the flow of energy as the acid brings together notes of amaro and black cherry, yet again.
  • Scores: 93 Points - Antonio Galloni (Vinous) “The 2021 Pinot Noir Our Lady of Guadalupe is a rich, textured wine. Red/purplish fruit is super primary in its first impression. Rose petal, cedar and cinnamon are some of the notes that fill out the layers with a bit of coaxing. Readers will find an opulent, juicy wine, very much in keeping with Dave Phinneyʼs style. Aging is 13 months in French oak, 54% new. This is a terrific showing from Phinneyʼs new OLG label.”

Featured in our 2024 Serious Inquiries Only Boltte Cult

Our Lady of Guadalupe Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills,  Santa Barbara Co., California 2022

I think folks might be a little surprised that we have this wine in our Serious Inquiries Club, or at DECANTsf in general. Why? Well, because sommeliers are known to be a little snobby and sometimes set in our ways. But, to be a truly great sommelier, you must at the very least stay curious.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a new project from Dave Phinney. Yes, the Dave Phinney who set The Prisoner and Orin Swift Cellars upon the world. You might be asking, “Cara, those are some huge brands. That doesn’t seem like something DECANT would be aligned with”, and you’d be right. But what makes the OLG project different from the Gallo-owned Orin Swift and the Constellation Brands-owned The Prisoner Wine Company? Let me tell you.
Dave Phinney’s wine journey began in 1995 with a stint at Robert Mondavi Winery, which was enough to hook him into the industry for good. He founded Orin Swift Cellars in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2000 that The Prisoner hit the market and became a sensation. He made an unlikely blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah which quickly became a cult favorite for its bombastic taste profile and edgy label art. He followed up that success with Mercury Head (you may remember the heavy bottles with Mercury dimes glued to them), Papillon, Abstract, and Machete, all big juice bombs, each with its own unique story and visual identity that were the favorite of collectors and wine newbies alike.
He sold total control of The Prisoner wine brand in 2010, and in 2016 sold Orin Swift Cellars to E. & J. Gallo (where he remained a partner overseeing winemaking). The cash from both sales helped him buy his own vineyards and start a new, independent, Pinot Noir-focused brand, a very difficult achievement in pricey California.
The discovery of an abandoned farm in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County presented a unique opportunity to cultivate a vineyard from the ground up, focusing on soil health and varietal selection to create a winemaker's vineyard in a region renowned for world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. His attention to detail in preparing the soil, selecting clones and rootstocks specifically tailored to the microclimates and soils of the site, and adopting sustainable practices such as sheep grazing, brought a holistic approach to winemaking. And it shows in the wine.
My decision to bring this wine to our club was not made lightly. Upon tasting it blind, I was immediately impressed by its exceptional quality: it exhibited a fruit-forward vibrancy with a silky texture and fuller body, all hallmarks of the finest California Pinot Noirs. Its complexity and opulence are akin to the boldness of a Vera Wang wedding dress, offering an exciting alternative to the more minimalist "little black dress" Pinot Noirs we’re known to carry.
But beyond its immediate sensory appeal, I also chose the OLG Pinot Noir for a reason that extends into the future. Given Dave Phinney's unparalleled history of success in the wine industry, there is a compelling case to be made for the potential appreciation in value of his wines. This is only the second vintage of the OLG Pinot Noir, making it an early piece of what promises to be a storied legacy. —Cara Patricia