Trader Joe's October 2015 Fearless Flyer is featuring the Mayhall Tibbs Pinot Noir which they are selling for $10.99. The reputation of Sta. Rita Hills AVA for fine Pinot Noir made this a promising selection on my recent shopping trip.
Sta Rita Hills is a small AVA in the western edge of Santa Barbara County. The unique aspect of this viticulture area is that the mountain ranges were turned by tectonic plate movement so that they align in an east-west direction. This funnels fog and ocean breezes into the growing areas making them ideal for cool climate wine grape varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These grapes have only been grown in this region for about 20 years but award winning wines are now being produced.
As you would expect, the wine has flavors of cherries with some minerality. I found the wine to finish with a little sour taste. The wine is a lighter style Pinot Noir but is not as fruit-forward as I expected. The wine is good but not up to my expectation.
SC Wine Joe Rating = 87 points