Windrun Pinot Noir: Delicious Memories in the Bottle

Wine has the undeniable ability to elicit memories of people, occasions and travel. Sometimes it is a particular variety, other times it’s the name of a wine that is so memorable. In the case of Windrun Pinot Noir it is both the name and the variety that hold special memories for me. So, as you might imagine, I’m pleased to share a taste of 2018 Windrun Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills with you. We received this wine as a tasting sample.

Pinot Noir is the first varietal wine I fell in love with. And Windrun will always bring memories of a balmy, fall morning in San Francisco and the couple I met there. We shared a table and the view in Union Square. Our conversation soon turned to wine and the different wine tastings we were attending in the city that day. As we parted, Scott Burns and I traded business cards and before long we received a collection of Windrun Pinot Noir for review. That was nearly five years ago.

Windrun was established by Lance Mason in 2010. Dr. Mason worked with well-known Santa Barbara winemaker Ken Brown. Over time Mark Oliver and Scott Burns joined Mason as partners. All four men have been part of the wine scene in Santa Barbara for years and they put their many local connections to effective use in making delicious Pinot Noir. 

Scott’s most recent email let me know he was sending the 2018 Windrun Pinot Noir for review. He also noted that he and his partners had sold Windrun to Cameron and Adam Arevalos, a couple from Lompoc. Cameron and Adam will continue the Windrun name and Ken Brown will remain as winemaker. Plans also include rosé and Syrah. 

2018 Windrun Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills photo
2018 Windrun Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills

2018 Windrun Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hillstranslucent ruby in the glass with aromas of red cherry, dusty earth and berry bramble. Flavors lead with tart cherry, blackberry and ripe pomegranates and berry bramble. Lively acidity, smooth tannins and a medium-length finish in a medium body make for a bright, flavorful Pinot. 1250 cases made. 14.5% abv. SRP $33 

This 16th edition of Windrun’s limited-production Pinot Noir is sourced from vineyards overlooking the Santa Ynez River. North-facing slopes are planted to clones 115, 667 and 777. The wine aged for 11 months in 15% new French oak. 

As we talked Windrun Pinot Noir back at that table in Union Square, Lisa and Scott described their Pinot Noir as elegant and more old world than new world in style. That description holds as true with the 2018 vintage as it has prior vintages. It is delicious.

I wish Cameron and Adam Arevalos the very best with Windrun as they make new wine memories for themselves and those who will enjoy their wines. My best, also, to Lisa and Scott as they move on to new interests in their lives. Thanks for the memories.


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