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2017 Foxen Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)

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2017 Foxen Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley)

On Sale: $29.94 (was: $39.94)*

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Foxen has long been on our radar as one of Santa Barbara County’s most consistently excellent high-end producers, but we are more impressed than ever with their incredible entry level Pinot Noir, which comes from a pair of world-class vineyards. California Pinot Noir has never been better, but it’s also never been more expensive, and a well-made Pinot Noir from top terroir for under $30 definitely catches our attention.

Foxen is one of Santa Barbara County’s foundational wineries, so it’s no surprise they are able to source from Bien Nacido and Riverbench Vineyards for this bottling, and this so-called entry level cuvee is packing a ton of quality into the bottle. This “smoking little California Pinot Noir” is also an incredible value "well worth checking out" (Dunnuck).

Despite the steady uptick in Pinot prices, the food and wallet friendly Pinots from the Central Coast have always been a go-to. The style here is more fresh and complex than rich and powerful, which makes it a perfect foil for food, but it also has a great track record for aging. Bill Wathen and Dick Doré started Foxen back in 1985, named for Doré’s great-great grandfather, the original owner of Rancho Tanaquaic. In Santa Maria, that makes Foxen part of the old-guard, but still releasing “some of the most expressive, singular wines being made in Santa Barbara County today” (Galloni). At $29.94, we strongly recommend a case-buy for anyone looking for a house Pinot, as it punches well above its weight!

91 points, Jeb Dunnuck: E"I loved the nose of the 2017 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley. It just screams Pinot Noir with its spiced cherry, raspberry, white pepper, and sappy herb aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, nicely textured, fresh, and lively on the palate, it's a smoking little Calif Pinot Noir well worth checking out. This cuvée was just 25% destemmed and spent 9 months in used French oak."

*Offer publication date March 10, 2022. Pricing and availability subject to change.