2022 New Release Odd Couple Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir from the pristine landscapes of the Coal River Valley in Tasmania to the sun-kissed vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills, California.

The Odd Couple is a collaboration of two very old and dear friends, David Lloyd retired Mornington Peninsula winemaker and our Two Hands Proprietor, Michael Twelftree. The two have been friends for over 30 years and when Michael mentioned wanting to make a little Tasmanian Pinot Noir, David jumped at the chance to get on board, and the Odd Couple was born.

In 2022 we introduced you to The Odd Couple, two Pinot Noir wines sourced from the Mornington Peninsula, VIC and Coal River Valley TAS. It is now our extreme pleasure to introduce you to the second releases from this label, the 2022 Coal River Valley Pinot Noir and 2022 Santa Rita Hills, California Pinot Noir.

“My friend of over 30 years, Michael Twelftree, came up with a retirement project to keep my love of wine in a happy place. The project is The Odd Couple wine label, which is a couple of small batches of pinot produced each year. I choose the harvest date, make the wine and see it through to bottling.” – David Lloyd, The Real Review


2022 COAL RIVER VALLEY, TASMANIA PINOT NOIR

COLOUR & AROMA: Light bright red in colour, expressive aromas of camphor, red cherry, pomegranate, lavender, rose water, rhubarb, dried mint and toffee apple resonate from the glass.

PALATE: This is elegant, poised and nervy from the get go. The palate is soft and builds with a core of moderately weighted red fruits. Strawberry and raspberry flavours burst forth, with a lovely crescendo of red cherry fruits. This is silky and fine boned wine, not a powerhouse but a Pinot that creates interested and shows good persistence along the palate. I would be happy smelling this all day, it’s just so damn moreish. A very pretty Pinot Noir which will reward a few years in the cellar but will show its best on it’s younger side.

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2022 STA. RITA HILLS, CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR
Sanford & Benedict Vineyard

COLOUR & AROMA: Bright deep purple in colour with a slight red hue, the bouquet is expressive with notes of fresh cherry, mint, plum, lavender, menthol, liquorice and graphite.

PALATE: The palate hold a lovely soft core of bright fruits, that slowly unfurl across the palate, there is great drive and a soft force here, the wine draws you back in and suggests that his has a long future, with air is gains extra dimension and complexity. Suppleness, succulence and seamlessness are the best descriptors for this wine.

“I have been lucky enough to visit the Sanford and Benedict vineyard many times over the past 25 years. It’s a truly remarkable site for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as it has an amazingly soft climate. The reality of the cooling effect from the ocean, only 20 miles away is felt when one stands in the vineyard. The vineyard is based 150 miles North West of Los Angeles, between the town of Lompoc and Buellton, half way along Santa Rosa Road.

The Sanford and Benedict (S+B) vineyard is owned by Two Hands Wines USA importers, the Terlato family. A few years ago, I was playing golf in Chicago at the exclusive Shoreacre’s Golf Club with John Terlato, and I asked about the availability of a small parcel of Pinot from the S+B vineyard. A few months later John sent the attached map with a number of small blocks that had parcels available. A few months later I toured all the block with my partner in the Odd Couple, David Lloyd. I was most interested in the block 9B, which was planted to AS1. A suitcase clone bought to the States for the Archery Summit vineyard based in Oregon. After extensive research by David Lloyd we found that the rootstocks had been taken from the great Musigny vineyard in the Cote de Nuits.

To help with the winemaking, I asked my dear friend Bill Armstrong if I could process the fruit at his winery Epoch in Paso Robles, which he luckily agreed to. Post fermentation the wine was filled to tank and sent back to Australia for maturation at our friend’s winery in the Mornington Valley before bottling. For the 2023 vintage we have decided to process, mature and bottle or wines in Santa Barbara with Justin Willet, of Tyler who worked vintage for me at Two Hands way back in 2006.

It’s a dream come true to work with just wonderful Pinot Noir grapes, David and I donned Cowboy hats for our USA Odd Couple label, as we feel it showed our adventurous spirit and the journey we are on together.” – MT

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History of Sanford and Benedict
Botanist Michael Benedict and his friend Richard Sanford were committed to finding a cool climate region and location with just enough heat accumulation to ripen, but not over ripen, wine grapes. A location where they could plant and grow grapes and craft wines, where the quality might equal the best of the best in Europe.

Michael began researching and touring the cool coastal regions of California in search of a region and site that would suit this mission. After an incredible amount of research, observation, collection of data and analysis, Michael believed he had found the perfect location – one which possessed just the right combination of weather patterns, overall cool climate and varying soil conditions. His analysis took him to a unique part of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County and right to the foot of the property that would ultimately become the Sanford & Benedict vineyard.  The first vines were planted in 1971, and soon the Pinot Noir from this remote vineyard created a buzz. Others soon followed, wanting to capture the magic of this place. It was the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard which would form the backbone of what is now the Sta. Rita Hills AVA and it was also this vineyard that supplied the cuttings for many of the surrounding vineyards.

The team of Michael Benedict and Richard Sanford would go separate ways after the 1980 vintage and the Sanford Winery continued its existence. Through the years, Sanford Winery remained notable in the region for its pioneering history and for producing wines of high quality from the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. 

Notes from https://www.sanfordwinery.com/history

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