There’s a saying in the industry, ‘it takes a lot of beer to make good wine’, but in this case it was a cup of coffee from his cousin’s plantation that inspired winemaker Ryan Deovlet (pronounced Dev-let). It spurred an interest in organic agriculture that led him through harvests in Australia and New Zealand before landing in the Central Coast of California. After a number of years working with the likes of Stephen Dooley and David Ramey, in 2008 he got the chance to start his own winery with 2 tonnes of Pinot Noir sourced from famed grower Robert Sanford’s La Encantada Vineyard.
“After a decade of work with Santa Rita Hills’ most renowned chardonnay and pinot noir sites, Ryan Deovlet has chiseled into the elevated character of his wines.”
— Wine & Spirits Magazine, Top 100 Wineries of the World 2021
14 years on, Ryan’s focus remains on the incredible vineyards of Santa Barbara County, sourcing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (plus a little Pinot Blanc) from some of the regions finest – La Encantada, Zotovich Family and Sanford & Benedict in Sta. Rita Hills. He works with the same blocks vintage to vintage, and contracts by the acre so he is free to manage the vines as needed – fine tuning the wines year after year.
2020 Chardonay, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Effusive and inviting, the nose offers lifted notes of preserved lemon, white flowers and clary sage alongside more savory edges of bone broth, shortbread and marzipan. Texturally pristine and taut with explosive energy balanced by the quintessential creaminess of site, giving the wine an ethereal mouthfeel and lingering finish.
“The 2020 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is a pretty restrained wine for this site. Lemon confit, marzipan, white flowers and mint are nicely lifted. There is good energy and plenty of freshness, but ultimately the 2020 feels a bit lean and aggressive, both qualities that are not typical of S&B.” – 91 pts, Antonio Galloni for Vinous, June 2022
Retail $99.95 / btl [6 btl/cs]
2020 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County
This is a vivacious, elegant, graceful wine from three distinct vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills (Sanford & Benedict, La Encantada, Zotovich Family), each providing layers of varietal character and nuance with a mélange of red fruit, earthy undertones, baking spices, and crushed rock. Beautiful balance with delicious approachability, fine-grained, dusty tannins with excellent depth in the mid palate and bright acidity throughout.
“The 2020 Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County) is gracious and so appealing. Crushed red berry fruit, mint, spice dried flowers and incense all grace this layered, wonderfully expressive appellation level Pinot form Ryan Deovlet. The 2020 is a blend from Zotovich, La Encantada and Sanford & Benedict, all top sites in the Sta. Rita Hills. Once again, the appellation level Pinot here is terrific, as it so often is.” – 91 pts, Antonio Galloni for Vinous, June 2022
Retail $99.95 / btl [6 btl/cs]
Wines are sold in cases of 12 bottles unless otherwise indicated. Delivery charges may apply. Some quantities are limited, and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
About Deovlet Wines
Ryan Deovlet has an inspired route to the world of winemaking, owning and operating his own winery. It was set off while visiting family in Kona, Hawai’i where the memorable flavour of single-plantation coffee opened Ryan’s mind to a whole new universe. In 2004, once bitten by the ‘ag-bug’, his route took him firstly to the Willing Workers on Organic Farms program, where he was able to learn and work across vineyards in Australia and New Zealand, and then it landed him working harvest at Turramurra Estate in the Mornington Peninsula. From there he travelled to Central Otago and Hawkes Bay to prune and work alongside vineyard crews.
Upon his return to California in 2005, Ryan spent 2 years with Central Coast legend Stephen Dooley, owner/winemaker of Stephen Ross Wine Cellars. From here his continued thirst for knowledge lead him to become assistant winemaker at Red Car Wine Company. It was here that he was able to tap into the minds of consulting winemaker David Ramey, renowned winegrower Ulises Valdez and sought-after soil scientist Dr. Daniel Roberts. A stint followed in Argentina under the tutelage of renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs at Vina Cobos in Mendoza. Finally, the time was right. In 2008, Ryan sat in front of Richard Sanford and shared his desire to source from one of the pioneers of California Pinot Noir. Deovlet Wines was born with two tons (100 +/- cases) of Pinot Noir from La Encantada Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fast forward a few years and Ryan is garnering praise from the likes of Antonio Galloni who describes him thus:
“Ryan Deovlet is one of the most exciting young winemakers in the central coast … his wines, which emerge from some of the top sites in Santa Barbara, are impeccable, pure and wonderfully transparent to site.”
We were delighted and thrilled when Ryan was introduced to us by one of the icons of the California wine industry – Philip Togni. And it didn’t take us long to get some samples in our hands to try. Needless to say, we were duly impressed. Fruit quality is essential to crafting memorable wines of elegance, balance, and harmony. At each of his vineyard sites, during each vintage, the vines are carefully managed, and yields are restricted in an effort to achieve the ultimate concentration of flavours.