Brilliant salmon rosy pink in the glass. Lovely aromas of strawberry, fresh stone fruit, pineapple and key lime jump out of the glass. Hints of wet rock and lemon blossom add complexity and round out the nose. Delightfully dry with laser-sharp acidity, this vintage is light and nimble on the palate. Flavors of strawberry and raspberry dance across the mouth supported by a grapefruit-skin finish that ties it all together and begs for another sip.This bottling begs for food with its broad mouthfeel with a counterbalance of citrus. A great example of what the Russian River Valley can produce with lesser known varietals.
Golden yellow in the glass, the 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay shows great varietal character on the nose: ripe Gravenstein apples, lemon curd, candied pineapple and key lime lead with supporting notes of butter shortbread baking spice from time in barrel. Rich and mouthfilling, the palette echoes the nose while bright citrus acidity and an underlying minerality keep the wine in balance. The barrel fermentation lends to a creamy, luxurious texture and a hint of sweet baking spices. A long, lingering finish of lime and toasted almond entice you to take another sip.
This bottling is dedicated to my mother Ann Davis, who passed away in February 2012 from complications with Alzheimer’s.
On the palette, the juicy acidity carries notes of green apple peel, lemon blossom and wet rock. Very focused minerality and bright citrus notes balance the barrel richness and spice.
The 2018 Pinot Meunier sets itself apart from Pinot Noir immediately with its bright violet red color bordering on magenta. The vibrant color carries over to the nose, where the fruit notes practically jump from the glass. Ripe, bright red cherry, raspberry compote, cranberry and soft cinnamon are supported by aromas of sweet tobacco and wet rocks. On the palate, you can see why this varietal is used to bring complexity to sparkling wines: rich, vibrant red fruit flavors are bolstered by steely acidity that brings the wine into immediate focus. Soft, plummy tannins round out the mouth and counter the acidity, bringing everything into balance. Though drinking beautifully upon release, those with patience will be rewarded by cellaring the bottling 4-5 years after vintage date to allow the immediate “baby fat” to mellow and give way to secondary notes of jam, leather and forest floor.
Medium ruby violet in color, the 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is the first “non draught” vintage after nearly five low precipitation years. The fruit is delightfully plump and juicy, redolent of cranberries, dried cherry, strawberry compote and cola. Smooth, yet firm tannins coat the mouth and bring the fruitfulness into focus. Secondary notes of dried mushroom, wet forest floor and sweet cigar tobacco add fantastic nuance and give a hint of what is to come for those who are patient enough to cellar this bottling another 4-6 years. The finish is long and fresh with an emphasis on sour cherries and sweet vanilla.
The 2016 vintage marked the first time that the region was not in draught conditions since 2011. As such, this vintage carries more bright, high-toned fresh fruit and soft floral notes than previous bottlings. The old vines stay true, regardless of weather conditions, providing aromas of juicy Bing and maraschino cherry, raspberry and strawberry compote. Supporting notes of sweet coffee, dried rose petal and violet add to the complexity. The palate follows the nose, leading the charge with heaps of fruit, subtle minerality and lovely, lingering acidity that draws you to take another sip. The tannins are soft but coating and promise to round out over several years’ aging.