Vibrant violet rose in the glass. Lovely aromas of papaya, green strawberry, key lime and wet river rock and supported by undertones of rose petal and lemongrass. Delightfully dry with laser-sharp acidity, the focus is on juicy lemon and berry ripeness balanced by steely minerality and a dry extract roundness in the mouth. The initial fruitiness is followed by a grapefruit-skin finish that ties the wine all together and begs for another sip. This food-friendly bottling is great example of what the Russian River Valley can produce with lesser known varietals.
Pale straw gold in color, the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc captures both the salinity of ocean breezes and the bright aromatics of a citrus grove. Exotic and enticing on the nose with notes of Meyer lemon, ginger, cut hay and wet rock. Supporting aromas of marzipan and green apple emerge after a couple swirls of the glass. The palate mimics the nose with a dichotomy of bracing ocean-like minerality and acidity and juicy citrus and tropical fruit. A lovely creaminess emerges in the finish, bringing everything together. Though lovely on its own, this bottling begs to be paired with food, from creamy risotto and shellfish to spicy Thai dishes where its richness and exotic palate will play well with spice, coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass.
This bottling is dedicated to my mother Ann Davis, who passed away in February 2012 from complications with Alzheimer’s.
The product of an extremely hot growing season, the 2017 Cuvee Ann brings lush, round ripeness balanced by the ocean-infused terroir of the Manchester Ridge site. This bottling leads with lovely ripe Gravenstein apple, shortbread, Meyer lemon blossom and Key lime on the nose, followed by notes of warm spice and vanilla from time in barrel. In the mouth, it is round and expressive. The fullness and ripeness of the fruit is balanced by a delightful acidity that washes over the palate, much like a wave on the shore, bringing with it the power, salinity and minerality of this oceanfront vineyard. The finish lingers with green apple skin and flakey biscuit. Though drinking beautifully upon release, those with patience will be rewarded as more secondary notes of apricot and marzipan emerge with another 5-6 years of aging past vintage date.
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 2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir carries the trademark cran-raspberry and cola notes of the region. Aromas of juicy pomegranate, warm cinnamon and Morello cherry appear as the wine opens in the glass, followed by dusty, loamy mushroom and a hint of anise. On the palette, the vigor and energy from the wet spring is evident – the fruit is fresh, buoyant and focused on plum, bramble-berries, and baking spice. Lovely coating tannins and bright cranberry acidity complete the package as the finish lingers on, asking for another sip. Though drinking beautifully now on release, several years of cellaring will allow more of the forest floor and spice elements to take center stage.
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 2017 vintage had good rainfall in the winter followed by a cool summer. 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.