2018 Kanzler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

2018 Kanzler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

KANZLER

2018 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2018 Kanzler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Kanzler was first to plant grapes in the Sebastapol hills Southwest of the town of Sebastapol, where the well-drained Goldridge soils and fog blanket from the Pacific turned out to be ideal for Pinot Noir grapes. Their vineyard quickly caught the eye of Kosta Browne, who made a single-vineyard Pinot from their vineyard for nearly 20 consecutive vintages. Kanzler’s own 2018 Russian River Pinot is primarily Estate fruit and includes almost 25% fruit from Walker Station Vineyard, which was a source for Paul Hobbs for years. At $60, this is one of the finest domestic Pinot Noirs that I’ve tasted.
 
Kanzler set out to make the best Pinot possible from their Estate. To meet their goal, they exercise everything from meticulous farming to double-hand sorting. They also utilize partial whole-cluster fermentation for added depth. Their winemaking is gentle, precise, and skilled, and the results are simply stunning. 
 
The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot is from 65% Estate fruit, blended with sites sharing similar, and complementing qualities. The wine balances penetrating and remarkably detailed fruit with silky tannins and fresh acidity. It’s my go-to wine in the shop to grab to take to dinner, and one of my favorite Pinots that I’ve tasted this year.
 
KANZLER
2018 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $59.99
 
 
“The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir wine is opulent and rich while still displaying great freshness. The classic silky Pinot texture is more chocolate mousse than heavy whipping cream, and the tannins show enough grip to hold and frame the wine without being bitter or obtrusive. The high percentage of once-used barrels imparts a subtle oak characteristic that enhances and compliments the fruit and spice character. After opening for several hours, exotic sweet-spice notes reminiscent of liquors in the Vin Santo or Fernet range begin to appear, further enhancing the intrigue and complexity of this Pinot Noir.”
2018 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Willamette Valley

2018 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Willamette Valley

ARCHERY SUMMIT

2018 PINOT NOIR
DUNDEE HILLS
WILLAMETTE VALLEY

2018 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Willamette Valley
Pinot Noir is like a blank canvas, and more than any other grape I can think of, wherever it’s planted, it begins to reflect and channel the vineyard, land, and other environmental factors straight to the grapes, then to the glass. Pinot Noir from Oregon tends to have a distinct lushness of fruit and earthy characteristics that make it truly special. Archery Summit’s 2018 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is a picture-perfect example, and it absolutely should be in the lineup for any Pinot lover. 
 
The 2018 Dundee Hills bottling is a compilation of fruit from Red Hills, Arcus, Summit View, Renegade Ridge, and Archer’s Edge Vineyard that offers a unique glimpse into Dundee Hills terroir, as well as the dynamic 2018 vintage. The winery was the brainchild of veteran winemaker Gary Andrus, who founded Pine Ridge in 1978.
 
The winemaking team fermented the 2018 vintage in a combination of oak barrels, concrete, and stainless steel open-top tanks, which contributed to the layered mouthfeel. On the palate, this release is rich with ripe red fruits, plum, and chocolate. Bullseye.
 
ARCHERY SUMMIT
2018 PINOT NOIR
DUNDEE HILLS
WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Retails at: $65
 
Your Price: $48
 
“This cuvée is the first to be released from each new vintage, and the most widely available. The 2018 marks the debut (from harvest to bottling) of winemaker Ian Burch, and it’s a promising one. Full bodied and open, this mixes ripe red and purple fruits, especially plums and cherries, with a touch of lightly minty chocolate. Delicious and ready for near-term enjoyment.” 91 Points
 
“Aromatically, the wine is boisterous and full of harmony, drawing on every fetching fragrance from the volcanic Red Hills. Equal parts rhubarb, clove, graham cracker, bay leaf, rose water, and carnation sync to provide a layered nose. On the palate, the wine shows fine, cocoa-like tannins with deep, marinated black currant flavors and a savory, dramatic finish. Flexing robust flavor while still offering restraint, this wine is a telling glimpse of a remarkable 2018 vintage.”
2016 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2016 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

JOSEPH JEWELL 

2016 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2016 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
There are many reasons why Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir is the only wine that I’ve featured on my top-five-wines of the year list more than once. The most distinctive trait that’s become a hallmark of this wine is the satiny texture and weight on the palate, which is sublime. Every time I taste it, I’m perplexed that a wine we can offer at this value price can taste like it costs more than double. 
 
Joseph Jewell marries fruit from renowned sites Hallberg, Floodgate, and Bucher Vineyards. Williams-Selyem and Gary Farrell Pinot fans likely recognize these sites as being spectacular.  
 
On the palate, the 2016 vintage is full, rich and opens up to a basket of black cherries, ripe raspberries, black tea, and blue violets. The wine team elevated it for around 11 months in French oak, and then it blossomed generously over the last three years in the bottle.
 
JOSEPH JEWELL 
2016 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
Retails at: $40
 
 
 
“Doubling down on the extreme quality that Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has produced in previous vintages, the 2016 sets an all new high water mark. The alluring nose has the most beautiful blend of pomegranate, red pie cherries, mixed florals and hints of spice. The mesmerizing mouthfeel has a supple, satiny texture, along with a mouth-filling explosion of ripe black raspberries, sweet red plums, tart cranberry, cherry cola, chamomile tea and asian spice. The rich, supple texture and concentrated flavors are perfectly balanced by a mouth-quenching freshness that leaves me begging for another sip. I am seriously sitting here shaking my head and trying to remember if I have ever had as great a wine at this low price. Don’t think so.” 98 Points, Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
2016 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir La Neblina

2016 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir La Neblina

RADIO-COTEAU

2016 PINOT NOIR
LA NEBLINA

2016 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir La Neblina
Radio-Coteau has always been a brand for those “in the know,” and their name is a French colloquial expression that suggests “word of mouth,” which is how most find out about their brilliant wines. Their Pinot Noirs are captivating, compelling, balanced, and individualistic, and their flagship Pinot is named La Neblina, which is Spanish for “fog.” It’s sourced from five fog-laden vineyards in Western Sonoma County. When you learn about these vineyards and who created this wine, the 95 point score shouldn’t come as a surprise. 
 
The 2016 La Neblina comes from Radio-Coteau Estate, Hallberg, Dierke, Alberigi and Laguna Vineyards, and perfectly laces together each organically farmed site. On the palate, the wine has lovely weight and compelling layers and nuances that let you know you’re into something extraordinary.
 
The winery believes winemaking is a team effort, and Eric Sussman leads the orchestration. He brings diverse experience from Yakima, Washington, to Burgundy, Bordeaux, and over to the Russian River, where he was the assistant winemaker at Dehlinger before launching his brand. Here’s a chance to try the flagship, and at a fantastic price… 
 
RADIO-COTEAU
2016 PINOT NOIR
LA NEBLINA
Retails at: $55
 
 
 
“Named for the coastal fog that rolls in at night to blanket western Sonoma, this wine blends fruit from five sites, including Eric Sussman’s Radio-Coteau estate in Occidental, and Hallberg, Dierke, Alberigi and Laguna, all of them farmed under organics. It seems to capture coastal energy with lovely density to its flavors of red raspberry and pomegranate, powerful and bold, refreshingly ripe and succulent. There’s a lot of vibrato to the flavors, a harmonic intensity that makes it thrilling to drink now and suggests a long life ahead.”  95 Points
 
“The 2016 Pinot Noir La Neblina is supple, open-knit and absolutely delicious. Understated and gracious, with lovely fruit purity, the 2016 has quite a bit to offer. Sweet red cherry and plum fruit are nicely pushed forward. Succulent and inviting, the 2016 will drink well with minimal cellaring.”  92 Points
 
“Fermented with a touch of stems, it spent 16 months in one-third new French oak. Bright raspberries, citrus, and spring flowers notes as well as a hint of wild strawberry all emerge from the glass. This vibrant, pure, racy Pinot Noir has high yet integrated acidity, a beautifully chiseled, crisp style, and a great finish.”  91 Points
2018 Brevity Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard Monerey County

2018 Brevity Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard Monerey County

BREVITY

2018 PINOT NOIR
MISSION RANCH VINEYARD
MONTEREY COUNTY 

2018 Brevity Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard Monerey County

 
Comparing Monterey to all of the top growing regions for Pinot Noir in California, their growing area stands out for producing wines with the most forward, succulent fruit. The best will perfectly balance lush fruit, minerality and bright acidity in a way that’s both refreshing and exhilarating to taste. Brevity is a stunning example and at $24, the brevity of this offer requires swift action. 
 
Brevity is a brand new project made by Bobby Moy, who got his feet wet in the wine industry mentoring under Thomas Rivers Brown. They source their Pinot from the Mission Ranch Vineyard, which is the oldest commercial vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA. The area is defined by its unique geography resulting from the Arroyo Seco River and its influence from the Pacific Ocean.
 
The 2018 vintage combines three iconic Pinot Noir clones, offering the powerful dark fruits and structure of Pommard, the richness and expressive fragrance of 777, and the concentrated cherry and bright acidity of 115. At $24, I’m getting a case.
 
BREVITY
2018 PINOT NOIR
MISSION RANCH VINEYARD
MONTEREY COUNTY 
Retails at: $28
 
Your Price: $24
 
 
 
“The Brevity Mission Ranch Vineyard Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is a shimmering ruby color in the glass and begins with a nose of bright red fruits, elegant florals, cola, chalk, and light spice. The palate is medium-bodied yet lush, with cherry liqueur, red raspberries, black tea, cola bean, and hints of vanilla. There is a silky elegance to it that keeps you coming back for more.” 91 Points
 2017 Hirsch Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault

2017 Hirsch Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault

HIRSCH

2017 PINOT NOIR
SAN ANDREAS FAULT

 2017 Hirsch Pinot Noir San Andreas FaultHirsch Vineyards overlooks the Pacific Ocean and sits within the highly-revered Fort Ross Seaview AVA, where icons Marcassin, Peter Michael, and Pahlmeyer all source fruit. The vineyard produces some of the most powerfully concentrated, distinct, and complexly flavored Pinot Noir grapes in all of California. Simply put, Hirsch is one of those rare wines that you remember for months or even years after tasting…  

Similar to Burgundy, Hirsch Vineyard has 67 individual blocks, each corresponding with soil and terroir changes created by the nearby San Andreas Fault. This beauty is the winery’s flagship wine, and in the 2017 vintage, it encompasses 28 separate blocks within the Estate and is an extraordinary representation of their property. 
 
The 2017 vintage of San Andreas Fault has super-concentrated red and blue fruits, intense pomegranate, raspberry tea, and sea minerals. At $50, this is Grand Cru quality California Pinot Noir that’s brilliant now and will cellar for at least another decade. 
 
HIRSCH
2017 PINOT NOIR
SAN ANDREAS FAULT
Retails at: $60
 
Your Price: $49.99
 
 
“A homage to the great fault line near Hirsch, this pinot has a brambly, rich array of red cherries and some blue-fruit notes with fresh, sappy, forest aromas, too. The palate has plenty of punchy tannin and forthright, fresh, unwavering drive.” 
93 Points
 
 
 
“… Pale to medium ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault has a delicately played nose with touches of cinnamon stick, dried leaves, perfumed earth and a mineral vein plus rose petal perfume, red berries and black fruit sparks. The palate is light to medium-bodied with delicate intensity and well-balanced fruit and earth character, knit by grainy tannins and juicy freshness, finishing long and nuanced”  92 Points
2016 Works and Days Pinot Noir Hill Justice Vineyard Sonoma County

2016 Works and Days Pinot Noir Hill Justice Vineyard Sonoma County

WORKS AND DAYS

2016 PINOT NOIR
HILL JUSTICE VINEYARD
SONOMA COUNTY

2016 Works and Days Pinot Noir Hill Justice Vineyard Sonoma CountyI often hear about a winemaker’s hands-off approach to winemaking, but one of many things that struck me about Cabell Coursey’s winemaking is his hands-on approach. He believes that the more time spent in the vineyard directly results in better wine. He also picks early and ferments longer, which is a technique that he learned in Burgundy, and it creates balanced wines with fruit, acidity, and tannin. Once you taste it, I’m confident that it’s a wine that you’ll want to enjoy a lot more of in the future. 

Inspired by Burgundy, Cabell learned winemaking from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. Then he honed his skills in New Zealand and the Willamette Valley before working at iconic producers DuMOL and Kosta Browne.
 
The Hill Justice Vineyard is perched at 1100 feet on Sonoma Mountain, and the rocky, red-soils are rich in clay and produce exceptional quality fruit. The Swiss clonal selection is rare in California but thrives in the extreme environment. If you love Pinot Noir, you should try this beauty before its days are done.
 
WORKS AND DAYS
2016 PINOT NOIR
HILL JUSTICE VINEYARD
SONOMA COUNTY
Retails at: $65
 
 
 
 
 
“Lavender aromatics accent a delicately built body that develops intensity as it opens. Asian spice, white pepper and toasted oak burnish on the palate before settling into a soft rounded finish of dark cherry.” 91 Points
2018 Raen Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert Cuvee Sonoma Coast

2018 Raen Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert Cuvee Sonoma Coast

RAEN

2018 PINOT NOIR 
ROYAL ST. ROBERT CUVEE
SONOMA COAST

2018 Raen Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert Cuvee Sonoma Coast

After tasting Carlo & Dante Mondavi’s new Pinot, it became abundantly clear that their family’s intense passion for the wine industry and talent for identifying vineyards capable of producing world-class wine passed to them. After all, they grew up at their grandfather’s OPUS ONE Winery, and honed their skills further at their father’s cult brand Continuum, before going out on their own. The 96 Point 2018 Raen Pinot Noir is the result of the culmination of their upbringing, cultivated by their father and grandfather. 
 
Raen’s 2018 Royal St Robert Cuvee combines fruit from Freestone, Occidental, Bodega, and Fort Ross Seaview Sea Field Vineyards. It is a barrel selection that they handpicked from their finest barrels, to create a textbook cool-climate Pinot with brilliant definition, balance and fruit. 
 
At the winery, they utilized 100% whole cluster fermentation for added structure and depth, and on the palate, the wine is detailed, focused, and loaded with intense red fruits, minerals, and floral-infused herbs. At $60, you should try it.
 
RAEN
2018 PINOT NOIR 
ROYAL ST. ROBERT CUVEE
SONOMA COAST
Retails at: $65
 
Your Price: $59.99
Click to Order
 
 
 
“Intense aromas of dried strawberry with stone and mineral undertones. Medium to full body with tight, firm tannins and beautiful length and depth. This needs three or four years to come together”  96 Points
2017 Borne Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

2017 Borne Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

BORNE

2017 PINOT NOIR
ANDERSON VALLEY

2017 Borne Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

One of the most distinct and appealing regions for Pinot Noir cultivation anywhere in the world is the Anderson Valley appellation located less than 100 miles North of San Francisco. Perfectly positioned near the Pacific Ocean and with a wide diurnal temperature variation, the AVA is classified as a Region 1 growing area, which designates the coldest climate in which grapes may be commercially grown with success. Anderson Valley Pinots are known for their incredible floral-infused flavors and aromas, lively fruit, and subtle earthy characteristics. Here’s a great example, and at our price, a case may not be enough. 
 
Birthed from a single site strategically located in a prime zone of Anderson Valley, referred to as the Deep End. The area lies on the Northwestern end of the AVA, where the valley narrows and is lower in elevation, allowing the cool, maritime fog to pour in and heavily influence the grapes. 
 
The wine team made Borne’s 2017 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir in a bright and spirited style that delivers plenty of floral-infused red fruits, and baking spices, accompanied by a soft, velvet-like texture, and satisfying finish. 
 
BORNE
2017 PINOT NOIR
ANDERSON VALLEY
Retails at: $28
 
Your Price: $22
Click to Order
 
 
 
“Dark red/purple in color, the nose is fragrant with black cherry, backing spices and orange blossom. The palate is well textured and polished with good acidity. Flavors of toasted cocoa, ripe fig and marionberry linger on a long finish.”
2017 Twomey Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2017 Twomey Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

TWOMEY

2017 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2017 Twomey Pinot Noir Russian River ValleyThe Duncan family members are major players and innovators in the California wine industry and have been since the 1970s. After dominating one varietal for decades with Silver Oak Cabernet, they took on a new challenge with Pinot Noir under the Twomey moniker. They embarked on the new project bringing decades of winemaking experience, a spirit of innovation, and a focus on excellence and sustainability. The results are simply stunning, and their 2017 Russian River Pinot Noir is a textbook example. 

Twomey’s 2017 Russian River Pinot Noir is a cuvée that includes fruit from the winery’s original Westpin Vineyard, located on the North end of the Russian River Valley. They also blend fruit from cool-climate sites, including Last Stop Estate, Bailey, and Bartolomei. The complex mix of terroirs and clonal selections contributes to this wine’s vast layers of fruit. 
 
Justin Hirigoyen leads the winemaking team at Twomey. Justin trained at Domaine Faiveley in France and was also the winemaker at Spring Mountain Vineyards, where he utilized a technique of fermenting 22% of the juice using whole clusters for added depth and structure.
 
TWOMEY
2017 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $49.99
Click to Order
 
 
 
“Black-red with a lighter edge; Complex yet delicate nose of white pepper, fig reduction, black raspberry, cardamom, and prosciutto; Layered and packed with fruit; Round with powdery tannins that are both balanced and concentrated; Dense tannins carry the layered fruit for a lasting finish.”