Our 2015 Flanagan Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast continued the string of “winemaker vintages” that started with the 2012 vintage. For the third year in a row, there were no damaging weather events and fruit condition was excellent. We continue to do relatively short fermentations with some whole cluster additions. The wine was aged in Francois Freres and Rousseau barrels for 12 months.
This wine is the first that includes fruit from our two new vineyard designate sites. Both Sunchase and Sonoma Stage are well regarded, cool climate Sonoma Coast vineyards and in 2014 both produced abundant, ripe, clean fruit. The resulting wine is reflective of the cooler climate sites and shows more restraint and more elegance than the 2013 Pinot Noir. The fruits are focused on black cherry and nearly ripe black plum (sweet, but crisp and not flabby). We used a gentler touch on the oak to allow the great vineyard sites and the beautiful vintage to shine through.
Ferren Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Winemaker Matt Courtney learned what he knows of Pinot Noir on the Sonoma Coast during his eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley of Marcassin Vineyards. At Ferren he employs artisan methods crafting his wines in small lots from single-vineyard sources with native fermentation and without fining or filtration. | Falling Bright
Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The wine made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary: the Pinot Noir a rare balance of explosive wild berry, mouthwatering acidity, and rich, polished tannins; the Chardonnay a fascinating juxtaposition of briny minerality and candied citrus. [ The late Ulises Valdez - brilliant vineyard manager and owner of this vineyard - built his family home on this spectacular site.] | Ferren
All destemmed and aged 18 months in one-third new French oak, the 2017 Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard has a fresher, more edgy texture to go with a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated style on the palate. It's more backward and tight, especially when compared to the Sonoma Coast release, yet still has beautiful notes of black raspberries, wild strawberries, violets, sappy herbs, and a touch of forest floor. Give it a year, and it's going to have a decade of prime drinking.
-Jeb Dunnuck 95+ Points
"Refined and elegant, with a lithe, creamy texture to the dried red fruit and berry flavors, lengthening out with forest forest floor notes. The fine-grained, minerally finish shows leafy accents and hints of sandalwood. Drink now through 2025.—K.M.”
- Wine Spectator Insider (March 18th 2020), 94 pts
Pike Road Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Rich and complex, black cherry, confectionary strawberry and dusty rose waft up from the glass. An expressive palate follows with juicy black cherry and pomegranate alongside notes of tropical mango and coconut in a slightly gamey, smoky finish.
About Shea Vineyard
Shea Vineyard sits in the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and is farmed by our friends Dick & Deirdre Shea. This is arguably the most famous vineyard for Oregon Pinot Noir because of the many well-known wineries that make a Single Vineyard Shea wine, including our sister brand Elk Cove Vineyards and neighbors Ken Wright, Bergstrom, Penner-Ash and others. It's worth checking out the Shea Vineyard website to learn more about this unique vineyard. Wines from Shea vineyard are earthy with a black cherry kick
The 2017 Vintage
2017 brought us back to what we consider a classic, cool-climate Oregon vintage, a year when our decades of experience paid off. Wet spring weather led to a more typical growing season compared with the past three vintages, all unusually hot. The summer of 2017 was warm and dry, leading to excellent flavor development in the fruit, but we thinned the crop considerably to ensure concentration and ripeness. Harvest was staggered because of the October rains, which meant long days for our crew during the windows of sun. 2017 wasn’t an easy year to farm, but the fresh, fully developed flavors of the vintage make it worth the hard work.
"This wine is loaded with raspberries, blackberries, cherries and preserved lemons, dotted with baking spice and finished with a touch of chocolate-covered orange peel. It may sound like dessert, but it's a thoroughly delicious dry-red wine that will add to the enjoyment of any pork, lamb or poultry entrée." - Editor, Paul Gregutt -
Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Bydand Pinot Noir Umino Vineyard is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
This small, sustainably farmed vineyard perches on a south-facing ridge in the Sebastopol Hills area of the esteemed Russian River Valley AVA, and has produced exceptional Pinot Noir for Bydand since their first vintage. Third-generation farmer David Umino rejected early assessments that the site was too cool for viticulture, and planted Pinot Noir there in 1996. The cold maritime winds in fact help to modulate ripening, and protect the grape’s natural purity and balance - resulting in fruit-driven wines with expressive red fruit and dark berry flavors, balanced with crushed rock and mouth-watering freshness. Velvety tannins coat the palate, providing an alluring and persistent finish.
This site combines the best of the earthy west Sonoma Coast and well-fruited Russian River.
"Dark and rich in blackberry and cherry, this wine is lightly dusted in cardamom and cinnamon, with bold intensity and lasting richness. The site shows through in its elegance
and power. - VIRGINIE BOONE"
- Wine Enthusiast (December 2020), 92 pts
The Stone Corral Vineyard is planted on a southeast slope on the west side of the Edna Valley which has an east/west orientation opening up to the Pacific Ocean from Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. Approximately 120 to 300 feet above sea level, the climate is strongly influenced by the ocean providing ideal temperate growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Early spring warming, mild summer temperatures and late arriving cold fall temperatures and rain provide a long growing season for the development of rich color, concentrated and complex flavors. Soil profiles vary between blocks from sand, sandy loam, loamy sand, pebbly sandy clay loam, all fine angular blocky , including decomposing sandstone layers and numerous fossil rocks. The soils are well drained and marine in origin, resulting in an elegant Pinot Noir with extraordinary attributes.
This gem is a blend of a few precious, select barrels hailing from the finest blocks of Stone Corral Vineyard. Offers blue-toned fruit on the nose and a pretty bouquet of black raspberry, sandstone, marzipan and wild lupine flowers. Opulent, yet delicate on the palate, with velvety layers of cola nut, cherry, dried herbs and pecan sandie cookies.
Wine analysis – 13.7% Alcohol, .69 TA, 3.5pH
- A barrel select Stone Corral Vineyard bottling, utilizing the finest blocks and clones of the 2013 vintage
- Blend of clones 115, 777 and 667 on 101-14 and 3309 rootstalks
- Hand harvested, cold fruit from night picks during the month of September 2013
- Yield about 2 tons per acre between 23.8 and 24.5 ° Brix
- Destemmed with nearly 100 % whole berries remaining
- Fermented in small open top tanks
- 4 day cold soak, average 14 day fermentation, peak temperature 83°
- Hand punched down several times daily as needed
- Pressed off just dry, tank settled then racked to barrels
- Aged in small French oak barrels for 18 months
- Once the fresh wine is transferred from the press pan, all moving of the wine is done with inert gas pressure.
When handling the wine, care is taken at all opportunities to avoid shear.
"This bottling comes from the best blocks and barrels from this single vineyard, co-owned by a number of Edna Valley luminaries. The result is stunning, with baked raspberry, strawberry, maple, and peppery bacon aromas comprising a spicy, exotic nose. Black plum fruit melds with white pepper and crushed herbs, diving into tangy strawberry and sandalwood incense notes on the finish. - Matt Kettmann"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (April 1st 2017), 95 pts
Displays a compelling bouquet of strawberry, summer wildflowers, white rock, cola and the renowned Santa Maria Spice. Tender, lithe flavors of tree ripened cherry, dried herbs and hibiscus tea follow, with a mouthfeel made of pure silk.
The Bien Nacido Vineyard is located in the Santa Maria Valley on the South Central Coast of California, just east of Santa Maria. The topography of the valley features transverse ranges with an east/west orientation, opening up to the Pacific Ocean. The climate is strongly influenced by the ocean providing ideal temperate growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Early spring warming, mild summer temperatures and late arriving cold fall temperatures provide a long growing season for the development of rich color along with concentrated and complex flavors.
An intricately layered nose of sagebrush, blood, pencil lead, soy, beef jerky, lilac, violet, lavender and tight cranberries shows on this stunning wine from the historic vineyard. The palate offers rounded red fruits and cherry tomatoes that tighten around a sagebrush core, bolstered by lots of oregano, black pepper, dried basil and eucalyptus.
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Flanagan Pinot Noir Platt Vineyard is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Platt sits 2.5-miles from the Coast and the vineyard cascades down a south facing ridgeline. The Goldridge Fine Sandy loam soils are the most sought after for Pinot Noir and afford excellent drainage. The wind blows reliably out of the west and provides good airflow which helps keep the grapes clean. The vineyard elevation ranges from 425-850 feet above sea level and is frequently (but not always) above the fog that fills the valley most every morning.
Flanagan Pinot Noir Platt Vineyard is a compelling expression of what is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest vineyard sites in California. The wine has a brilliant color and the fruit character, despite the very cool site, is explosive. The nose offers a rich bouquet of ripe cranberry, cola, and a hint of spice. The palate shows very clean dark red fruit with a silky, persistent finish. Incredible acidity, a beautiful mouthfeel, and an incredible purity of fruit character make this a reference point wine.
Eric Flanagan is the founder and visionary behind the Flanagan wines and Flanagan brand.
Our journey into wine began with a love of wine and an appreciation of the places that create unique wines. In the early 1990’s, wine quality exploded higher in Sonoma and Napa. It was an exciting time to be a consumer of wines from Northern California and a great time to come and meet the vintners who were responsible for these inspiring new wines. We began in 1999 with the purchase of forty acres in Bennett Valley. In 2011, we acquired a small Russian River Valley vineyard, and, starting with the 2014 vintage, we have added vineyard designated wines from top vineyards in the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Vineyard sources now include Ritchie Vineyard and Bacigalupi Vineyard for Chardonnay, and Sunchase and Sonoma Stage for Pinot Noir. In 2015, we will also add the iconic Platt Vineyard as a source for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We believe that Platt may be the best vineyard in California for those varieties.
Sustainability at Flanagan:
There are a few marketing buzzwords that are prevelant in the wine industry right now that can be very confusing to the consumer. Terms like organic, biodynamic, sustainable... What exactly do those terms mean? To us, it's very simple. Sustainabliltiy means we farm our vineyards with long term mindset. We do everything we can to ensure that this land will be as healthy, or healthier than it was when we found it. We are in the process of having our vineyards certified as sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance "CSWA".
Sonoma County is making a huge push to be the first farm community to be 100% certified sustainable. The CSWA program has 138 catagories for vineyard owners to self assess and then they support the process with an outside auditor. Sonoma County has hired a full time sustainablility coordinator and is making great progress towards our goal of have all of the vineyards in Sonoma County farmed sustainably.
Proprietor Eric Flanagan:
Eric came to the wine business from a love of wine. His family did not own a winery or a vineyard, and Eric did not grow up on a farm. Through his travels Eric became fascinated by how grapes of the same variety expressed themselves in different places. From New Zealand to Greece, Eric visited wine growing regions around the world, but in the late 90's he chose to create his vision in Sonoma. He started in 1999 with the purchase of 40 acres on the side of Bennett Mountain and expanded in 2011 with the purchase of their Russian River Valley site. Flanagan is now producing wines from several of the top vineyards in Sonoma County under their vineyard designate program. Flanagan is becoming known for making great wines from the best vineyards in Sonoma County.
Eric, Kit, and their 3 daughters (Riley, Lola, and Ruby) make their home at the Three Starrs Vineyard along with 3 dogs, 10 ducks, 4 Dwarf Nigerian goats, 2 geese, 1 donkey, and 1 mule (also named Ruby).
Winemaker Cabell Coursey:
Cabell joined Flanagan Vineyards as Winemaker in 2014. His obsession with winemaking began with a harvest in Burgundy while he was enjoying an undergraduate semester abroad. After finishing his B.S., Cabell spent a few vintages picking grapes and scrubbing floors in Burgundy, and then moved up to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Following his time in Oregon, Cabell traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand, where earned degrees in Enology and Viticulture from Lincoln University. During his time in New Zealand Cabell focused on cool climate viticulture, which serves him very well in his current role at Flanagan. Cabell has also held winemaking positions at Alder Springs Vineyard, Dumol, and Kosta Browne.
Cabell’s approach to winemaking is to use his senses in conjunction with his knowledge in biology, chemistry, and farming.
Cabell describes his philosophy:
“Winemaking is the culmination of a vast number of decisions. Starting with the site, the farming practice, the response to weather conditions, the picking date, the tank and barrel programs, ferment protocols, and continuing through blending and bottling. It is the daily decisions, actions, and sometimes lack of action that unlocks a vineyard’s highest potential. This quest to reveal each vineyards unique personality, while dealing with the challenges inherent in farming, is what makes winemaking challenging, interesting, and highly rewarding. My goal is always the same, to deliver each vineyard’s best expression in each vintage and to make a wine where the last glass is better than the first.”
The vineyards represents 69 acres in total:
Graves vineyards is 13 acres, planted with Syrah (6 acres), Cabernet Sauvignon (4 acres) and Merlot (3 acres).
Platt vineyards is 34 acres, planted with Chardonnay (13 acres) and Pinot Noir (18 acres) and Riesling (1.4 acres)
and Gaps View is 22 acres, all planted with Pinot Noir.
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Asili Riserva is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Intense red garnet color with orange highlights. Notes of raspberry and wild strawberry are layered with floral aromas of rose and violet. On the palate, good structure is matched with freshness of fruit and sweet, silky tannins.