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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.
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.
Ecard Savigny Beaune Blanc Premier Cru Hauts Jarrons is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Golden yellow with green hues. The mouth is sharp, with a nice acidity and mineral note that give complexity to the wine. A complex and delicate nose of white flowers, dried fruits and toasted bread. It will change with ageing towards pear, ginger bread and white pepper
Pair with tender meat, fried river fish, sea fish in white sauce, hot shellfish, poultry in a beautiful creamy sauce and frog legs. Hard cheeses: Comté, Beaufort, Emmental…
Fortezza Fiano DOC Sannio is made from 100% Fiano - 20 years old
Straw yellow color with light green reflections. A rich bouquet of white flowers with mineral notes, freshnesss and elegance, good acidity and good body.
Southeastern exposure with an altitude of 250-350 meters above sea level.
Planting density: 3,500 vines per hectare on average.
Training system: espalier with Guyot pruning.
Manual harvest in small crates end of September.
Winemaking in white in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature.
Pairs well with seafood, grilled tuna, white meats.
Alain Jaume Condrieu La Butte d'Or is made from 100 percent Viognier.
The wine comes from vineyards planted on hillsides and soils that are covered with granite. The east and south-east exposures offer an environment where the Viognier expresses the best of its aromatic potential. La Butte d'Or Condrieu shows a golden yellow color, a complex nose of exotic fruits and hints of apricot. The palate exhibits some brioche notes that mingle with the delicate flavors of white peach and apricot compote. This Condrieu reveals its typical racy character with a long and fine finish.
Manual harvesting of the grapes at moderate maturity to maintain a white wine with intense but balanced and fresh aromas. Fermentation on the lees at 15 ° C for 10 months in fine-grained oak barrels. 10% of new barrels maximum. Stirring of the lees once a week.
Enjoy up to 5 years with fish dishes with sauce, terrine of foie gras, veal with cream, mushrooms, soft cheeses.
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.
Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sourced from both high-elevation and valley floor vineyards, located in the cool-climate AVAs of Sonoma Mountain, Bennett Valley and Petaluma Gap. A drama-free growing season allowed for a leisurely harvest of perfectly ripe, healthy fruit. Low-stress, clean ferments, led to an exceptionally pure Pinot Noir, laden with fruit, earth and spice.
"Medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Mosaic has a pretty nose of pink peppercorn, herbs and dusty earth over a core of savory black fruit and spices. Medium-bodied, it gives good layers of flavors in the mouth with concentrated black fruits and loads of spice, grainy tannins to support and a long, lingering finish. Yum! 600 cases produced.. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 92+ pts
Argot Pinot Noir Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Everything you have come to expect from an Argot Pinot Noir, shone through the filter of a textbook-perfect vintage. We simply can not get over the quality of fruit this wine displays! Intense, yet fresh; fruity, yet spicy; brambly, yet juicy; immediate, yet lingering. A Pinot Noir that displays the variety’s natural come-hither attitude, while succinctly capturing its intriguing nature. There are not enough superlatives to describe this wine. Almost too easy to love!
VINEYARD Multiple vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including both valley floor and high-elevation hillside sites
PRODUCTION 600 cases
VARIETAL 100% Pinot Noir
CRUSH Night harvested by hand beginning in mid-September, concluding at our coolest sit on October 13. Cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing
FERMENT 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top containers, with the grapes fermenting on their skins for an average time of 14 days.
AGING 16 months, French oak barrels, 7% new, remainder once-used. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled un-fined, unfiltered.
NOTES Singularly great. 2018 was an all-time vintage for California’s North Coast, achieving rarely before experienced heights. A mild summer gave way to Autumnal perfection, allowing cooler areas the opportunity to ripen their crop while chemistries remained perfect. What arrives in bottle is nothing short of a pinnacle representation of Sonoma County Pinot Noir — profound depth of pure, red Pinot Noir fruits, caressing textures balanced by deep minerality and a quenching acidity.
Bydand Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is made from 100% Pinot Noir
Aged for 16 months in 40% new French oak, 60% neutral French oak
Umino Vineyard is perched atop rolling hills overlooking the Petaluma Gap in Sebastopol, CA. Taking advantage of maritime influence this 11-acre vineyard benefits from warm sunshine throughout the day and cool coastal winds at night. Planted in 1996 to 4 Dijon Clones of Pinot Noir these vines produce wine of purity and balance. Exhibiting rich flavors and aromas of crushed rose petal, raspberry and cherry cola with earthy minerality and lively acidity.
Ferren Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
100% native fermentation (primary and secondary), long cool fermentations often lasting up to a full year, minimal lees stirring, no additions of any kind (commercial yeast, water, acid, enzymes, etc., never any fining or filtration). Aged 18 months in 15% new French oak (Francois Freres, Vosges, Troncais Forrests)
La Crema Fog Veil Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
A lush, earthy, and balanced Pinot Noir from select estate vineyards in California's famous Russian River Valley. This red wine opens with aromas of wild strawberry, blackberry, and cardamom. Flavors of boysenberry, raspberry, and sassafras with hints of baking spice. Soft tannins are balanced by vibrant acidity. This Red Wine has a Cork closure. Alcohol Content: 14.8% Pair with grilled filet mignon, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and camembert. Aromas of wild strawberry, blackberry, and cardamom. Flavors of boysenberry, raspberry, and sassafras with hints of baking spice. Soft tannins are balanced by vibrant acidity.
Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Fog Veil has very pretty notes of cranberries, Bing cherries and pomegranate with touches of black pepper, lavender and cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied and offering a firm, plush frame and oodles of freshness, it gives tons of seductive yet elegantly styled fruit in the mouth, with a long mineral-laced finish. 1,250 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 94 Points
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
Ponzac Chateau Ponzac is made from 100 percent Malbec.
The wine is produced from vineyards planted on a mineral and fresh terroir - the chalky plateau of Carnac - which produces unique wines.
The nose shows notes of fresh black fruits (blackberries) with candied fruits and spices. The texture is dense and velvety and the wine is crisp and tense all the way to the finish.
This wine will pair very well with beef tartare, meat in sauce, curries and grilled meat.
"Matthieu Molinié’s family has roots in the village of Carnac-Rouffiac that stretch back to the 14th century. In the present day, he farms 69 acres of vines in Cahors, selecting this malbec from parcels grown in clay and limestone soils. The wine fills out its massive tannic frame with dark-purple fruit flavors, girded by a mineral twang and some herbal notes. Open it when you put the pork belly in the oven and pour it once the pork comes out for a luxurious Sunday roast."
- Wine & Spirits (October 2021), 92 pts