Morlet Family Vineyards Coteaux Nobles Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Very intense raspberry and kirsch flavors with earthy notes (graphite), rich, round and seamless with a very fruity lingering finish. Will age gracefully for a decade.
Located on the Sonoma Coast, on the Eastern slope of the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean, this unique hillside vineyard benefits from both the cool maritime breeze and the mild and sunny mountain climate. Handcrafted by using classical Burgundian techniques, it is the ‘Noble Hillsides’ or ‘Côteaux Nobles.’
The Coteaux Nobles Pinot Noir comes from 28-year-old vines planted at the Nobles Ranch vineyard in Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. A barrel sample, the pale to medium ruby-purple colored 2019 Pinot Noir Coteaux Nobles slips sensuously out of the glass with a provocative perfume of red currant jelly, raspberry preserves and rhubarb crumble with suggestions of violets and fallen leaves plus a waft of mossy tree bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with juicy red berry layers, supported by plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a lingering earthy note
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 94-96 Points
Morlet Family Vineyards En Famille Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
For generations our family has been growing the Pinot Noir grape in France. Each harvest, we love to celebrate this time-honored commitment while our children stomp a small vat of Pinot Noir from California’s Sonoma Coast. As for any family celebration or casual gathering, this handcrafted wine is to be appreciated ‘En Famille.’ Intense raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor and earthy notes (graphite), very rich and complex with a leathery lingering finish. Will age gracefully for over a decade.
Propietary Name En Famille
Name Meaning With the family (with kids’ help) 5 generations with Pinot Noir
Varietal composition Pinot Noir (100%)
Type of wine Vineyard designated
Appellation Fort Ross-Seaview
Vineyard singularity On the 2nd ridge off Pacific Ocean 1,100 feet of elevation Goldridge sedimentary soil
Typical harvest date October Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck Sorting Cluster by cluster, berry per berry
Fermentation Through native yeast Punch downs Puncheons only Upbringing 14 months French oak from artisan coopers
Cellaring time 10+ years
Serving Slightly below room temperature No decanting
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Patz & Hall Gaps Grown Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Gap's Crown Pinot Noir.
This vineyard sits high on a rock strewn, windswept hill directly overlooking the Petaluma Gap, the coastal mountain feature that feeds the cool Pacific air into the Russian River basin. Usually the last vineyard we pick each year, this extremely slow ripening site shows deeply fruity aromas of black cherry, plum, and cassis. Notes of sandalwood, moist fresh earth, and a faint waft of ocean spray define this wine as one of the most unique in our lineup. A crowd-pleasing richness is tempered by a fresh beam of mouthwatering acidity. Gap's Crown Vineyard is a very long-lived wine that rewards patient cellaring.
Classy forest floor, mulberry, black raspberry, spice, and incense notes emerge from the 2017 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown, a beautifully elegant, seamless, classic Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This is a great vineyard.
- Jeb Dunnuch 94 Points
The nose here is brilliantly red fruited, with layer upon layer of subtle spice, bright floral notes, herbs, and stone. Its not all poetry and pageantry, though, and the first impression of the wine was simply, “oh that’s goooood.” A fair assessment, and sometimes that it all one requires. Further tastes show fine tannin throughout, a juicy, vibrant mouthfeel that is very likeable, and deft, long-developing layers of fruit that reveal themselves severally.
Patton Valley's flagship wine, The Estate is the most comprehensive expression of their vineyard site, and the wine that truly defines their place in a given vintage.
"Glistening red. Vibrant red fruit, floral and spice scents show very good clarity that picks up subtle hints of succulent herbs and smoky minerals with air. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, the 2017 offers gently sweet cherry raspberry and rose pastille flavors and a touch of spicecake. Smooth, well-integrated tannins make a late appearance on a long, floral-tinged finish that shows no rough edges. - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2020), 92 pts
This mountain grown wine shows expresses ripe fruits of the warm days and the acid balance from the cool nights. Vibrant fruit aromas of blueberry, raspberry, and plum are the hallmarks of the aromatics along with a subtle cedar/cigar box note. These aromatics lead into voluptuous flavors of berries and spice in this structured, yet lively Pinot Noir.
In the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County the local residents speak an obscure dialect of English known as Boontling, developed in the late 1800s. The “Muldune Trail” was a term used in Anderson Valley lore o¬en describing the road traversing the ridge to Ukiah. There are other definitions of hitting the “Muldune Trail” that we will leave to the drinker to discover!
Savory spice, dried herbs, rose petal, earth, mulled cherry, and cranberry notes all emerge from the 2017 Pinot Noir Muldune Trail, which comes from an estate vineyard in the southern end of the Anderson Valley, located at 1,600 feet in elevation. Aged 17 months in 42% new French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it's medium-bodied, elegant, and ethereally styled, with light tannins and solid length. It's going to keep for 7-8 years, but it’s not one of the more singular wines in the lineup.
-Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
Zena Crown Vineyard The Sum Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Massed from multiple vineyard blocks and clones, this wine has a timeless beauty that can be inherently understood by innate human nature. Wines of this stature, much like great art, reflect the complex and compelling relationship between humanity and Earth. Expressing Autumn, S (The Sum) leads with Gala
apple, Japanese plum, gun powder, dirt, and garlic power on the nose, with barely ripe cherry on the finish. 60% whole-cluster fermentation bolsters the wine, sustaining the tannic imprint and tension that uncoils like a rattlesnake strike on the finish.
Dynamic and multilayered, with tiers of wild red berry, sandalwood and mineral laced with a hint of eucalyptus. Builds richness and tension on the way to refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 565 cases made. — TF
-Wine Spectator 94 Points
Fort Ross Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Bright aromas of raspberry and bing cherry meld with earthy spice and a hint of licorice. Cherry, raspberry and red plum greet the palate followed by savory touches. Refined, supple tannins and the Fort Ross Vineyard signature minerality are revealed through the layered, mouthwatering finish. With its vibrant acidity and extraordinary balance this classic coastal Pinot Noir will elegantly evolve.
Lots of redcurrants, mulled cherries, and spicy, dried herb-like notes emerge from the 2017 Pinot Noir Fort Ross Vineyard, a medium-bodied, elegant Pinot Noir with ripe tannins and terrific overall balance. It shows the more savory, concentrated style of the vintage and is an outstanding, complex 2017 to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years or so.
-Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
Scented of cranberries and red and black cherries with nuances of charcuterie, dusty earth and woodsmoke, the 2017 Pinot Noir Estate Fort Ross Vineyard has a light to medium-bodied palate with a good interplay of fruit, earth and meaty nuance. It has a grainy, fresh frame and finishes long.
-Wine Advocate 92 Points
Suave, with a delicate mix of vibrant cherry, currant and huckleberry flavors that are backed by crunchy acidity. Shows minerally richness on the fine-textured finish. Drink now through 2025. 627 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 93 Points
In 1988 owners Lester and Linda Schwartz purchased a section of virgin forest and grasslands in the high coastal ridges of the Sonoma coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Told by academics that it was too risky plant a vineyard on these cool, foggy coastal ridges so close to the Ocean they were undeterred. After experimenting for several years with assorted clones, rootstocks and trellising systems they concluded that the property had the potential to grow exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In 1994, after carefully sourcing exceptional heritage clones whose attributes they believed would reveal the terroir and varietal typicity, they began to prepare and plant the first vineyard blocks. Lester and Linda spent many days personally digging plant holes and planting vines as they meticulously laid out their 53-acre vineyard with roads, underground drainage and irrigation systems while developing and building a reservoir and designing a custom trellis system.
In tribute to their South African heritage, they sourced Pinotage bud wood from the original founding blocks in that country, and became the first private growers to import grapevine cuttings through the Foundation Plant Services that operates alongside the U.C. Davis School of Viticulture and Enology.
Today, Lester and Linda work closely with Jeff Pisoni, who came to Fort Ross as winemaker in 2009. They regularly walk the vineyard, making viticultural decisions and ultimately determining when best to harvest each block. Lester and Linda continue to oversee the day-to-day vineyard operations. Having worked tirelessly to carve this spectacular vineyard out of an untamed, extreme location, they have proved the academics wrong.
Clinging to the steep ridgetops of the Sonoma Coast at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the high elevation and diverse terroir of Fort Ross Vineyard set it apart in the world of fine wine. A mile from the ocean the vineyard is the closest to the Pacific Ocean in California. The 32 small, mountain-vineyard blocks traverse 53 acres that rise in elevation from 1,200 to 1,700 feet above sea level. These former grasslands spread north/south over a mountainous 975-acre area, an equation that leaves over 95% of the property’s native forest untouched. Varying in size from one-half to two acres, each small block has its own particular terroir and is planted with rootstocks, varietals, and clones, or field selections, best suited to reveal the terroir, varietal typicity, and clonal attributes. During the growing season the temperature ranges between 55 and 85 degrees. In response, Fort Ross Vineyard is planted to three varieties – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinotage. These heritage clones and field selections produce low yields with small bunches and berries that deliver wines of great fruit character and vibrancy.
The climatic and topographical conditions of Fort Ross Vineyard make farming a continuing challenge that requires a vine-by-vine approach with most work done by hand. Vineyard crews use narrow-gauge crawler tractors on some hillside areas, and even then, there are some blocks that are so steep they can only be reached on foot. Yields are naturally low, but in years when the berry set is higher, fruit is dropped to reach proper ripeness and balance. Sustainable growing practices ensure the health of the vineyard, including cover crops, integrated pest management, and erosion control measures. As the grapes ripen, netting is installed over each row to protect the fruit from birds that flock from the adjacent forests.
With its marine sedimentary soils, long, bright sunny days, gentle sea breezes, fog, and cool maritime-climate, these steep coastal ridges have become one of the most highly prized cool-climate growing regions in California. The vineyard benefits from the cool air and ocean breezes, is above the fog line during most of the daylight hours, and get enough sun and warmth to bring grapes to complete physiological ripeness.
In January 2012, Fort Ross Vineyard became part of the new, rigorously defined Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticultural Area (AVA) which established the region as separate and distinct from all other wine growing regions in California.
Philosophy: The approach to winemaking at Fort Ross is gentle and minimalistic, as the aim is to produce exceptional wines that truly express the terroir and topography of this unique coastal vineyard. The vision is to create wines that reveal their fruit with elegant structure, balance and finesse.
Harvest to Barrel: Winemaker, Jeff Pisoni, and Owners Lester and Linda work closely together, repeatedly walking the vineyard, carefully tasting the grapes from each block. During the cool morning hours, each block is hand-picked into small trays, sometimes with several passes through a single block to ensure ideal fruit ripeness and acid balance. Grapes are hand sorted, destemmed, cold soaked for several days then fermented in simple open top fermenters and manually punched down. Shortly after pressing, the wines are aged in a combination of new and neutral French oak barrels. All of the wines – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinotage – are fermented using native yeast, which lengthens the process and changes its dynamic. It takes longer to initiate fermentation with native yeast, and the progression is slower, but according to winemaker Jeff Pisoni, “the results are more distinctive and complex.”
Art of Blending: Throughout winemaking, clones and blocks are kept separate to maintain their distinct flavor profiles and structural components. Blending trials determine how to combine the different clones into distinct wines that best reflect their component flavor profiles. Bottling the wines unfined and unfiltered is another minimalistic choice that helps to preserve vineyard expression and the wines’ pristine fruit, as well as contribute beautiful texture. Pisoni acknowledges that it’s not always the easiest road but he insists that the less intervention the better. “You have to be really cautious and careful, just as with native fermentation. It takes constant observation, both through tasting and under the microscope, but bottling without filtering results in a purer, fresher expression of the vineyard.”
Wolfberger Alsace Grand Cru Hengst Gewurztraminer is made from 100 percent Grand Cru Gewurztraminer.
Hengst means stallion in alsatian.
Floral nose, yellow fruits, sweet spices. The mouth is ample with the same aromatic.
Tangential filtration before bottling.Vinification in stainless steel tanks at 16°C then aging on fine lees until spring of the following year.
Full-bodied cheese (munster, époisses), curry, dessert with fresh fruit
"Pear, mustard blossom and stemmy aromas are fun and lighthearted. This wine is vivacious with acidity and has a rich, creamy texture offering all of the lychee and spice you could want. Grassy dill complements those and adds a lovely savory note to this sweet wine. Kysela Père et Fils. Editors’ Choice. - Layla Schlack"
- Wine Enthusiast (November 2021), 94 pts, Editors' Choice
Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc .
An elegant perfume of mixed berries, baking spice, dried lavender and thyme open onto a full palate layered with expansive mixed berry, black tea, toasted oak and spice flavors. Focused and fresh, fine grained tannins support the wine throughout, while the finish is silky, long and lifted.
The wine combines select vineyards in Rutherford, Calistoga and St. Helena that complement our home in Oakville and embody our long-established house style. Cabernet has been a hallmark of Far Niente’s winemaking program beginning with its very first vintage in 1982. The marriage of these diverse vineyard sites has allowed us to craft our finest expression of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine exemplifies our nearly four decades of mastery in growing and making Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
With a slight nose of reduction, this wine offers grippy tannin and sizable oak. Blueberry, currant, cedar and sage give it an elegance and classic structure of understated power, finishing in notes of tobacco and clove. Enjoy from 2029–2039. Cellar Selection
-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
Argot Simpatico Ranch Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Powerful aromas of key-lime, white flowers, orange blossoms and a fierce, flinty, sauvage note define a wildly complex nose. Once in the mouth, gracefully pronounced textures coat the palate delivering an exotic interpretation of cool-climate Chardonnay character — lime peel, orange blossom, ginger and clove —lingerings deep into a vibrant finish.
Planted 1978. Shallow volcanic soils on the gently-sloped, south-facing foothills of Bennett Peak on Bennett Valley’s floor. One of California’s coolest Chardonnay vineyards. In the final year of 3-year draught cycle, Simpatico Ranch saw its earliest ever harvest and smallest crop, exposing a reserve of exoticism and minerality previously untapped. A watershed vintage for both the vineyard, and appellation. Night harvested by hand on 9/16, whole-cluster pressed direct to barrel; no settling to ensure maximum lees contact. Barrel fermented on heavy lees. Malolactic fermentation. 16 months in French oak, 50% new. Finished 2 months in steel tank, low Sulphur during barrel elevage.
The 2021 Chardonnay Simpatico Ranch needs a lot of swirling before it shoots from the glass with notes of lemon tart, orange blossoms, candied ginger, and fresh nectarines with hints of crushed rocks, struck flint, and nutmeg. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers amazing tension, with tight-knit citrus and spice layers and a fantastically well woven satiny texture, finishing long and layered. "We only get about 1.5 tons per acre here," said owner/winemaker Justin Harmon. "This comes from old vines on AXR rootstock."
-Wine Independent 97 Points