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Holocene Apocrypha Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Apocrypha Pinot Noir tends to showcase the blue and black end of the fruit spectrum, along with a brambly, floral, dried sage and thyme profile, higher acid than the Memorialis and more power.
We tend to enjoy this wine with lamb merguez sausage and saffron rice.
"Coming from more volcanic, south-facing soils, the 2018 Pinot Noir Apocrypha was 15% destemmed and will see 16 months in 20% new barrels. It’s a slightly darker-hued and darker fruited effort offering lots of blue fruits, iron, violets, and mineral aromatics. While it was basically not destemmed, there are no obvious stems on either the nose or palate, and it’s beautifully balanced, has bright acidity, medium to full-bodied richness, and a great finish. It’s another rock star of a Pinot Noir from Todd Alexander."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 94-96 pts
By now, everyone knows that the Willamette Valley is an amazing place to grow Pinot Noir. When Todd Alexander relocated from Napa Valley to partner up with Force Majeure Vineyards, he knew he also wanted to start a project where he could focus attention on a varietal and growing region that he loved. Part of the excitement of being in the Pacific Northwest is the ability to have access to so many amazing vineyards and so much diversity, along with the opportunity to push boundaries and try new things – something that is becoming increasingly difficult in other growing regions.
He partners up with a few very small, diverse and amazing vineyards in the Willamette Valley, sourcing fruit from these dry-farmed sites that emphasize low yields, sustainable practices and produce outstanding fruit.
The wines are crafted in the same way Todd has been making wine since he was carrying it out at Bryant Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley — utilizing very low-impact, non-industrial techniques, native yeasts, little extraction and little new oak, and never filtering or fining. This allows a real sense of place to show through in the wines that is often dimmed when too much manipulation is undertaken.
The first vintage was 2015, and was released in early 2017.
"I continue to love these Pinot Noirs under Todd Alexander’s Holocene label. While they’re not from Washington State, I was able to taste these during my visit with Force Majeure (which are also made by Todd) and I’m thrilled to be able to include them here." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020)
Holocene Memorialis Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Holocene Pinot Noir Memorialis is a blend of 777, Pommard and 115 clones from MonksGate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and it saw about 20% new French oak for 16 months prior to bottling. It is always the lighter and more feminine of the two Holocene wines, with red fruits, white flowers, dried herbs, mushroom and forest floor aromatics, bright acidity and a lithe texture, long finish.
"Coming from a warmer than average year for Oregon, the 2018 Pinot Noir Memorialis comes from a west-facing hillside of sedimentary soils located in the heart of the Willamette Valley (not far from Beaux Freres and Shea Vineyard). All Pinot Noir that was 20% destemmed and brought up in 20% French oak, it shows a textured, incredibly elegant profile that has a perfectly integrated style, lots of raspberry and strawberry fruits, and classic Pinot Noir notes of dried flowers and spice. It should be approachable right out of the gate, yet given its balance, it should also evolve for 10-15 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 93-95 pts
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
"A more limited production cuvée, the 2018 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue is a big, ripe, sexy beast of a Pinot Noir delivering loads of black cherry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with plenty of spring flowers, sappy herb, and forest-like nuances. Full-bodied, it has a hedonistic, sweetly fruited style, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It doesn’t pull any punches yet stays balanced, textured, and a joy to drink. It should keep for 5-7 years or so.”
- Jeb Dunnuck, 95 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.
Lismore Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
Complex bouquet of crushed rose petals, wild jasmine and fresh French herbs followed by a palate full of cranberry, raspberry and a long savory finish.
The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness. 30% whole bunch fermented in large 5000 liter vats with gentle pump-overs twice a day. The process allowed for a long extraction period which lends to the fruit expression and structure of this wine. The free run wine was drained off and the fermented grapes were then pressed in a traditional wooden basket press. The wine was racked into 225, 300 and 500 liter barrels where malolactic fermentation took place and the wine was aged for 10 months. 35% new French oak was used.
"The 2018 Pinot Noir comes from Walker Bay and Kaaimansgat and includes 30% whole-bunch fruit, aged for 11 months in 25% new oak. The bouquet sports vivid red cherry and raspberry fruit that is exceptionally well defined and beautifully integrated with the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, well-judged acidity and a slightly fleshy texture. There is just the right amount of salinity here, and the finish is kept on a tight leash, allowing the detail and precision to be fully expressed. A slight sour edge on the finish keeps you coming back for another sip. Excellent and reassuringly classy. - Neal Martin" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 92 pts
"Walker Bay and Elandskloof are the twin sources of 30% whole bunch-fermented Pinot from Sam O'Keefe. Juicy, floral and charming, it's a graceful, fruit forward style with some clove and tobacco spice and refreshing acidity. The finish is a little firmer than I remember. 2020-24"- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Special Report), 92 pts
Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
One of the best values in the Sojourn portfolio, the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir brings together eight unique lots from sites that comprise several of our single- vineyard designate bottlings. Sangiacomo, Rodgers Creek, Walala and Gap’s Crown Vineyards are the key components, creating a polished blend that offers robust flavors and exceptional texture. This wine offers balance and depth, with multiple layers of dark cherry, nutmeg and earth, leading to a long finish. It is drinking exceptionally well now with a fresh, complex bouquet that draws you into the glass. This wine is the real deal.
This wine is a blend of eight unique lots produced from Sonoma Coast vineyards ranging from Occidental to the Petaluma Gap. Gap’s Crown, Sangiacomo, Rodgers Creek and Walala Vineyards represent key components used to produce this blend. Pinot noir clones 115, 828, 667, Pommard, and Wädenswil 2A add unique elements creating a complex Pinot noir with a myriad of textures and flavors. Each vintage, this wine is balanced and vibrant with lush textures that are characteristic of the Gap’s Crown and Sangiacomo vineyard components.
Pairs with grilled red meat, grilled vegetables, Pizza and pasta.
"The same could be said for the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, which has a slightly fresher, more floral, raspberry-laced perfume as well as lots of pine and foresty nuances, medium to full body, a tight, vibrant texture, and a great finish. It's another beautiful wine that should evolve for 5-7 years or so."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 5th 2020), 93 pts
Maison Roy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir combines fruit from Roy's Dundee and Yamhill-Carlton estates. Gentle and suave, this Pinot offers inviting red fruit, baking spice, and a touch of purple floral tone. On the palate, a soft tannic structure makes this wine friendly and accessible in its youth and will keep drinking very well for the next 5-7years.
Capitain Gagnerot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
SOILSChalky soil with fossils from the Bajocian era mixed with red clay and laves. Heavy earth containing iron.
VINIFICATION / MATURING
Harvested by hand, sorted and destemed.
Alcoholic fermentation in open vats, for about 15 days with 2 punch-down a day at the beginning.
Maturation in oak barrels (10% new barrels) for 12 to 15 months.
Colour : Deep garnet red.
Nose : Black fruits aromas (blackcurrant, blueberry).
Mouth : Strong structure and powerfull tannins. After 10 to 15 years of ageing, it turns to crystallized fruits aromas with a long finish.
Game in a sauce, Burgundy cheese (Citeaux)
This wine is our tribute to the flagship grape variety of Rioja Baja. Garnacha has been grown in Alfaro for many
centuries in perfect balance with the local soils and climate which result in our intensely fruity wines,
full-bodied and with velvety soft tannins. Deep and brilliant cherry color; red wild berries, violet and subtle
spice on the nose; the taste sensation is rich, long, and very smooth.
Excellent when combined with red meat, pasta dishes and even chocolate desserts.
"Ripe wild raspberry and cassis fruits that are really brambly and expressive. The palate is all raspberry with smooth tannins and gently tangy appeal. Drink now."
- James Suckling (November 2017), 90 pts
GOLD MEDAL - Vinalies International Competition 2017