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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
Kynsi Winery is a family run operation focused on producing distinguished wines in limited production. Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and unique red blends are carefully sourced from highly regarded cool climate vineyards along with Pinot Noir from their Estate Stone Corral Vineyard in the Edna Valley.
Owner/Winemakers Don and Gwen Othman have been immersed in the Central Coast wine industry for over 30 years with their specialty wine equipment business Bulldog Manufacturing. Don is widely recognized for his creation of The Bulldog Pup in 1986, a gas pressure racking wand that transfers wine from barrels without agitation or oxidation. While originally designed to gently transfer delicate Pinot Noir, “The Pup” has become an indispensable cellar tool for achieving superior clean rackings preserving richness and complexity in high quality barrel aged wines. They continue to manufacture and distribute the Bulldog Pup worldwide today.
Over the years, Bulldog Manufacturing provided the opportunity to work alongside some of the most respected winemakers in the industry. Don and Gwen gleaned volumes of diverse winemaking philosophies that helped lay the foundation from which their own distinctive winemaking philosophy emerged. Life is an evolution and in 1995 Don and Gwen founded Kynsi Winery located in the heart of the Edna Valley on California’s Central Coast. Today they are joined by their daughter Kala who grew up in the business and son-in-law Michael, each sharing the vision and values on which Kynsi has been built. Together, they all work very closely to maintain the quality and consistency of the Kynsi portfolio.
When the winery was first started in the old dairy, it had been decades since it had ceased operations and the grounds had been cared for. There was a gopher problem, and not your average garden infestation but a plague of historic proportions. In search of wisdom, it was discovered that barn owls are gopher’s #1 predator. Astonishingly, a nesting pair can process up to 40 gophers a night when feeding their young.
Barn owls are not nest builders, so 2 wooden boxes were installed in the old barn and within a couple of weeks there was a nesting pair. They had 4 owlets that first spring and wiped out the also breeding gophers. As the pellet pile grew under their boxes, nature was being put back into balance. The owls single handedly saved the ranch and the wise female in her preening pose was chosen to represent the brand, a pedestal duly earned. To honor family heritage, they chose the Finnish word “Kynsi” meaning talon to go with the beloved barn owl.
Justin Isosceles Proprietary Red Paso Robles is made from 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot.
The 2019 Isosceles is a bold wine with ripe fruit and attractive savory elements, which balance each other perfectly. This wine is rich and complex enough to be enjoyed on its own, but is a perfect match with a classic filet mignon with traditional sides.
Deep ruby/purple core with a black secondary color, and lighter toward the rim with moderate plus viscosity and slow-forming, moderately stained tears. Very aromatic and complex with ripe black cherry and cassis fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, and licorice spice with sweet tobacco, cedar, leather, and camphor notes. Full-bodied with ripe complex black cherry, boysenberry, cassis, and blackberry fruit on entry with baking spice. Dusty tannins appear on the midpalate with cedar, dried tobacco leaf, and saddle leather as it progresses. The finish is long, fresh, and balanced with notes of bay leaf, dried red rose petal, oak, and sustained tannins.
Far Niente Post & Beam Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2021 Post & Beam Cabernet Sauvignon exudes a vibrant perfume of wild raspberry preserves with hints of clove and confectionery spice that envelop the nose. Round and textured on the palate, the entry is layered with soft red fruit flavors, supported by leather, cassis and elegant botanical accents on the mid-palate and lovely notes of toasted espresso beans on the finish.
This 16-month French oak-aged Cab exudes aromas of black raspberry and leads to a regal dusting of cherrywood on the palate. Plum latches on to white pepper and a juiciness emerges, elegantly folding into a satin finish of blueberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sandalwood.
-Tasting Panel 95 Points
It’s difficult to imagine a more appealing, lavishly oaked wine than this indulgent Cabernet. It packs in superripe blueberries, blackberries and black currants, bracing them with tons of fine-grained tannins and some good fruit acidity. Best from 2028.
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Paul Hobbs Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon is made fro 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot.
Since our inaugural release last year, this wine has quickly become one of the most compelling in their portfolio. Offering a gorgeous deep purple hue, our 2019 captivates with a bouquet of crushed blueberry, summer savory spice, and a delicate tobacco leaf note. The palate is remarkably balanced with well-integrated
tannins and fresh acidity that wraps around boysenberry and black fig along subtle notes of rosemary and a crush rock minerality, which lends tension through the long finish.
One of the most elegant Cabernets of the 2019 vintage. Sourced from various Coombsville sites, this blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Merlot is teeming with minerality, baking spices, toasted cedar and rich red berry aromas. Impressively vibrant, unfolding with fragrant rose petal contrasted by fresh gravelly tones. A dusty tannin backbone is framed by firm acidity, while the round fruit profile is almost buoyant. This will develop lovely complexity over time.
-Decanter 96 Points
El Pino Club Sea Floored Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sea Floored opens with aromas of cherry cola, dried cran-raspberries, and classic Sta. Rita Hills black pepper. On the palate, deep flavors of Chambord, red pomegranate and cranberry fruit are framed by moderate tannins and food-friendly acidity, finishing with hints of tobacco and oak-roasted coffee bean.
This special bottling from the Foley family packs a lot of complexity into the nose, offering aromas of bay leaf, toasted wood, light cannabis and brisk pomegranate. The palate is firm in texture and covers a wide range of fruit, from dark berry to bright red fruit, though it may be the graphite-like minerality that sets it apart.
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Hailing from the newly established West Sonoma Coast AVA, this inaugural release displays deep ruby in tint with Bing cherry, wild mountain berry, and an ethereal note of damp earth. Vibrant red and blue fruits dance on the palate, accompanied by oyster shell and a stony tension in character with its coastal influences. A silky texture and uplifted acidity add a sophistication and intensity to this wine, as well as a remarkably long finish.
The 2021 Pinot Noir (West Sonoma Coast), a new wine in this range, is lights out. Rich, ample and bold, the 2021 races across palate with layers of purplish fruit, lavender, spice, menthol, licorice and spice. A dollop of stems adds nuance, but without dominating the overall balance. There's terrific acidity and structure to play off the natural fruit richness that is such a distinctive attribute of the best sites in the appellation.
-Vinous 96 Points
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.
Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2020 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue comes bounding out with energetic notes of black cherry compote, black raspberries, and pomegranate with a beautiful undercurrent of violets and dark chocolate. The full-bodied palate is vibrant and pure, with fine-grained tannins and a lively backbone, finishing very long and perfumed. This is perhaps the best 2020 Pinot I've tasted!
-Wine Independent 96 Points
Kynsi Pinot Noir Edna Valley is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
The Edna Valley was one of the first registered appellations in California and boasts a rich agrarian history. The coastal terrain features varied soil types that are predominantly marine in origin, with ancient volcanic influences. The unusual transverse ranges allows the appellation to open up to the cooling breezes of the Pacific Ocean from nearby Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. 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 with concentrated and complex flavors.
Light berry and cherry aromas are fresh, crisp and inviting on the nose of this wine, which also offers light vanilla and star anise notes. There is a decent structure to the palate, where strong acidity cuts against the fruity flavors, and baking spice warms the tart finish.
-Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
When we consider the potential of a piece of land to grow world-class wine, we immerse ourselves in the physical characteristics of soil type, depth, texture and drainage, slope aspect, sun exposure, et cetera—myriad complex details. On site potential alone, Jentoft likely sits at the top of our entire vineyard portfolio.
The site’s coastal marine soils are remarkably shallow with underlying sandstone bedrock poking through the topsoil. Lean, “boney” soils generally yield low-vigor vines and powerful wines, and that’s what we have here. The potential is incredible, and now that these vines are mature, we’re seeing the promise realized.
Our new vintage of Jentoft Vineyard Ryan Pinot Noir is highly evocative of this steep hillside site high in the coastal mountains surrounded by the forest. To me, it represents the essence of coastal Russian River Pinot Noir: intensity, vibrancy, deeply pitched fruits with pulsating acidity and an incredible length of flavor. We’ve bottled Ryan Pinot Noir from several sites since 2002 , and this is the pinnacle of achievement for this wine so far.
The wine opens with a sense of tiny dark intense wild berries, tart and explosive, pine needle freshness and hints of cedar amplifying the aromas. The palate is sappy, dark and elevated with Rainier cherry, cassis and huckleberry fruits. There’s laser-like intensity to the wine’s driving flavors as they expand along the dry, firm palate, exotic floral, gravelly nuances extending the lingering finish. No need to decant. Drink between 2020 and 2027.
Another Russian River cuvée, the 2019 Pinot Noir Jentoft Vineyard Ryan is a deeper ruby, translucent color and has a gorgeous array of black raspberry and cherry fruits supported by ample spice box, savory flowers, rose petals, and dried bouquet garni-like nuances. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and fleshy, with the more rounded, supple style of the vintage, it's ideal for enjoying over the coming 7-8 years, probably longer, but there's no need to delay gratification more than a year or two. - Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Bramble Hill Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards in South Africa has developed an international reputation over 40 vintages for unusually restrained, classically styled Pinot noir, with deep structure and spice balancing fruit opulence. Hamilton Russell Oregon aims to express this stylistic philosophy with the very best Willamette Valley fruit - showcasing the restrained, structured classicism of great European Pinot noir and the bright purity of Oregon fruit. The celebrated Bramble Hill vineyard in Ribbon Ridge, delivers a particularly bright, pure, lively minerality to complement the complex lifted fruit the best Oregon Pinot noir is known for.
Limpid ruby-red. Fresh red berries, blood orange, floral and baking spice qualities on the incisive nose. Juicy, focused and lithe on the palate, offering subtly sweet raspberry and cherry flavors and building spicecake and cola nuances. Closes long and nervy, with discreet tannins framing repeating floral and spice notes.
-Vinous 93 Points
Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Deep ruby red in color with scarlet highlights, Clark & Telephone opens with bountiful aromas of red fruits of cranberry and raspberry jam, laced with clove, cedar, and holiday baking spices. Bold and complex flavors of crushed ripe cherry, cranberry and blueberry pie linger on the palate. The texture is rich and lively, and leads into a warm and structured finish.
Dark plum in color with abundant aromas of dark chocolate, black cherry, and sun-ripened blackberry with a hint of cedar. Layered flavors of blackberry and raspberry pie filling, accompanied by notes of cinnamon, chocolate, and nutmeg play on the palate. Smooth and focused with refined tannins and a medium finish.
Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Deep garnet in color with an aromatic medley of black cherry, marionberry, ripe plum and a hint of anise. Dark fruit on the palate with flavors of wild berries, caramelized oak and cacao nibs complemented by subtle notes of vanilla, cedar and a hint of lavender and forest floor. Rich and unrestrained, this wine’s abundant fruit is beautifully balanced by firm acidity and layers of red and black fruit.
Weingut Prager Stockkultur Achleiten Gruner Veltliner Smaragd is made from 100 percent Gruner Veltliner.
Franz Prager, co-founder of the Vinea Wachau, had already earned a reputation for his wines when Toni Bodenstein married into the family. Bodenstein’s passion for biodiversity and old terraces, coupled with brilliant winemaking, places Prager in the highest echelon of Austrian producers.
Smaragd is a designation of ripeness for dry wines used exclusively by members of the Vinea Wachau. The wines must have minimum alcohol of 12.5%. The grapes are hand-harvested, typically in October and November, and are sent directly to press where they spontaneously ferment in stainless-steel tanks.
Stockkultur is a 0.3-hectare plot at the top of Achleiten and was purchased by Toni Bodenstein in 2005. The name refers to the old style of training each vine to a single stake; the traditional method of vine cultivation in the Wachau before the 1950s. The vines planted in 1938 are among the oldest in the Wachau.
Prager’s stylistic signature is that of aromatic complexity coupled with power and tension. High-density planting and long hang times ensure ripe fruit flavors and concentration, yet allowing leaves to shade the fruit lend vibrant aromatics of grasses, herbs, and wildflowers. Minerality is a constant feature of any Prager wine.
With minimum alcohol of 12.5%, Grüner Veltliner Smaragd is a concentrated and full-bodied dry white wine. Its intensity of flavor and ripeness of fruit make it ideal with high-integrity ingredients such as seared white fish or sautéed spring vegetables. Grüner Veltliner is a classic accompaniment to Wiener Schnitzel.
From vines planted in 1937 and picked as the first of the Smaragd wines, the 2020 Ried Achleiten Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Stockkultur (planted with 15,000 vines per hectare) opens with a spectacular deep and complex but refined, fresh and flinty bouquet with intense, ripe pear and biscuit aromas. On the palate, this is a dense and lush yet pure, elegant and complex, wide and powerful but also mineral Achleiten with a long, finely tannic and still sweet finish (due to more than 30 grams per liter of dry extract). Tasted at the domaine in June 2021.
At Prager, I could not determine that 2020 would be inferior to the 2019 vintage; on the contrary, the 2020 Smaragd wines fascinated me enormously in their clear, cool, terroir-tinged way. A 38% loss had occurred mainly because of the hail on August 22, although predominantly in the Federspiel or Riesling vineyards. There was no damage in the top vineyards such as Ried Klaus, Achleiten or Zwerithaler. "Interestingly, the vines are in agony for about two weeks after the hail. There was no more growth, no development of ripeness and sugar," reports Toni Bondenstein. The Veltliner then recovered earlier, while even picking a Riesling Federspiel in October was still a struggle. "Why Riesling reacted more intensively to the hail, I don't know myself either," says Bodenstein. Whole clusters were pressed to preserve acidity and to compensate for the lower extract, and compared to 2019, the 2020s were left on their lees longer. In June, however, the 20s in particular showed outstanding early shape.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
Intense violet, hints of lavender, black cherry, fresh leather and spicy flavors (white pepper and clove), rich and concentrated with a lingering spicy finish. Will age gracefully for several decades.
Morlet doesn’t make much of it, but their Syrah is beautiful and well worth seeking out. The 2018 Syrah Bouquet Garni comes from the cool climate, higher elevation Bennett Valley in Sonoma and offers a big, exotic nose of blackberry and blackcurrant fruits as well sandalwood, dried flowers, new leather, and white pepper. The fruit is ripe and opulent, yet it still holds onto loads of classic cooler-climate Syrah gaminess and peppery notes. Full-bodied on the palate, it’s balanced and has a lively, clean texture, beautiful depth of fruit, and a great finish. Enjoy bottles any time over the coming decade.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points