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Sinor-LaVallee Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sinor-LaVallee Pinot Noir reflects a maniacal attentiveness only possible through sole proprietorship from viticulture through winemaking. The aim was to create a singular Pinot Noir that expresses the totality of Bassi Ranch’s ultra-coastal terroir.
The wine presents jammy red fruit aromas with earth-driven notes of black tea and smoke. The varietal character is deep and pure, while the vineyard’s terroir is undeniable with savory notes of stem and sage. Supple plum and black cherry flavors engage the palate with a trailing suggestion of mixed berry pie. The structure is elegant and unquestionable, carried by mouthwatering acidity and concluding with a rounded, cedary finish.
Sinor-Lavallee is owned by Mike Sinor and Cheri LaVallee and has been in operation since 2013. Sourced exclusively from the Bassi Vineyard near Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo Valley (though not within AVA boundaries), the grapes are planted just 1.2 miles from the Pacific Coast. The wines are classically Central Coast in their expression (Especially the Chardonnay) and offer a nice note of terroir.
Mike Sinor has always been a grinder, a way of life he learned at a young age while working in his father’s auto wrecking yard. He brought that mentality to his first wine harvest in 1993 and never looked back. Through grit and determination, and without formal training, he ultimately became one of the Central Coast’s most decorated winemakers.
Mike married Cheri LaVallee in 1996 in Burgundy, soon after they started their own label. In 2013, Mike and Cheri put everything on the line to acquire the ocean-view Bassi Vineyard near Avila Beach. It was the destination they’d always been seeking—a singular vineyard that they could steward with holistic and meticulous viticulture.
Bassi Vineyard soils are marine in origin. These soils are low in organic material. The underlying bedrock is hard marine sandstone through which the vine roots can barely pass. Yields are inherently limited, producing fruit with natural intensity and vivid site expression.
Bassi Vineyard is farmed organically with biodynamic inputs. These practices are observed, first and foremost, because they help make better wine. No stone is unturned in that pursuit. What is great for the wine is also good for the land and the surrounding environment, so the rewards are ample for keeping everything in balance. No certification has been pursued. All recent plantings have been own rooted.
Charles Thomas Cotes du Rhone Rose is made from 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache.
Very charming pale rose color. The wine displays lots of fresh fruit aromas such as strawberry and watermelon. The palate is focused and very well balanced with again some strawberry and ripe red fruit notes. The finish is quite pleasing and long with a little spiciness and freshness to it.
"Khaki orange color. Aromas of ripe plum, fresh wild strawberries, and rose hip with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length shale and dried herbs finish with no oak flavor. A rock solid Côtes-du-Rhone Rosé that hits every note."
- Beverage Testing Institute (March 2021), 91 pts - Gold Medal
Alain Jaume Bellissime Cotes du Rhone Rose is made from 50% Grenache Noir, 25% Cinsault, 20% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre
Salmon-pink color, clear and brilliant. The nose is fruity and spicy, reminiscent of wild strawberry and fine Provencal spices. The palate is full, well-balanced and fruity, with a long, fresh finish. A beautiful and delicate rosé.
A part is drawn off the skins with short maceration and the other part is from direct press. Fermentation in stainless steel at cool temperature. Bottling 5 months after harvest.
Colline Saint Jean Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
This wine has a deep purple color, with an intense nose of ripe black fruits, plum, brandied cherries, and chocolate. In the mouth, the wine has rich flavors of black fruits. It is meaty, well-structured, and the tannins are round and elegant.
The juice is aged in concrete tanks for 18 months. The lack of oak helps to frame in the bright and defined dark berry flavors of the old vine grapes. I can not recall another red wine that displays this depth yet displays on the palate with such refreshing acidity.
Vieilles Vignes means old vines.For this specific wine, the age of the vines are comprised between 85 and 110 years old.
Traditional method. Manually picked. Harvest carefully sorted and 100% destemed. Maceration with skins during 20 days in cement vats. Large work of pump over to push the cap.
Red meat, game, white meat, poultry, dishes in sauce, cheese, chocolate dessert.
Sinor-LaVallee Estate Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Sinor-LaVallee Chardonnay reflects a maniacal attentiveness only possible through sole proprietorship from viticulture through winemaking. The aim was to create a singular Chardonnay that expresses the totality of Bassi Ranch’s ultra-coastal terroir.
The wine Chardonnay offers fragrant aromas of tropical fruit with notes of butterscotch, apricot and crème brûlée. The palate is rich and viscous, yet never loses its energy or focus. Flavors of pear, pineapple and peach show trailing notes of vanilla, mineral and spice. A luscious, full-bodied mid palate yields to a sense of balanced sleekness on the finish.
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
Niner Wine Estates Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Jespersen Ranch’s foggy mornings and coastal breezes create perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir. After hand-harvesting the grapes, we fermented them in small, stainless steel, open-top tanks. About ¼ of the fermentations included a whole-cluster component, which adds a delicate tannin structure, spice and length to the wine. The 2020 vintage includes only the highest quality, free-run juice aged for 10 months in French Oak barrels. The wine is full of red fruit flavors, with a bright and juicy palate underscored by warming potpourri, spice and clay flavors.
VINEYARD Jespersen Ranch is located four miles from the ocean, tucked into the hillsides in the western corner of the Edna Valley. We farm seven different clones of Pinot Noir at this coastal site and it produces wines full of layered flavors, rich color and ample acidity. The 2020 vintage was unforgettable. In the early days of the pandemic the vineyard was a fantastic respite, with mild weather and lucky March rainfall that produced large vine canopies. Moderate Summer weather was then followed up by heat spikes and the California wildfires in early Fall. Thankfully, the vine’s large canopies helped shield the grapes from the heat, and our vineyard escaped the effects of smoke taint and we hand-harvested all of our Pinot Noir in September.
WINEMAKING We have a second winery situated behind our tasting room that is dedicated to our Pinot Noir program. After hand-harvesting the grapes, we ferment them in small, stainless steel, open-top tanks. About ¼ of the fermentations included a whole-cluster component, which adds a delicate tannin structure, spice and length to the wine. The 2020 vintage was comprised of the highest quality, free-run juice and we aged the wine for 10 months in French Oak barrels. The result is a wine full of red fruit flavors, with a bright and juicy palate underscored by warming potpourri, spice and clay flavors.
Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.
Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.
Lively in brooding black fruit, this wine is balanced in richness and length, with a lasting wealth of baking spice and black tea. Well integrated, it forms a cohesive experience on the smooth, seductive palate, finding a balance across all its components
-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
A medley of graphite, spice and crushed red strawberries waft from the glass. Further digging reveals even more to the nose of this Pinot Noir, in the flickering form of oak spice and caramelized fruits. On the palate, there’s opulent fruit and signature Dundee Hills spices like allspice, cardamom and sandalwood. The palate is loaded, with fresh strawberry jam and an underlying earthiness taking the lead. Structurally, there are soft oak tannins that give way to an exquisitely long and balanced finish.
Bass Phillips Estate Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
From the original Estate vineyard; 8,500 vines/hectare; specific plot cropping at approx. one tonne/acre, often blended with the best fruit from our Leongatha Vineyard. Wine with attractive, rich fruits in the mid-palate, with the strength to improve up to ten years in the cellar. Bottled without fining or filtration.
The exquisitely balanced single vineyard Estate Pinot Noir draws fruit from the extremely low cropping, closely spaced north easterly facing, four hectare un-irrigated vineyard. The wine is vinified in an open stainless steel fermenter with regular plunging to extract colour and flavour. After fermentation the wine is gravity racked into a combination of new (60%) and old French Alliers oak for a maturation period of around 15 to 18 months.
This bottling is the most linear and acid driven of the range. A translucent strawberry hue, the nose is open and elegant, with delicate aromas of fresh red berries, dried roses, white pepper, terra cotta and savory spice. There's an initial burst of tingly acidity on the tongue that mellows, allowing the silky textured fruit, savory, floral and mineral nuances to shine. Drink now–2030.
-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
The Grand Vin is the 2017 Harlan Estate, and this beauty just about jumps from the glass with its pure cassis and blackcurrant fruits as well as notes of tobacco, graphite, crushed stone, and spice. With a full-bodied, expansive mouthfeel, building, velvety tannins, and a layered, seamless style that offers way more pleasure than just about every other wine in the vintage, bottles can be enjoyed any time over the coming 20-25 years.
- Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
The 2017 Harlan Estate is superb. Deep, inky and wonderfully expressive, the 2017 is impeccably rendered. All the elements come together effortlessly. The nervous tannins of the vintage are evident, but there is also plenty of sumptuousness. Time in the glass brings out a whole range of red-toned fruit and floral notes that are surprising for a year with massive heat spike. The 2017 is polished and sophisticated to the core. In a word: impressive.
-- Antonio Galloni - 96+ Points
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Harlan Estate needs a little coaxing to reveal captivating iron ore, red currant jelly, cloves and crushed rocks scents with a core of warm cassis, Black Forest cake and boysenberries plus a waft of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm, grainy texture with a lively backbone and loads of earthy layers, long and mineral laced. This should be one of the longer-lived wines coming out of the 2017 vintage.
"2018 had a certain sense of ease to it," Bill Harlan said as we tasted the barrel sample of the next iteration of this iconic label. "The pace was wonderful." "Mother nature was allowing us an extended runway," winemaker Cory Empting agreed. "We just started picking and couldn’t stop."
-Wine Advocate 97+ Points
This is fully loaded, with waves of dense yet succulent blackberry, black currant and fig preserves that move along steadily, pulling roasted apple wood, dark bay leaf, espresso cream and humus notes along. A bolt of cast iron emerges through the finish, remaining well-encased in the fruit and adding prodigious length and stability. A fairly tremendous wine, especially considering the vintage. Best from 2022 through 2040. 2,040 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 97 Points
Hospices de Beaune Beaune Premier Cru Cuvee Brunet is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Clear bright red colour. Elegant bouquet followed by ripe fruits in (raspberry) infusing the whole mouth.
Mixed salads, sausages, duck breast filets.
This historic charity sale commemorates five centuries of generous benefaction, and many members of the Brunet family, dating back to the 1600s (5 of whom were Mayors of Beaune), are in the roll of honour. These vineyards are all Premiers Crus and superbly placed – in Bressandes, Bas des Teurons and Cent-Vignes. 15% of the Cuvée was planted in 1999, all the rest from 1976 back to 1954.
TerroirsLes Bressandes 0.52 ha.,