The deep ruby red color and silken texture of our Pinot Noir are woven within layers of spice and clove surrounded by luscious cherry and plum. Soft tannins bring together all the elements into a graceful finish with undertones of creamy oak and hints of chocolate. For our red wines, Winemaker Michael Loykasek uses the technique of extended maceration to draw the full depth of flavor and color from our fruit. Leaving the whole clusters to bathe in their juices for an extended period of time before pressing allows the juice to absorb layers of complexity from the skins of the berries. The color intensifies, and the tannic structure is enhanced giving the Pinot Noir backbone and character. This method of whole cluster fermentation preserves the inherent delicate qualities for which the varietal is known. The 1999 vintage promises to be one of our best yet, exemplified by this silky, fruit laden Pinot Noir.
Since 1994, owners, operators, brothers and partners, Steve and Bruce Cousins have transformed Armida Winery from a quiet producer of good wines into a much livelier place focusing on artisan, single-vineyard wines from the top growers in Sonoma County.
The Cousins hand-craft over ten different wines and feature some of the best vineyards in California, including Maple Vineyards Zinfandel and Maple Vineyards Tina’s Block (perhaps California’s BEST Zinfandel vineyard), Durell Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Parmelee-Hill Pinot and Zinfandel, Bacigalupi Pinot Noir, Castelli Knight Pinot Noir, and Dutton Chardonnay. From the seven-acre estate vineyard, they produce Il Campo ("Field Blend"), a delicious combination of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
While making seriously great wine the focus at Armida is FUN! Armida also produces POIZIN (Zinfandel) “The Wine to Die for,” and ANTIDOTE (Pinot Grigio).
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Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country unto itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.