The 20 plus separate vineyards that comprise this year's Overlook include such distinguished growers as Sangaciomo, Bien Nacido, Martinelli, Lorenzo and Heintz. All the wine in the Overlook bottling is barrel fermented using indigenous yeasts and undergoes full malo-lactic fermentation. The wine is aged sur lie for ten months in Burgundian barrels and racked to tanks for blending.
The aromas of toasted almonds, caramel and coconut are followed by crisp green apple and lemon rind flavors that convey certain minerality. This wine will pair well with seafoods and shellfish, and complement pastas with cream sauces, as well as roast chicken and pork roast with fruit.
Landmark Vineyards was founded in 1974 in Windsor, California. In 1989, Damaris Deere Ford, became sole proprietor and relocated the winery to Sonoma Valley. Ford is a descendant of John Deere, founder of the world's largest tractor manufacturer. Landmark Vineyards is located at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in Sonoma Valley. In 1993, world-renowned consulting enologist Helen Turley was hired to work with former winemaker, Eric Stern. Landmark Vineyard's mission is "to make great wines that enhance the joy of life." Quality and flavor begin in the vineyards. In addition to the estate vineyard, Landmark sources grapes from a range of different vineyards and those selected are the finest in the highly diverse microclimates of Sonoma County's winegrowing regions.
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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 into 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.