"Bright red. Explosively aromatic bouquet of dark cherry, blackcurrant, Asian spices, minerals and pungent flowers. This reminded me of a suave northern Rhone wine in its energetic display of spicy dark fruits, minerality and floral character. The tangy dark berry flavors coat the palate but betray no excess ripeness or weight. Silky, fresh and sweet on the finish, with the spiciness echoing. Lovely stuff. - Tanzer" 92pts.
"If you know Goldeneye's new Gowen Creek bottling, this is a mearly identical Pinot, a little wonder, for the vineyards are right next to each other. This wine dazzles with exotic, feral notes of wild blackberries and blueberries, and forest scents of pine needle, roasted mushroom, grilled meat, chocolate, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander. New oak adds even richer nuances of smoky caramel and vanilla to this compelling wine. -WineEnthusiast" 95pts.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Sonoma County wines are produced with carefully selected grape varieties to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”