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Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
  • CG97
  • WS92
  • WW91
  • WE91
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
  • WE94
  • WW93
  • RP90
  • WW92
  • WE91
  • WE93
  • CG90
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • CG91
  • WE94
  • WE93
  • BH91
  • WE94
  • CG92
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is both a blockbuster Pinot Noir and a wine that will reward patience. The effusive bouquet offers alluring dark fruits, a myriad of spices and hints of French oak. The palate features the signature elements of this pedigreed vineyard: deep, dark Santa Rosa plum, black currant, dark chocolate, cinnamon and pennyroyal. As it opens up, every sip gains nuance and complexity, revealing layers of sandalwood, cedar, and Tahitian vanilla bean. Though ripe and sweet, the substantial tannins will reward cellaring.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
CG 97
Connoisseurs' Guide
Long on deep, nicely formed fruit and filled out with deftly placed oak that lends an inviting touch of creamy sweetness without ever once threatening to be a distraction, this wonderfully complete and layered young Pinot Noir shows great richness and range even now. Its dominant themes of fully ripe cherries are joined by hints of raspberries, dried roses and a trim touch of vanilla, and, while fully extracted, the wine is lively, lithe and beautifully balanced with a neat spine of integral tannins pointing the way to a least a half-dozen years of improvement. It is a lovely and remarkably successful effort that is a memorable testament to the fact that truly important wines can be found in even the most challenging vintages.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
A touch rustic but not out of line for a young wine, offering dried dark berry fruit and edgy tannins. Fills in with blackberry, boysenberry, mocha and black tea notes, holding focus on the long, full finish. Drink now through 2022.
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of
Romantics, writers and poets love the Goldeneye Pinot Noirs, wait, I might just be talking about myself. Well, I am all of the above and I found the 2011 Goldeneye Gowan Creek to be a really pure example of the varietal from the cool Anderson Valley; offers bracing red fruit flavors, wild with fine mineral spin to it; frisky in the finish; an excellent choice with savory spiced leg of lamb.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This is a full-bodied Pinot Noir, showing lavish new-oak aromas and rich, ripe fruit flavors. Medium-deep ruby in tone, it has aromas suggesting vanilla, toasted oak and nutmeg, with a hint of rhubarb. Flavors recall cherry and blackberry. Gradually the oak flavors recede and the lively fruit character comes out, lingering on the finish.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Pinot Noir Gowan Creek Vineyard comes from a foggy site planted with eight different clones of Pinot Noir. This impressive effort possesses pure black cherry, blackcurrant and plum fruit intermixed with vanillin and forest floor notes. Medium-bodied and complete with a beginning, mid-palate and a long finish.
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Goldeneye, North Coast, California
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The Goldeneye winery is dedicated to the production of world class Pinot Noir wines. It is located in the heart of Anderson Valley along the migratory pathway of the common Goldeneye duck.

In 1997, Goldeneye harvested its first grapes, a modest seven tons of estate fruit, yielding 375 cases of wine. After a decade of research, planning and experimentation, Goldeneye's inaugural vintage was announced in March of 2000. By focusing on the careful cultivation of its estate vineyards, Goldeneye has been able to grow, while still remaining true to its philosophy of being a small, quality-driven winery.

Founded on a commitment to quality, Goldeneye brings the tradition of viticultural excellence established by Duckhorn Vineyards in the Napa Valley to the Pinot Noirs of the Anderson Valley. With each new vintage, Goldeneye continues its evolution toward becoming one of the world's premier producers of Pinot Noir.

North Coast

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Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.

Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

PIN357211_2011 Item# 131497