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Patz & Hall Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • JS95
  • JD94
  • W&S93
  • RP92
  • WE91
14.6% ABV
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  • JS95
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • WW94
  • WE93
  • RP91
  • RP93
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

From its dramatic dark ruby color to its mesmerizing aromas of crushed black raspberry, chocolate, cherry liqueur, five spice and lavender, this is a vibrant and alluring Pinot Noir. On the palate, flavors of strawberry jam, sweet tobacco leaf, cracked pepper and coffee glide across soft, rich tannins to a long persistent finish that is as complex as it is satisfying.

One of the Sonoma Coast’s great vineyards, Gap’s Crown was first planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 2002. Located in the foothills of the Sonoma Mountain, above the Petaluma Gap, it offers a variety of soil types at elevations ranging from 300 to 800 feet. The prized sections we work with are on the flank of the mountain. They are two of the highest blocks on the vineyard and are planted to clones 667 and 828, in Goulding series soils, with some heavier clay interspersed with volcanic rock and lots of gravel. These soils are extremely well drained, and coupled with the site’s wind and fog, help to ensure low yields. Gap’s Crown is one of the last vineyards we harvest each vintage.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 95
James Suckling
A base of supple and attractive, fresh red cherries, married to a neatly integrated dose of toasty French oak, delivering a pinot that offers immediately appealing, drinkable style. The palate is utterly convincing in its balance and depth. There’s plenty on offer here. Drink now or hold.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown offers a more vibrant, crisp, tight style. Black cherries, currants, graphite, crushed rocks, and hints of charcoal all emerge from the glass. Deep, nicely concentrated, with integrated acidity, it has building tannin and notable structure as well as sensational purity of fruit.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
The team at Patz & Hall has been bottling a Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir since 2007, soon after the vines, planted in 2002, began to bear fruit, and well before Bill Price purchased the vineyard in 2013. Located in the wind-and-fog corridor of the Petaluma Gap, this vineyard rises up on a hillside heading toward Sonoma Mountain.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard opens with notes of garrigue, forest floor and lavender over a core of warm cranberries and red currants.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Layered tannin wraps around smoky oak and big flavors of marshmallow in this full-bodied densely concentrated wine from the well-known site. Black cherry, earthy forest floor and classic cola combine to form a juicy core of succulence beneath the power.
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Patz & Hall

Patz & Hall

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Patz & Hall, California
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Patz and Hall Wine Company was founded in 1988 by Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz, and is dedicated to the production of hand-crafted wines. The four are long-time Napa Valley residents and wine industry professionals, with a wide variety of experiences. Patz and Hall produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from selected vineyard sources in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Monterey counties. The Patz and Hall method is to work closely with each of their growers to achieve a unique expression of the vineyard site and deliver wines that reflect both the site and their vision for great wine.
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Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

SOU912273_2015 Item# 493974