Radio-Coteau Dierke Pinot Noir 2016
The deep ruby color of the 2016 Dierke Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir hints at what is to come. Opening with ripe red cherry, dried cranberry, and dusty raspberry, the bright fruit ushers in a brooding, structured intensity. An earthy forest floor character mingles with savory notes of cinnamon, cola nut, tobacco leaf, and a hint of dark chocolate. A touch of flint minerality reveals itself alongside delicate lilacs balanced by grippy tannins. Thoroughly charismatic in its youth, the Dierke will continue to gracefully reveal its many layers for those patient enough to learn its secrets.
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Eric Sussman first heard the expression radio coteau from a friend while living and working in Burgundy. More than a preference for how you discover these wines, the name reflects a commitment to capturing reflections of soil, seasons, people and place. In 2002, Eric established Radio-Coteau, focusing on the north coast vineyards of western Sonoma County and Anderson Valley. With their benchland locations, well-drained soils, exposure by capricious marine air and fog, these sites host grapes naturally suited to their surrounding elements. This natural selection afforded Eric an opportunity to refine his Old World experiences while working with New World grapes. For more than a decade, he has strived to balance nature’s expression with a delicate, but disciplined human touch in these handcrafted wines.
The Sonoma Coast AVA is large in area but, not counting overlapping regions like Russian River Valley, only has a few thousand acres of grapevines—and it’s no wonder. Much of the region is rugged and not easily accessible. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean’s fog and cool breezes limits the varieties that can be cultivated, but it proves to be an ideal environment for high quality Pinot Noir.
Since fog is a frequent fact of life here, as are heavy marine layers that sometimes bring rain, the best vineyards are wisely planted above the fog line, on picturesque ridges that capture enough sun to provide even ripening. That, with the overnight drop in temperature that reliably preserves acidity, results in fine expressions of Pinot Noir that often receive tremendous critic and consumer praise alike, and are often in high demand.