Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir 2005
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.
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.”