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Radio-Coteau Terra Neuma Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • W&S95
  • V93
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
If you’re familiar with the wild, woodsy scent of Sonoma Coast syrah, check out this pinot noir. There’s a rawness to it that’s irresistibly compelling—piney, almost abrasive tannins, a feral scent of tanned leather and a more lifted violet scent. The fruit comes from a biodynamically farmed site on the cool southern edge of the Freestone-Occidental hills. In a warm year like 2014, those vines seemed to draw energy from the cooling wind and fog of the nearby Petaluma Gap, the fruit accumulating a dynamic pungency that transforms the wine into something completely delicious as it takes on air. The tannins soften, the layers of flavor become harmonious and supple. Eric Sussman’s hands-off winemaking—no additions other than sulfur—contribute to this wine’s sense of individuality; it feels more about site than generic “pinot noir” typicity, and will be a fascinating wine to watch over the next decade.
V 93
The 2014 Pinot Noir Terra Neuma is round, supple and accessible, making it one of the more pliant wines in the range. This is an especially soft, open-knit Sonoma Coast Pinot, with lovely up-front red cherry, plum, spice and leather flavors. The 17% whole clusters aren't especially evident. If anything, the Terra Neuma feels a bit riper than most of these Pinots. That is not at all a bad thing, as the 2014 will be ready to drink with minimal cellaring. 90-93 points
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The biodynamic vineyard that Sussman sources for the 2014 Pinot Noir Terra Neuma is a cold site as well with very low yields, The clonal selections here are limited to Dijon 155 and 777. This wine gets the same oak treatment as the La Neblina, and the result is a floral, almost Musigny grand cru-like Pinot Noir with a very Burgundian personality. Crushed rocks, spring flowers, raspberries and black cherries are all present in this wine, which has medium to full body, terrific fruit intensity, purity and overall texture. Drink it over the next decade.
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Radio-Coteau, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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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.

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.

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.

WLD4180546_2014 Item# 355058