Red Car Amour Fou 2004
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Red Car was founded in 2000 when Mark Estrin, Carroll Kemp and Richard Crowell produced 50 cases of wine from a single ton of Syrah grapes in a Culver City garage. In a nod to their Los Angeles roots, the new venture was named Red Car after the trolley line that ferried riders across the region for the first half of the twentieth century.
In 2004, they purchased 125 acres of land and began developing vineyards in the wild coastal ridges north of Sonoma County’s Bodega Bay, a region now known as the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. Here, the interplay of warm sunshine, cool Pacific breezes and sandstone soils could yield the age-worthy wines of structure and complexity that had captured their imagination.
Today, under the direction of viticulturist, Greg Adams, and winemaker, Tanner Scheer, Red Car farms five dramatic vineyards including Heaven & Earth, Zephyr Farms, Mohrhardt Ridge, Hagan, and The Estate. This rugged terrain's coastal influence—where the Pacific fog filters in daily through giant redwoods until warm sunshine sends it back out to the sea—provides perfect growing conditions for their hallmark style: perfumed aromatics, bright fruit, crisp texture and uplifting acidity. Red Car is passionately committed to producing wines of purity and focus that express the authentic varietal character and terroir of each unique coastal vineyard site. At the core, Red Car is a small, independent farming operation committed to conservation and sustainability.
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.