Small Vines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Only in high-school, Paul started as a bus-boy learning about wine from passionate restaurateurs. He embraced wine with an unquenchable desire to read and taste everything he could-and eventually worked his way up to the assistant wine buyer position at John Ash and Company (in 1993 until 95). As a very young wine steward, he was given many opportunities to taste both California classic wines and wines from all over the world. One night, his life would change forever, when a person dining alone offered him a taste of a very rare Burgundy. This ethereal experience, with one of the world’s greatest wines, sent him on a quest for more knowledge and forever fueled his drive to make captivating wines like this. He launched into self-study, and soon discovered that some of the greatest Pinot Noirs in the world come from a mature, small vines.
Soon after this experience, Paul and Kathryn Sloan met and fell in love in nature. As adventurous partners in rock climbing and mountain biking, we took a sabbatical and traveled the country only to return home to one of the most beautiful places on earth, Sonoma County, California. It is here, where Paul’s family has been for three generations (and now four), that we embarked upon even bigger adventures. Paul returned to college to get his Viticulture degree, and simultaneously went to work for one of the most respected winegrowers in the county, Warren Dutton of Dutton Ranches.
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.