Sonoma-Cutrer Vine Hill Flanc de Coteau Blocs Pinot Noir 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Citrus, cranberry and a creamy texture define this limitedproduction wine, made from the producer’s highestelevation hillside blocks. Balanced, it offers fresh, abundant acidity and supple, integrated tannins, finishing in forest floor, clove and black tea.
Mick Schroeter makes this wine from SonomaCutrer’s Vine Hill estate, working with a cold soak and a submerged-cap fermentation to build the inky intensity of this pinot noir. Its violet scent expands to absorb the oak notes over the course of several days after the bottle is opened, transforming the tannins from grape-skin bitterness toward scintillating power and grace.
For more than 37 years, Sonoma-Cutrer has earned a reputation of craftsmanship by steadfastly choosing quality over quantity. The winery is known for crafting world-class expressions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir by marrying traditional Burgundian winemaking methods with their own California innovation. Few wine producers in the world have such a singular focus and commitment to growing, crafting, and marketing their wines. This is evident as Sonoma-Cutrer has been named the #1 Most Requested Chardonnay 24 out of 29 years by the Wine & Spirits Magazine.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.