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Walt Gap's Crown Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WS92
  • WE90
14.9% ABV
  • WE94
  • WE92
  • WS90
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4.5 6 Ratings
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4.5 6 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of currant, Chinese 5-spice and sassafras. The palate is extracted, weighty and lush, with a concentrated muscular finish. Flavors of coca, and acai, with a slight smoky note.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Firm, dense and focused, this is slow to unfold but does so gracefully, with a medley of blueberry, cherry and wild berry flavors that are expansive and supple, firming on the finish. Better than previously reviewed. Drink now through 2023. 2,230 cases made
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Time spent in 65% new French oak does define this still-young wine, which displays plenty of earthiness and big, juicy red fruit. Concentrated and thick on the palate.
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Walt
Walt, Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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WALT is dedicated to the production of premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific Coast's most distinctive vineyard sites, spanning nearly 1000 miles and including Sta. Rita Hills, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, and the Willamette Valley. Their philosophy is that of precision, non-interventionist winemaking, thereby allowing the wines to naturally and honestly express the character of the site where the wines are grown. Under the artisanship of Director of Winemaking Steve Leveque and Winemaker Megan Gunderson, WALT Wines will continue to evolve and develop.

Located in the heart of Sonoma, just off the historic Sonoma Plaza, WALT Wines focuses on sourcing Pinot Noir fruit from premiere appellations stretching from Oregon's Willamette Valley to the Santa Rita Hills in California to craft the finest wines possible.

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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

WBO30104226_2012 Item# 140219