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Wind Gap Gap's Crown Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • W&S94
  • RP92
12.8% ABV
  • V93
  • V93
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12.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark and opaque, black fruit, dark spice and rich, ripe and robust Pinot flavors. Fresh flowers, tangerine-peel, cardamom and Santa Rosa Plum give this fresh, lively Pinot Noir lift, definition and vibrancy.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Pax Mahle includes a “disclaimer” on his website for this wine: “Warning this is what pinot noir tastes like…no toasty oak or gobs of alcohol to mask the purity of the grape and the vineyard…” He hit it in this vintage, with a wine grown directly in line with the Pacific winds on the west-facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain. He ferments it with stems (50 percent) and without adding yeast, in concrete and neutral oak. The woodiness of the stems is immediately apparent, almost aggressive when first poured. Then the payoff comes as those stems integrate into the red fruit, adding depth, explosive spice and contributing to the silken texture as the mineral acidity and mouthwatering flavors draw you back for another sip. If you taste it, prepare to be hungry, ready with tea-smoked duck
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A bit of a stylistic departure, the 2011 Pinot Noir Gaps Crown Vineyard comes across as rich, deep and sensual next to the rest of the range. Dark red cherries, flowers, mint, spices and licorice all flesh out in an expressive, generous Pinot Noir that captures the very best qualities of the year. In 2011, 75% of the wine was aged in concrete eggs, an unusual approach with Pinot that yielded stark, naked expression of fruit that is remarkable for its purity. The 50% whole clusters are nicely integrated throughout. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019.
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Wind Gap

Wind Gap

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Wind Gap, Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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Wind Gap is not about making the "perfect" wine. It's about making honest, authentic and compelling wine from special vineyard sites. What interests us about wine is what makes it different-the subtle nuances and characteristics that tell a particular wine's story, reguardless of appellation.

We've combed the state to gather a collection of some of the moste exciting vineyards for producing the kinds of grapes we love - Cabernet from Coombsville in south Napa, Chardonnay from the dramatic limestone and granit of Chalone, Grenache from the Shale and Limestone blanketed hills of western Paso Robles, and Syrah from the windy and cold Sonoma Coast. Along the way, we've been lucky enough to meet and work along with like-minded growers who embrace the discerning farming practices we belive in.

Interestingly enough, many of our vineyards are planted along or are directly influenced by one wind gap or another. These geological breaks in the coastal hill funnel wind inland and strongly influence the growing and ripening fo our grapes. It seemed only fitting to us that our name should celebrate the forces of nature that are shaping our wine.

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 difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

SKRCWG010_2011 Item# 146806