- Item #: i_200660Bottle Size: 750mlBibiana Gonzalez Rave crafts her Alma de Cattleya wines as high-quality offerings representing the uniqueness of northern California's Sonoma County. Alma means "soul" in Spanish - and Cattleya is the national flower of her native country, Columbia. These wines are the perfect accompaniment to everyday meals and relaxing moments.
The grapes are sourced equally from vineyards across the Sonoma Coast and Russian River AVAs of Sonoma County, favoring vineyards at close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Aged for 16 months in French oak barrels, this wine is beautifully pure, with notes of macerated strawberry, raspberry, and red cherry that are perfectly balanced by savory notes of baking spice, sage, and sou bois, as this wine finishes with bright acidity and velvety tannins.
- Item #: i_206140Bottle Size: 750mlBuena Vista joined the Boisset Family Estates collection in May 2011. Today, Jean-Charles Boisset is returning Buena Vista to its original glory with the complete restoration and re-opening of the champagne cellars, which have been unavailable to the public for over 20 years. Jean-Charles is 100% dedicated to doing whatever is needed to showcase the quality of the wines from this property. The wines of Buena Vista are being driven to greater heights under Winemaker Brian Maloney and Consulting Winemaker David Ramey, including the re-introduction of Sonoma wines, in honor of Buena Vista's role in the discovery of Sonoma as one California's great terroirs.
- Item #: i_274810Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92Sean Capiaux launched his eponymous label in 1994 and he presently works as winemaker for O'Shaughnessy in the Howell Mountain appellation of Napa Valley. He has established a notable career that includes prominent wineries such as Jordan, Pine Ridge and Peter Michael. He specializes in small lots of vineyard designated Pinot Noir that express the unique location from which they came.
All the vineyards are contracted on a by-the-acre rather than a "per-ton" basis. This means he pays a set fee for the acreage guarantying the grower cash for his crop regardless of the tonnage. This allows him to prune, shoot-thin and drop crop for low yields that result in only high quality grapes. His winemaking style is a blend of classic and contemporary, utilizing cutting edge fermentation equipment paired with natural hands on winemaking, and an emphasis on balance. All the wines are naturally fermented and unfined and unfiltered to preserve their innate flavors and aromas.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Sean Capiaux's 2018s are some of the best wines I have tasted from him. I won't be surprised if they show even better with more time in bottle. Capiaux describes 2018 as a year with a moderate temperature and a harvest that was 2-3 weeks later than what has become normal in recent times."
"The 2018 Pinot Noir Chimera is compelling. Bright, sculpted and energetic, the 2018 is just singing today. Sweet red cherry, mint, blood orange, spice and rose petal all race out of the glass. The Russian River Pinot here has often been a bit juicier, but the 2018 is done in a style that emphasizes aromatic depth and focus. Of course, the wines were just bottled about six weeks ago, so there may be some bottle shock. In any event, the 2018 is superb."
- Item #: i_210180Bottle Size: 750mlSince its founding, Chalk Hill has been producing artisan wines from their Estate vineyards in the hills of northeastern Sonoma County. For four decades they studied, prodded, and coaxed their complex terroir to ensure that their Estate wines deliver vivid aromatics, commanding flavors, great character, and regional accuracy. While their 300+ acres of vineyards surrounding the winery will always be the cornerstone of their identity, starting with the 2012 vintage, they started producing our first Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This 2018 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir comes from extraordinary vineyards throughout Sonoma County, consisting primarily of Foley Family estate Vineyards and fruit from some of the best sites in Carneros, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Sonoma Coast.
This wine is dark ruby in color and showcases strawberry, black cherry, oriental spice and toasty oak on the nose. Flavors of strawberry, and juicy cherry round out the palate with vanilla undertones and a bright acidity. The finish on this Pinot Noir lingers with a velvety softness and notes of maraschino cherry and sweet vanilla oak. Overall, this is a fruit-forward style that can be enjoyed in its youth or aged for another few years.
- Item #: i_257480Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2017 Tous Ensemble Pinot Noir (Copain's first offering from Sonoma Coast) presents aromas of rose petals, Santa Rosa Plum skins, and fresh raspberries. Ripe cherries and orange peels also present themselves on the palate with a silky texture and lingering finish.
- Item #: i_213980Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsThis wine is Paul Hobbs' companion label that complements his eponymous line of wines. This Pinot Noir was produced using hand-harvested fruit from carefully selected vineyards within the Sonoma Coast region, and receives the same techniques as its big sister.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Medium ruby, the 2018 Pinot Noir is made with about 72% estate fruit and very little oak. It's a fresh style with open-knit aromas of roast cranberry and rhubarb with touches of dried leaves, soil and tar. The palate is medium-bodied, bright and juicy with good concentration and spiciness and a lifted finish. Enjoy it over the next two to three years. 19,500 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast comes from multiple sites on the Sonoma Coast and saw a touch of stems and 9 months on lees in 11% new French oak. Its ruby hue gives way to a pretty, strawberry, spice, and brambly, forest floor-laced Pinot Noir that has good acidity, plenty of sweet fruit, no hard edges, and a clean finish. It's well worth seeking out."
- Item #: i_218960Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 91Italian immigrant Antonio Romanini planted this vineyard, his first in Sonoma Valley, in 1954. Since then, the alluvial soils have yielded grapes for perfect Pinot Noir: vines with compact clusters and smaller yields. The vineyard comprises mostly Pommard and Calera Clones on 101-14 rootstock. The fruit intensity from this site is influenced by the nearby Carneros climate and the growing season’s cool nights and warm days. Adding to the provenance is the fact that this vineyard is farmed by the "grandfather" of organic and biodynamic vineyard farming in California, Phil Coturri, and his team at Enterprise Vineyards.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Romanini Vineyard The Engineer has a very pretty nose of violet and lilac with autumn leaves, dusty earth, fresh tobacco and savory red fruits. Medium-bodied with nuanced red and blue fruits and earthy notions in the mouth, it's softly textured with grainy tannins and finishes minerally. 142 cases produced."
- Item #: i_220600Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 96ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate is a dark, dense wine. An infusion of blue/purplish fruit, licorice, sage, violet and menthol flows across the palate as the Estate shows off all of its natural power, intensity and character. The Estate is not all forthcoming, as so many wines in this range are. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2018 for at least a few years. Today it is a dark, inward, brooding adolescent."
- Item #: i_220120Bottle Size: 750MLThe Sonoma Coast's rocky, well-drained terrain and elevated proximity to the cool Pacific Ocean allow Flowers Winery to grow Pinot Noir with fresh, bright red fruit flavors, soft tannins, complex minerality and brilliant acidity. Their Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is sourced from some of the finest family owned vineyards within the extreme Sonoma Coast appellation including Flowers' Sea View Ridge Estate Vineyard. The grapes are harvested in the early morning hours to ensure the fruit arrives cool and freshly intact.
This wine has a deep garnet hue, along with aromas of wild strawberry, pomegranate, cranberry, savory dried herbs, violet and forest floor lift elegantly from the glass. On the palate, layers of blood orange and hibiscus are framed by fine-grained tannins, coastal minerality and brilliant acidity that culminate in a lengthy finish.
- Item #: i_228430Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "Lovely aromas of rose petal, sage and blood orange zest elevate the core juicy fruit of pomegranate, Bing cherry and guava. The flavors echo the aromas with the addition of cranberry, pink grapefruit and an elegant minerality. Balanced acidity and fine tannins along with red fruit and earth flavors unfold across the palate, ending with a long, mineral-driven finish."
- Item #: i_228840Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "Coming from a block located on a northern facing ridge north of Fort Ross, on the Sonoma Coast, the 2017 Pinot Noir Far Coast Vineyard was destemmed and spent 17 months in 32% new French oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, it offers a deeper, richer, more savory bouquet of black cherry and darker currant fruits as well as loads of ground herbs, chocolate, forest floor, and spice. This rich, opulent, incredibly sexy Pinot Noir has a wealth of fruit, a rounded, seamless texture, and a great finish. It's a rock star in this stacked lineup and a gem of a wine in the vintage. I love it!"
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2017 Pinot Noir Far Coast Vineyard is a little mute at first sniff, with the nose slowly unfurling to reveal beautifully perfumed notes of lilacs, Ceylon tea and bouquet garni over a core of Bing cherries, raspberry leaves and cranberries. Medium-bodied, the palate is fine-boned, refreshing and elegantly played with exquisitely ripe tannins and layers of red, black and blue fruits, finishing long and fragrant. 293 cases were made."
- Item #: i_228890Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsHartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast.
Don Hartford grew up on a small strawberry farm in western Massachusetts, and later attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After earning a BA. Don Hartford met his wife, Jennifer Jackson-Hartford, at Santa Clara University in Northern California in 1979. (Shortly thereafter, Jennifer's father, Jess, started a modest 16,000 case winery called Kendall-Jackson.) For more than twenty-five years, Don has been immersed in winemaking and winery management. In the process, Don has returned to one of his first loves—the land and farming.
Hartford Family Winery specializes in making wines from single vineyard sites. In recent vintages we have made about 25 different single vineyard bottlings. Small and low-yielding vineyards deliver expressive and personality-rich wine.
Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart have produced a sensational lineup of wines in 2015. This is a smaller yielding year, and while quantities are tiny, the wines are concentrated, rich, and flamboyant while also staying elegant and seamless. These are world-class Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that readers need to seek out!
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards is one of the more refined and pedigreed wines in this range. Rich and deep, yet also finely cut, the 2017 captures the magic of the coastal sites that go into the blend. Inky purplish fruit, sage, lavender, mint and spice all build as this super-expressive Pinot shows off its pedigreed personality. The 2017 is so nicely done."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Coming from the Far Coast and Seascape Vineyard (both on the Sonoma Coast), the 2017 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards has a spicy, complex, incredibly attractive style that shows lots of upfront red and black fruits, dried herbs, and loamy earth aromatics, medium to full body, a rounded, supple texture, and a great finish. It's a great value play in this portfolio and I'd happily drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2017 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards opens with spicy notions of fenugreek, cumin seed and cloves over a core of baked red plums, blackberry pie and blueberry preserves plus wafts of oolong tea and unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with black and blue fruit preserves, structured with finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. 1,500 cases were made."
- Item #: i_228930Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96+ POINTS - "Coming from the Sonoma Coast, the 2017 Pinot Noir Seascape Vineyard nevertheless seems to have a touch of Russian River-like opulence and power, showing loads of mulberry and cranberry fruit as well as notes of scorched earth, graphite, licorice, and damp forest floor. Rich, concentrated, and medium to full-bodied, it shows the more focused, backward, chiseled style of the vintage yet is far from austere or angular. The cellar will be your friend on this one, and a solid 2-3 years of bottle age are warranted. Nevertheless, it's packed with potential."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2017 Pinot Noir Seascape Vineyard gives up pronounced notes of warm cranberries, Bing cherries and raspberry coulis with hints of lilacs, underbrush and fungi. Medium-bodied, the palate is charged with red berries and earthy sparks, framed by silken-textured tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. 313 cases were made."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Seascape Vineyard is bright, fruity and beautifully focused. Sweet red cherry, raspberry, mint and earthy notes grace this expressive, coastal Pinot Noir from Hartford Court. This mid-weight, gracious Pinot has so much to offer."
- Item #: i_230990Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 92The actions of the San Andreas and the heavy rains and high winds, assisted by the chainsaws of man and sharp hooves of sheep, have created the current landscape on which the Hirsch Vineyards are planted. Gone are the deep soils and compost of the rain forest, all washed away into the creeks, leaving thin soils over sandstone based assemblage of intermixed heavy clays, sandy loams, and clay loams. Blended into this mix in random ratios is a melange of rocks varying in origins and type from igneous to metamorphic to sedimentary shale so degraded it can be crushed by hand.
The diversity of this vineyard, emphasized and cared-for by David Hirsch, have made this property a beacon for wineries searching out the best Pinot Noir fruit in Sonoma, including the likes of Williams and Selyem, Failla, Lioco, and Siduri.
The San Andreas Fault is Hirsch Vineyards' signature Pinot Noir and is crafted to give the drinker a complete picture of this complex vineyard. The 2018 San Andreas Fault has fruit from 27 distinct farming blocks within Hirsch Vineyards, more than any wine produced from this site. It is named for the fault-line which marks the meeting of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, snaking its way up the California coast and passing less than a mile from Hirsch.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2018s represent a real turning point for Hirsch. Jasmine Hirsch has taken on a more active role in winemaking, which is always great to see at a family run estate. Readers who have a chance to taste the 2018 Pinots should not hesitate, as they speak so eloquently to the striking differences that can be found on a single ranch in this part of the Sonoma Coast just a few miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in a cool year with a long growing season. The wines see minimal new oak and some whole cluster influence. More than anything else, this year I was so impressed by the precision and purity in the wines. Most of the 2018s will benefit from some aging, as the acids are bright at this stage, but they are well worth the wait."
"The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate San Andreas Fault is bright and beautifully lifted in the glass. Crushed red berry, mint and white pepper give the 2018 striking aromatics presence. Medium in body, nervy and finely delineated, the 2018 has a lot going on. I would give it a few years to soften, as the tannins are a bit fierce today. Time in the glass brings out the wine's inner perfume and a real feeling of finesse that will only grow with time."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault has a pale ruby color and alluring scents of licorice, forest floor, wild blackberries and mint, with bright touches of citrus peel. The palate is light-bodied with gentle grip and juicy, crunchy, earth-laced fruits, finishing long and delicate."
- Item #: i_235510Bottle Size: 750mlSonoma Coast Pinot Noir has a ruby color with red tints. Fruit aromas in this bottling are more subdued with hints of white cherries and strawberries. There is a savory component to this wine on the palate. Nuances of dry green herbs and black olives combine with a layered red fruit profile. There is a freshness in the finish reflecting the wines vibrant natural acidity. This wine will age and develop for 5-7 years.
- Item #: i_236490Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Wine Spectator: 90WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast comes from fruit across the appellation including Russian River and Carneros. It aged nine months in 25% new oak. Pale to medium ruby, it has a bright, inviting nose of cranberries, woodsmoke, cola, bergamot and crushed black cherries with accents of earth, sweet spice, citrus peel and flowers. It's light to medium-bodied, silky and bursting with ripe fruits, enlivened by juicy acidity and finishing long and lifted. This is a great value! 253,000 cases produced."
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Lively oral components accent the finely textured flavors of red currant and dried red cherry, matched to rm acidity. Lithe and minerally on the finish."
- Item #: i_236495Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottleAromas of red cherry, pomegranate, and sweet tobacco are followed by flavors of assorted berries, plum, and subtle toasted notes. The 2018 vintage presents fine tannins and balanced acidity.
- Item #: i_242480Bottle Size: 750mlFloral notes, highlighted by heritage rose petals, are offset with white pepper and a touch of vanilla and oak spice. Silky tannins, with medium weight, it once came with a warning: beware, a glass of this wine seems to empty faster than most.
- Item #: i_238920Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Pale ruby, the 2018 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir offers blackberries, cranberries and rhubarb with notes of woodsmoke, black tea leaves and earth. The palate is light-bodied, soft and juicy with a good core of fruit and a satisfying finish. 4,181 cases produced."
- Item #: i_239885Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94The name Martin Ray resonates deeply in the history of California Winemaking. Martin Ray was a pioneer, dedicated to crafting single varietal, region specific wine from 1943 through 1972 in Saratoga, the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Mentored by Paul Masson, he took a burgundian approach to his winemaking and developed what is now one of the most historical properties in California, known as Mount Eden.
Nearly twenty years later, Courtney Benham stumbled upon 1500 cases of Martin Ray wine in a San Jose warehouse. Recognizing his good fortune, and his intent and drive to produce terroir driven wines, Ray's historical significance and philosophy resonated with him. Courtney purchased the brand, and since 1990 has been committed to the production of artisanal wines worthy of the Martin Ray name.
Carefully chosen from various vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley and Carneros, this wine's largest components are grown only feet from the river itself, coming from Ricioli and Cartan vineyards. The grapes were fermented separately in small open-top fermenters with gentle punch-downs. The fermentations were carefully maintained at moderate temperatures until dry, when the must was basket-pressed then pumped into barrels for completion of malolactic fermentation. Lots were aged for eleven months in new premium French oak barrels, along with more nuanced 1-2 year old barrels.
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Aromas of crushed raspberries, brambleberries, violets, orange zest and dried herbs. It's medium-to full-bodied with sleek, fine tannins. Wonderfully bright, succulent and flavorful with mineral and saline hints on the finish. Delicious. Drink or hold. Screw cap"
- Item #: i_245580Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 95The wines from Luc and Jodie Morlet have gained a feverish following here at Hi-Time. While their Cabernets and Chardonnays have garnered the limelight and were featured on our “Top Wine” lists in the past, this year it is one of their Pinot Noirs that has us salivating! Coming from a small vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA on the Sonoma Coast, this property sits at 1,100 feet in elevation, and is on just the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard is above the fog line and enjoys long, sunny days, yet temps remain cool throughout most of the growing season. This gives the vines time to produce perfectly mature and ripe grapes, and Luc Morlet sorts the fruit berry-by-berry when they reach the winery, ensuring that only the best make it into the finished wine.
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Things seem quite busy at Morlet Family Vineyards. Luc and Jodie Morlet are developing an additional 3.5 acres of land at their estate vineyard in St. Helena. Last year, the Morlets planted a new vineyard in the heart of Oakville, so there will be a greater focus on estate fruit in the future, once those newly planted vineyards come on line. Stylistically, the wines offer plenty of textural richness and opulence, as they always have. At the same time, I see a bit more freshness in these wines than was common just a few years ago."
"The 2014 Pinot Noir En Famillle is powerful and intense, but also linear. All the signatures of this site come through nicely, but also amped up with quite a bit of structural underpinning. Darker tonalities of red stone, saltiness, wild flowers and exotic spices lead into the finish. The bright acids and overall structure here are quite appealing."
ROBERT PARKER 94 POINTS - "The 2014 Pinot Noir En Famille has a more saturated color than the Coteaux Nobles. It offers up notes of black cherries, loamy soil, kirsch liqueur, Asian spice and a floral element. The wine is an outstanding, beautifully fresh Pinot Noir with plenty of black raspberry and kirsch liqueur-like notes. Drink it over the next decade."
- Item #: i_250010Bottle Size: 750mlAfter establishing his eponymous winery as one of the leaders in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from both Napa and Sonoma, Steve Kistler has branched out and begun a new winery and named it Occidental. Steve's new winery is a slight diversion from his prior one. The Kistler wines come from prime vineyards throughout Sonoma and Napa Counties, but the name Occidental (which comes from the Latin word for "western") gives a clue to the difference in these wines, as the vineyards for Steve's new project come from vineyards that lie in the far western reaches of Sonoma County, near the coast.
The vineyard sites were chosen so the grapes would achieve total maturity at lower sugar levels, yet maintain fresh acidity. Steve Kistler had already taken notice of this cool, wind-swept region in the early 2000s, as he planted two vineyards in the area and bottled them under the "Cuvee Elizabeth" and "Cuvee Catherine" designations for the Kistler wines. The microclimate of this area results in a wine with more moderate alcohol levels, more freshness, yet continue to be full-flavored. The wines are fermented using native yeasts, manual punchdowns multiple times per day (to get full flavor, color, and aromatics), spontaneous malolactic fermentation, and aged in a combination of new and seasoned French oak barrels.
- Item #: i_249890Bottle Size: 375MLJeb Dunnuck: 91 Points**Please note, this is a half sized bottleJEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "A larger production cuvee, the appellation 2017 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is well worth seeking out, offering a charming, forward, medium-bodied style as well as lots of textbook spiced red fruits, pine forest, and underbrush-like aromas and flavors. Enjoy bottles over the coming 3-5 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast was made with 100% whole cluster and aged in 45% new oak. Pale to medium ruby-purple, it has expressive aromas of red and black cherries, roasted cranberries, woodsmoke and orange peel with a classy frame of allspice-like new oak plus earth and charcuterie touches. It's light to medium-bodied and silky with good intensity, mouthwatering acidity and grainy tannins, finishing long."