Sonoma County Pinot Noir

Walter Hansel Winery

Cahill Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006

David T

Tonight’s sipper is really beautiful. I found the 06 Walter Hansel Cahill after pairing & pouring their 08 a few weeks ago at Hedy’s Plate & Bottle dinner here at the house.

The 08 was really good but, this is even better. Much brighter, not as dark. A wine to pair or enjoy on its own. While the 08 shined better with food.

On the nose; bright, ripe cherries, raspberries, poached strawberries, softened blackberries, blue floral fruits, hint of rhubarb with a touch of brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, touch of nutmeg, medium dark spice, wood shavings, limestone, dry clay mixed with dry, powdery top soil, just a whiff of dry herbs, fresh red flowers & roses.

The palate is medium full and nicely resolved. It’s just a shade the other side of its top peak. Beautiful texture and mouthfeel. The wine is completely seamless wire to wire. Bright, ripe cherries, raspberries, poached strawberries, blackberries reduced, blue floral fruits, hint of rhubarb & pomegranate extract. Slightly burnt brown sugar, red vines, cherry cola, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, touch of nutmeg, medium dark spice, wood shavings, dry stems, limestone, dry clay mixed with dry, powdery top soil, just a whiff of dry herbs, fresh red flowers & roses. The acidity rains on the palate. The structure, length, tension and balance are in perfect harmony. The long, elegant, well balanced finish is beautiful and lasts minutes.

Photos of; Walter Hansel winery & restaurant, Pinot freshly harvested and headed to the WH winery, Stephen Hansel in the vineyard and one of beautiful Sonoma vineyards.

One producer note, Stephen was mentored by Tom Rochioli, who helped him in the early years of his winemaking, which began out of a garage!
— 3 days ago

Ellen, Sofia and 18 others liked this


Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016

Fresh and lively. Enters with dense fruit that is well framed by acidity and carries through to the pure red fruited finish. With air time the spice flavors develop and there is a little bit of a fresh asphalt note that is delicious. — 3 hours ago

Mark, Shay and 1 other liked this
Mark Flesher

Mark Flesher

What vintage is this?
Patrick Derdeyn

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2016. And sadly already my last one of them. It’s a long wait until January 😞

Spoto Wines

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013

Shay A

Couldn’t end on a bad note, so trusty ‘ol Spoto made an appearance. Spoto wines are such a cool, unique and small production winery...every wine I’ve had has been fantastic. Some typical RRV traits were here like raspberry, black cherry cola and cedar but this is no high octane/extracted Pinot...really nice balance. Some definite spice here with a gripping finish. I’d say this is best enjoyed now and over the next few years. Thanks Mark! — 4 days ago

Mark Flesher
with Mark
Mark, Paul and 26 others liked this
Mark Flesher

Mark Flesher

Last one of these opened alongside a 2013 Sangiacomo Pinot from another producer, and this RRV Pinot definitely showed an incredible density from start to finish. A nose of youthful raspberry, mint, and spice. The entry is youthful red berry, but then goes to more of a minty and herbal side. Finishes with good weighty fruit. Nice Pinot, and I think this one is probably right at its height. Glad I decided to open this one because I cannot imagine this one really improving much more at all, and likely this one is on the decline in a few years.

Hirsch Vineyards

San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir 2010

Yes, I have Hirsch San Andreas Fault Pinot in the glass, which was part of a 3 year blind tasting event for Coravin. The objective was to see if you could actually guess how many of the 4 samples were Coravin accessed 3 years ago, and how many were freshly poured that evening. Could not tell what do ever. Gotta love Coravin - owner Greg Lambrecht in the photo - the guy is awesome, and insanely knowledgeable about wine.

About Hirsch - absolutely gorgeous, dried herbs, anise, cranberry, raspberry, allspice, and balanced acidity. 2010 had so much youth in it that it still needs several more years in my opinion. Not classic to the full level of fruit forward Cali can deliver - even a little tightly wound. What a treat!
— 6 days ago

Ira, Shawn and 15 others liked this
Shawn R

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Ten Acre

Three Perch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014

First for me from Three Perch which is part of the Chenoweth Vineyard. Profound example of new world PN. Molasses and cranberry on the nose with a rock and mineral hint. Acid is still a little powerful for me yet give great tension, time will resolve. Brown sugar, tea and citrus rind. Can’t wait to try in six months. — 3 hours ago

Kim, Ely and 5 others liked this


Berlin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Greg Ballington

@Delectable Wine this is the Troika Berlin Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Last winery on day two in Sonoma was Troika Wines with Jeff, Noel and Ari. Next up is a new bottling made up of Pinot Noir from the Berlin Vineyard in Bennett Valley. Aged in 75% new French oak.

Medium garnet red with ruby hues. Lots of floral notes on the nose with some strawberries and a little bit of minerality. Medium acidity (6/10) and medium bodied. Fresh palate with the acidity carrying through with layers of strawberries, bark, roses and some lighter white flowers. Medium plus to long finish. Will develop nicely with a few more years in bottle. Drink till 2024.

$$ - Tasted at the winery with Noel, Jeff and Ari. Release price is $45.00.
— 3 months ago

India Okoh
with India
Phil, Shay and 13 others liked this
Joshua Fisher

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Hey Greg. I wanna talk with you. Come by Brasswood some night so I can pick your brain.
Greg Ballington

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@Joshua Fisher shoot me an email:


Occidental Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014

Garnet in the glass with cherries, orange rind, and licorice on the nose - the palate delivers gobs of red fruit and is quite viscous for a Pinot - this was really lovely. — a day ago

Jody, Shay and 22 others liked this


Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir 2014

Greg Ballington

Second winery on day two in Sonoma was Hanzell Vineyards with Whitney. Last wine was the Hanzell Pinot Noir, which is their flagship Pinot Noir bottling. All the fruit comes from three of their estate vineyards with an average age of 26 years; de Brye, Sessions and Ambassador's 1953 vineyards. This bottling is fermented for a five-day cold soak and 10% is whole cluster. Aged for 18 months in 63% new French oak barrels (60 gallon).

Medium garnet red with light ruby edges. Love the nose, like a true high-end Burgundian Pinot Noir. Layered with cedar, spices, sandalwood, raspberries, tobacco, purple flowers, white pepper and a touch of dark citrus. Medium plus acidity (7/10) and medium plus bodied. Elegant yet balanced with cherries, red berries, spices, Provencal herbs and forest floor. Long and never-ending finish. Drink till 2035.

$$$ - Tasted at the winery. Retail price is $98.00.
— 3 months ago

India Okoh
with India
David, Shay and 12 others liked this
Greg Ballington

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@Phil A absolutely delicious!


Treehouse Vineyard Pinot Noir

2012 Cirq "Treehouse Vineyard" Russian River Pinot Noir from an amazing red-soiled Vineyard at an elevation of approximately 750 feet. I like to think of it as a more elegant Kosta Browne. Flowery, raspberry nose giving way to rose petal, cola, chocolate covered cherries and licorice on the mid palate. Vibrant acidity. Nice texture. Beautiful finish. Best showing to date, but I would say leave it in the cellar for a while. Built for aging, me thinks. Personally, I can’t wait to taste Michael’s new venture. Very talented winemaker. — 2 days ago

Roman, Shay and 14 others liked this
Shay A

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@Roman Sukley : I purchased a few bottles of CIRQ on the most current release back in May after signing up on CIRQ’s site a while back. Is there another/new list I need to get on?
Roman Sukley

Roman Sukley

@Shay A Yes. Michael is starting a new venture. Don’t have the info with me. I’ll try and get back to you from my office
Shay A

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@Roman Sukley : Thanks for the heads up. I look forward to hearing what it is.

Williams Selyem

Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2016

Now this is a Pinot. May be my favorite but I don’t want it to get a big head. Fruity...check. Drinkable..:check. Empty....damn it! Big fruit finishes. Cherries, berries, oranges with just a hint of fennel pollen left by a bee named Larry. Just got the William Selyem allocation today so we will be loading up again. — 14 days ago

Kim Stanbro
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Kim, Laura and 11 others liked this
Sharon B

Sharon B

@Kim Stanbro just enjoyed reading your “featured” write up!
Kim Stanbro

Kim Stanbro

@Sharon B thanks! It was fun- you should do one!!
Sharon B

Sharon B

@Kim Stanbro keep an eye out! 😉