★★★★½ EXCELLENT - RESTAURANT WINE
Excellent - The Sea Slopes bottling is fragrant and full bodied, with fine character (red currant, plum, rose petal) and overtones of toast, and modest oak. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. 809 cases.
90 Points - WINE ENTHUSIAST - October 2011 Issue
Fruit is the star of this wine. It’s gigantic and forward in sweet raspberry and cherry flavors that taste wild, picked under a hot summer sun. Fortunately, there’s a lot of acidity, and firm tannins provide additional structure. The finish is thoroughly dry. A bit in your face now, but could do interesting things over the years. —S.H.
Alluring aromas of boysenberry, raspberry, and rose petal are an elegant prelude to the luscious flavors that follow. Rich, plush tiers of ripe plum and wild blackberries seamlessly intertwine with hints of cassis and vanilla bean which is balanced by the minerality that lingers through the lengthy finish.
2009 was an excellent year for the early ripening Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grown on the Sonoma Coast. The year began with a warm January but soon turned cold. The year was generally cooler than usual throughout the major part of the growing season and this coolness gave the wines their vibrant characteristic. In the 3rd week of September there was a heat spike that concentrated the flavors that had been teasingly on the verge. The entire vineyard was harvested in four exhausting days to capitalize on the even ripening, intense flavors and luscious fruit. All grapes were harvested and in barrel before the damaging rains of October.
Jeff Pisoni. The grapes for this Pinot Noir were handpicked during the cool hours of the night in 5 gallon buckets. After hand sorting, the fruit was destemmed then cold soaked for several days and fermented in a combination of 5 and 10 ton tanks. The caps were punched down 1 or 2 times per day, depending on the stage of the fermentation. The wines were then barreled in a combination of 20% new and 80% used French oak. Throughout the 10 months of barrel aging, the clones and different vineyard blocks were kept separate to maintain their distinct flavor profiles and structural components as blending elements.