The BEST of SONOMA Pinot Noir – Master of Wine drinks Pinot Noir Wines from California

Master of wine and today I want to do a Deep dive into a very special region Together with you I just wrapped up Hosting a tasting of some of the best Pinot noirs of Sonoma in California and I was blown away by the quality of some Of them so I thought it might be nice to Just share them with you and talk a Little bit about the region I hope you Agree anyways let’s go [Music] He knows Conquering the world and in California it has really gained ground Over the last few decades it was the Fifth most planted grape Variety in 2007 And it’s the third most planted grape Variety today having almost doubled in Size since then Everyone agrees that there is a Pinot Boom and most people agree that it is Because of the movie’s sideways which is Still really strange to me oh it’s Flavors they’re just the most haunting And Brilliant and Thrilling and subtle and Pinot in California has mainly planted in the Kula regions along the coast and this is Where Sonoma comes into play Sonoma County covers the area north of San Francisco and it is the cooler neighbor Of Napa Valley while the north of Sonoma Can also get quite hot and is home to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel the South is generally considered to be cool

And it’s one of the best places to grow Pinot in the state why is the South Warmer than the North that you might Wonder well it’s all about the influence Of the Pacific but let me show you on my Map the Pacific brings cold water from The North Pole to the shores of the Golden State and in most areas this Influence is actually blocked by the Mountains by the mountains running from North to south except for an area near The city of Petaluma where there is a Gap the Petaluma Gap the cold air Therefore flows into the south of Sonoma And then goes up the valleys to the North so the influence of the the cold Pacific winds is less significant in the North than it is in the South pretty Much exactly half of the 23 600 hectares Are planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir But today I want to focus on the smooth And velvety King of the region PN So let’s dive into the wines the regions The terroirs and the people I’m ready so I’m going to work my way Inland from the Pacific and this is from Fort Ross Sea View and Ava at the coast Beautiful setting The Vineyards are Oftentimes in the mountains surrounded By forests and you get a lot of Pacific Influence here so it’s pretty cold Pretty rough and pretty beautiful so the Ones from the so-called true Sonoma Course are oftentimes lighter in color

Are very aromatic and complex and Delicate and have more structure and This is due to the climatic conditions In this area you just have more rain It’s just colder fresher and you Therefore feel that in the wine as well So I’m going to start with the 2019 Redcar estate Vineyard Pinot Noir from Fort Ross Sea View that retails for Around 75 US dollars so red car started Off in 2000 producing Surah in a garage In Los Angeles and then one of their Wines got a really high score of a white Spectator and all of a sudden things Exploded for them the estate Union is 300 meters above sea level 6 kilometers Away from the Pacific coast and they’re Mainly using Dijon clones so clones that Come from burgundy that produce really Small and aromatic Pinot grapes I’m Getting out my big Pinot glasses for This tasting because I think the wines Deserve it I don’t know how well you can See it but the color is fairly light so I can see my fingers through the wine And on the nose it’s very aromatic they Are notes of raspberry cherries a little Bit strawberries as well the oak is There but it’s well integrated and on The pad it’s velvety rich with Structured tannins in the end so there’s Definitely quite a lot of rip there the Wine is still young so It needs a little bit of time to really

Mellow out but it’s quite nice they’ve Only used 10 new French Oak so there’s Not too much Oaky flavor here and They’ve used 70 of stems which basically Means that they’ve added a little bit More structure a little bit more Spiciness to the wine and I think this Is really well made I’m going to rate This one 93 points I think it represents Its origin really well it is Californian But it’s more on the cool side so it Brings in a little bit more freshness a Little bit more delicacy and yeah it’s Just really really good the next one is Classified as Sonoma Coast Ava and the Sonoma Coast Ava is a lobster shaped Ava That covers quite a lot of ground it was Basically designed because people said That all of those areas along the coast But also further Inland are influenced By the Pacific winds so it goes as far As canaros quite far in the east of of Sonoma That people today that argue that Sonoma Coast should only be restricted to The Vineyards along the Pacific I’m not going to go too deep into this I Can see both sides here this one here Though comes from the area right on the Pacific and it’s made by a pioneering Estate it’s the 2016 Hirsch San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir and it retails for Around 75 US Dollars hash was founded by David Hirsch in 1980 and if you want to

Learn more about his life and it’s truly Amazing listen to our drinks to that Episode with David Hirsch I’ll probably Link it Up Down Below today it’s run by Jasmine Hirsch who is also one of the Pioneers of her generation she has Co-founded a pursuit of balance and She’s really trying to yeah push Balanced more elegant ones in California Which is a good thing today the estate Has 30 hectares of Vineyards that are Run managed biodynamically and they are Very hands-off when it comes to wine Making they don’t want to add too much Stuff and they don’t want to remove too Much so the wireless tend to be quite Interesting quite expressive quite Different the one is named after the San Andreas fault line that runs through the State it’s basically where the North American Plate rubs against the Pacific Plate and this fault line you can Actually see from upper buff it brings Volcanic activity into the region Earthquakes but it also brings quite a Mix of different soil types and Different stones into the region again The color of this is fairly light so I Can see my fingers through it and it is More aged so you have more tertiary Aromas coming through you’ve got Cherry Notes here a little bit of Cherry Jam Even raspberry notes as well it is a Little bit spicy it’s by no means old

But it shows a little bit of H you can Also see that in the color it’s a little Bit Garnet in color some kind it Reflexes on the pad it’s round and Velvety lots of freshness in the finish So the tenants have mallowed away a Little bit because of the maturation I Assume and it’s just yeah just perfect Right now while the wine is more Drinkable right now it is a little bit Less concentrated a little bit less Complex than the previous one I gotta Add that this is not the top wine from The Hershey State they have better Single Vineyard ones that are more um Yeah more expressive more concentrated I’m going to rate this 92 points it’s Really good really beautiful and this is For drinking now we’re moving further Inland and now we’re in Russian River Ava Russian River is the most famous Ava For Pinot Noir in Sonoma I would say but It’s quite diverse the areas to the South where Green Valley is for example Are pretty cool very much influenced by The Pacific while the area is further up North around Healdsburg are a lot warmer They bring out more concentration and More richness so yeah Russian River Ava As such doesn’t necessarily always give You an exact impression of what what is To be expected the ones can be quite Concentrated and Rich but they can also Be beautiful complex and multi-layered

So Russian River was first founded in 1983 it covers quite a lot of ground in Sonoma County and the landscape is less Dramatic so you have those soft Rolling Hills and beautiful landscapes but also More viticulture so it’s more developed Than the areas along the Pacific in Russian River the fog also plays an Important role the fog coming from the Pacific and the San Pablo Bay and riding From the south to the north going into The valleys and shielding The Vineyards From sunlight and keeping the freshness The cool temperatures in The Vineyards For longer in the morning this means That those Vineyards that get a lot of Fog generally have a prolonged ripening Period so here we have one of the Absolute Classics from the region the Two 2019 William Salem rockyoli River Block Vineyard that retails for around 200 US dollars the winery was founded in 1979 by Bert Williams and Ed Salem and Their 1985 rockyoli Vineyard Pinot Noir Won the state prize and that really Changed things for them all of a sudden They realized they can be one of the Best producers of Pinot in California so This Vineyard is really important for Them and for the history of California And it is pretty close to the estate They purchased the fruit The Vines are From 1989 so pretty old Vines they get Quite a lot of new Oak I think 69 of the

Barrels are new but you don’t really Feel that in the wine but I’m getting Ahead of myself they also don’t like to Use pumps and they try to stay away from Filtration and the wine is just super Expressive for me this is the essence of Russian River chose quite a lot of black Cherry flavor it’s much more intense and Aromatic than the previous wines there Is quite a lot of concentration there I Also get a little bit of Coca-Cola I Often get that in Russian River wines Tends to have this slightly caramelly Flavor profile to them on the part of The wine is really rich and velvety and Concentrated without being fat it has a Fresh and vibrant finish there’s so much Concentration here but it’s really well Made I mean everything is in Balance the Finish is also very long this is not a Shy wine it’s rich and opulent and it Shows where it’s from it’s not burgundy It’s Russian River Valley and I really Like it I’m going to rate it 96 points So beautiful beautiful one we’re moving Further Inland to canaros which Translates to the Rams it was founded in 1983. originally it was the hotbed of The sparkling wine industry but today It’s really famous for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir it is an area that is further Inland it’s basically split you have Some part that belongs to Sonoma the Other part belongs to Napa it can be

Little bit warmer but it has quite a lot Of influence from the Pacific and you Get a lot of fog coming from the San Pablo Bay in canaros so it’s not that Easy so here we are in a fairly flat Area zero to 120 meters above sea level And a little known fun fact is that the Windows XP Bliss background that we Probably all know was shot in this area I’m testing the 2018 shook canara’s Estate Pinot Noir that retails for Around 60 US Dollars the winery was Founded roughly 40 years ago by Walter Shook who came from the Rango and was in A family that was producing Pinot Noir In the Rango he came to California and Then became the wine maker for Joseph Phelps and was a very important figure In the development of Californian wine The winery is today run by Axel and Claudia Shook and true to their German Heritage they actually hired a German Winemaker named Johannes the wine was Fermented in stainless steel and it Matured in barriques in French barics For 16 months and 35 of the bricks were New French bricks are the by far most Common vessel for maturing premium Pinot Noir in the U.S in California there are Not many U.S Oak vessels used for Pinot Noir the best Pinot noirs at least in Sonoma so as we are further away from The coast the wines from canaries tend To be a little bit riper but not

Necessarily much riper than the wines From Russian River Valley it also Depends on picking date so when you’re Going to harvest the grapes for me this Feels a little bit more black cherry Character but you don’t have the Coca-Cola component here you have great Structure grippy tenons really good Freshness so the wine is a little bit More Rich than the ones from the coast But a little bit less Rich than the Previous one it’s well really balanced It’s a pretty classy style I think this Is actually the closest to burgundy out Of all of the four wines Um but yeah I think if you are a really Good taster you can still get into Canares with this one but I actually Think the one is a little bit less Complexity than the previous ones I Would rate it 91 points it’s really Smooth and really appealing but yeah a Little bit less complex I’d say so in Summary I’m going to say these ones are Really interesting I think Sonoma shows Quite a lot of terroir so the ones Really feel very different depending on Where they are grown I think my favorite in this tasting just Quality wise is the William Salem a real Classic and a pretty Blockbuster Pinot But made in a really good way very Balanced even though there’s quite a lot Of concentration so thank you for

Watching if you liked this episode then Please like it down here subscribe to my Channel if you haven’t done so already a Question of the day is what is your Favorite Pinot from Sonoma let me know Down below if you haven’t had one then Let me know that as well down below I Hope I see you guys again soon I’ll have So much Pinot to drink I think I need to Get some venison But you stay thirsty [Music]