Last year was the first offering of this wine as a vineyard designate which has been well-received, for example gaining some of the highest praise of our Pinot Noir’s from Antonio Galloni of Vinous (93 points). Being a 2014, it shows a bit more sheer concentration and dark fruits while remaining quite lively and balanced. Don’t let the modest price for this quality deceive you. It is probably another shortcoming on my part with ‘the sellin’ part.’
Red fruit and savory with rhubarb and red beet as a bridge, there is a very mouth-watering, inviting nose even when first opened. This wine has a solid kernel of structure which will benefit from either a day open right now or 1-2 years more bottle age. After those levels of work/ restraint/patience, it will become more open and succulent. As a contrast to 2014 ‘Big Brother’, this wine relies more on acidity for its structure. If I was ever to call another wine currently in the cellar ‘Little Sister’ this would be it as it has many of the qualities of our 1999 ‘Little Sister’ bottling. Interestingly, when those two 1999 siblings were released, Big Brother got most of the attention, including being Wine & Spirits Magazine’s top domestic Pinot Noir of 2001. A vaguely similar condition may exist between the Coastal Big Brother and Green Valley Gunsalus here. I find that after a couple days’ open the Gunsalus really settles into a fine groove while the ‘Big Brother’ is already quite apparent at first opening (unlike the 1999 Russian River Valley version). Regarding the 1999 ‘Little Sister,’ after about 5-10 years, she grew up and everyone seemed to want to take her out on a date. I feel that way about this wine’s future.
And for you that have not yet asked, it’s pronounced “Gun-say-lus”.