For the past decade I have made some wines for a friend’s label, Winners Circle, both from their own estate vineyard as well as sharing some sites I already work with. For me it was an opportunity to be lured out of my own usual, habitual aesthetic and look at things differently. For several years, their Sonoma Coast bottling was a blend of parts from High Slopes and Platt sites that I have become well acquainted with. I had to face the fact that arguably the appropriate blend was right up there with the separate expressions as far as balance and completeness… so for me it was ‘mission accomplished. Another kind of good.’ It’s like the difference between a stunning solo performance vs. a duet or trio. With wine, the solos seem to get all the accolades. But faced with beautiful harmonies and counterpoints, who can argue which is more pleasurable? Winners Circle later decided to focus on their Estate site entirely, leaving the regional blend in the rear-view mirror. But the learning happened, and I continued this study for my own advancement of craft.
Again, in 2020, the blend of Platt and High Slopes were so compelling this vintage that I could not deny their union. It would be much easier to just grind through the usual items, resting on past laurels and marketing channels. But this year, the blend was undeniable, and why make things easy anyway?
I know I’ve hammered this message heavily, however, anyone who says all 2020 Sonoma wines are smoke-tainted (or will have it surface someday-maybe in 1000 years) needs to taste this wine or maybe enter an MMA ring with me for 30 minutes (it will not take long) to get straightened out on this subject. Again, we have multiple examples of success with this vintage as do a number of colleagues with the right situation.
There’s a good mixture of plummy notes, hibiscus, black mission fig fresh off the tree, are echoed in the mouth. Some tart, juicy rhubarb notes interjected in the center make this quite satisfying. The finish is pretty rich and long with an upward trajectory, which is typical of our style.