Pinot Noir
Sonoma County, 2008

$ 60.00

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County varies in its expression according to where it is grown. This wine exhibits the sassafras character of coastal Pinot Noirs, as well as the cola of those from the area between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. Moderately structured, it has a central core of red fruits and lightly toasty oak that anchor these coastal and inland elements. It should be at its best two to six years after the vintage.

Available Options:

Winemaker's Notes

Happily, the Russian River Valley was not affected by the unfortunate wildfire smoke that plagued much of the northern high-elevation vineyards. Additionally, the growers we work were either minimally frosted in the spring or took heroic measures to remove lagging fruit – despite the fact that their yields were already diminished. Right on the heels of the frosts, in a rare exhibit of forward planning and good timing, I was able to secure additional grape contracts for that year in order to hopefully make up for some of these losses and give me more blending options.

As in past vintages, this wine is actually all Russian River Valley fruit that belongs in this suppler, more forward blend. Knowing the shadow (rightly or wrongly) that would hang over the entire 2008 vintage, I was unusually brutal in declassifying and removing anything that was not a real asset to our principal blends/bottlings. The additional fruit sources made it easy to optimize our own blends, maintain reasonable quantities and still send barrels of wine that we do not absolutely need to other producers for their purposes.

Our Sonoma County Pinot Noir bottling has captured what I consider the best elements of 2006 and 2007: Suppleness and transparency of the 2006, and the focus of the 2007. Recent research at the dinner table with Salmon reaffirms the heavenly match and illustrates the balance of this wine: More on acidity, red fruit and liveliness than on sheer extract and dark fruit which is more typical of our Russian River Valley bottling (to be released next spring). As a generality, I’m quite impressed at the restrained fleshiness of all our 2008 Pinot Noirs across the board.






Cases Produced

Release Date

Release Status


  1. Judi Scherrer

    Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar May 2011

    Vivid red. Complex bouquet of raspberry, redcurrant, rose and spicecake, with a bright, intense mineral quality adding lift. Deeply pitched red fruits and cherry on the palate, along with suggestions of allspice and licorice pastille. Shows fine-grained tannins and firm mineral spine, finishing with very good clarity, tightness and vivacity. I like this wine’s cut and precision. 90 points. Josh Raynolds

  2. Judi Scherrer

    BurghoundJanuary 2012

    This is moderately more expressive with a slightly higher-toned and pretty combination of both red and blue berry fruit aromas that exude a discreet and attractive hint of spiciness. The textured, intense and well-detailed medium weight flavors possess excellent focus and a beautifully balanced finish. While the nose is more accessible, the overall impression is one of a serious and brooding effort this is again clearly built to age. 90/2015+ Allen Meadows

  3. Judi Scherrer

    Wine Spectator2013

    Offers beautifully defined ripe plum and cherry fruit, with a dash of raspberry, spice and red candy. This is intense without being weighty, maintaining a rich core of fruitiness. Drink now through 2021. 92 points. James Laube

  4. Judi Scherrer

    VinousAugust 2017

    The 2008 Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) is an excellent choice for readers who like Pinot with a bit of bottle age. Time has brought out the wine’s earthy, tobacco and licorice aromas and also darkened the fruit a bit. Even so, the nearly ten years of age, the 2008 is drinking very nicely. It won’t get meaningfully better from here, but it does have enough depth to drink well for at least another handful of years. 89 Points. Antonio Galloni

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *