It seems right to start the New Year off with a new release, and other newsworthy good tidings. So here goes…
2009 STANLY RANCH PINOT NOIR
COHO Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir is the only one of our wines that we have made every year since we started producing COHO in 2002. And the wonderful thing about this wine is how consistent the characteristics have been each vintage, even though the source from within the vineyard has changed a few times over the years. In 2009, we selected fruit from three vineyard blocks all located on “Home Hill”, so-called because it overlooks Judge Stanly’s homestead site from the 1880s. The gravelly slopes allow the vines to mature the grapes to perfection, while the underlying clay loam contributes to the complex nature of the fruit.
Our winemaker notes describe the 2009 Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir as having ripe aromas of enticing black cherry, violet and cocoa scents mingled with a spicy bouquet. Rich and mouth-filling, its fine texture and moderate tannins reveal black cherry fruit flavors and a very elegant finish.
For another opinion, here is Antonio Galloni, the new California reviewer for The Wine Advocate, describing the wine in the December 2011 issue: “The 2009 Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch is an attractive, fleshy wine with excellent depth in its fruit. Suave, polished tannins frame a long finish layered with dark red fruit, flowers and mint.” The 2009 vintage is considered by the top reviewers as excellent for Pinot Noir in California. We hope this wine will add the perfect note to many of your meals.
SPEAKING OF GALLONI (and HEADWATERS)
Wine criticism is an import element of the wine business. It is a way for consumers to learn about the qualities of a wine before purchase. Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate has been one of the most influential wine review journals for the past twenty-plus years. Therefore it was big news in the industry when Robert Parker announced last year that Antonio Galloni, who already covered Burgundy and Italy for The Wine Advocate, would replace Mr. Parker as the reviewer of California wines.
When reporting these reviews of COHO wines to you it is our hope that you will find them useful by giving you the opinion of an educated and respected palate, and a sense of what the wine may taste like. Of course we tend to only include these reviews when we agree with the general assessment (we are marketers after all!).
Here is another of Mr. Galloni’s recent reviews that we whole-heartedly agree with: “The 2009 Headwaters is a gorgeous wine. Sweet red berries, flowers, licorice and mint are some of the notes that emerge from this silky, elegant blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot.” (Note: we corrected the varietal composition as written in the review). If you haven’t yet purchased the 2009 Headwaters perhaps the above will make you thirsty for a “gorgeous” $42.00 wine.
COOMBSVILLE IS A NEW “AVA”
American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are established by the Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. The Wine Institute of California defines AVAs this way: “A viticultural area for American wine is a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, a name, and delineated boundary. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to its geographic origin. The establishment of viticultural areas allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase.”
COHO makes two wines from grapes grown in Coombsville: Headwaters and Michael Black Vineyard Merlot. We have often written to you in these newsletters about why we think the area contributes to the wonderful qualities of these wines. Starting with the bottling of the 2010 vintages of these wines later this year, we will proudly add the “Coombsville” name to the label, just above “Napa Valley”. To read more about why Coombsville is such a special area for growing outstanding wines, please visit the website of the Coombsville Vintners and Growers Association (www.coombsvillenapa.org).
Northern California has just received our first rain of 2012. The cycle of the new vintage will start soon; bringing another opportunity for COHO to make exceptional wines. We never know how it will unfold, only that we promise you our best efforts to keep your cellars stocked with COHO and delicious memories.
Brooks and Beth Painter Gary Lipp and Sheila Barry