2011 Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1109402 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* It's hard to believe that this fabulous Pinot is Failla's least expensive selection; what a great indication of his 2011s yet to come and of the vintage in general. It’s bone dry and rich in raspberry flavor, with brisk acidity, firm minerality and a perfectly applied jacket of smoky oak. Elegant, pure and savory, it's just beautiful to drink now.  (12/2012)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. Lovely rose petal perfume lifts the aromas and flavors of raspberry, cherry and spices. Nicely balanced, bright and light on its feet, with enticing fruit for early drinking. The very fresh, spicy, slowly building finish gives a peppery suggestion of whole-cluster fermentation. An excellent entry-level pinot.  (6/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a hugely delicious, entry-level wine. Small red berries, licorice, mint and spices all come together in a wine that reflects the cool, insistent minerality of the year. This superbly enjoyable, delicious Pinot is an absolute joy to taste. All the Failla signatures are very much present in the appellation Pinot. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021. (AG)  (4/2013)


 Sweet tobacco, leather, spices and crushed flowers all lift out of the glass in the 2011 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Today the 2011 is a bit darker than it was last year, but all the elements are very much in the right place. This is a delicious entry-level Pinot from Failla. (AG)  (2/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Plum jam and black cherry aromas are dry and restrained on the palate. A well-made, delicate mix of flavors from a challenging year. Drink now through 2018. 1,000 cases made. (JL)  (5/2013)

K&L Notes

In a vintage like 2011, having a sure, experienced hand in the vineyard could make or break your wine, which is why winemaker Ehren Jordan works with top level farmers. His Sonoma Coast blend, which comes mostly from the younger vines at Keefer Ranch, Hirsch, Floodgate, Failla Estate, Sonoma Stage and Whistler vineyards shows none of the challenges of the vintage, just its lower alcohol and pretty acid bakcbone.

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Price: $39.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.