2011 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1123309 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium red. Pungent, scented nose offers red cherry, raspberry, fresh herbs, clove and rose petal. Juicy, spicy and refreshing, with lovely floral perfume and nicely integrated acidity framing the sappy red berry and salty mineral flavors. Finishes with sweet, fine-grained tannins and lovely lift. Utterly satisfying entry-level pinot. Patz & Hall bottled more than 7,000 cases of this wine, and roughly the same quantity of the Sonoma Coast chardonnay (plus another 5,300+ of the Dutton Ranch chardonnay), with their dozen or more vineyard-designated bottlings accounting for not much more than 15% of total production in vintage 2011.  (6/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is their largest cuvee of Pinot Noir (just over 7,000 cases). This wine, which was totally harvested before any rains, displays a dark ruby color and notes of forest floor intermixed with anise, Asian plum sauce, pomegranate and black cherries. It is ripe, deep, lovely and ideal for drinking over the next 3-4 years. Patz and Hall has a long and enviable track record, making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from some of the very finest single vineyards in Northern California. They rarely miss a beat, and the wines are 'sure bets' regardless of vintage conditions. The current group of 2011s and early-released 2012s once again prove the consistency of these wines, which cut a very attractive synthesis in style between the more austere Burgundian model and the riper, more fruit-laden California style. As one can see, these are consistently well-made wines from Patz and Hall that merit significant attention from all serious wine consumers. The Pinot Noirs from Patz and Hall tend to be cold-soaked prior to fermentation for 3-4 days, and depending on the vintage, the grapes are usually uncrushed whole clusters with normally around 10-20% stems utilized.  (12/2013)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "The cool 2011 vintage has yielded a lovely, aromatically driven expression of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir marked by layered floral notes of rose, carnation and violet, as well as delicate hints of red fruit and spice. On the palate, the flavors are vivid and pure, with red cherry and raspberry fruit supported by soft, yet enlivening acidity. The tannins are supple and subtle, adding to this wine’s weight and velvety texture, with oak-inspired notes of cinnamon, clove and maple syrup contributing nuance and complexity. All of these elements lead to a long creamy finish, with melt-in-your mouth tannins. This is an exceptional food wine that will provide lots of pleasure in its youth."

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Price: $37.99
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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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2