2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A few 2012 Pinot Noirs had been bottled and were tasted, including their largest cuvee (15,700 cases), the 2012 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast. This beauty is a real steal in terms of high quality at a reasonable price. Deep ruby, this exuberant, delicious Pinot offers up notes of roasted herbs, forest floor, plum sauce and black cherries followed by a deep, rich, full-bodied, round and luscious wine. Drink it 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.
By focusing exclusively on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Patz & Hall has become one of the stand out names among California wineries intent on stealing a bit of Burgundy's thunder. For Patz & Hall's 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, the outstanding growing season produced fruit from distinguished vineyard sites including Gap's Crown. The wine was aged in 42% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. From the winery: "Our Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir displays lush red fruit, with lovely spice and sassafras notes. Though already precociously inviting, it possesses the ample structure, acidity and tannins to age beautifully. On the nose, aromas of cherry, raspberry and plum mingle with notes of cedar, tobacco, smoked meat, fine herbs and forest floor. The mouthfeel is rich and fleshy, offering flavors of black cherry, raspberry, brown sugar and cardamom. Fresh, enlivening acidity from the relatively cool growing season balances this wine’s weight, and leads to a long, satisfying finish."