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2011 Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1123596 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) wafts from the glass with crushed flowers, dried cherries, spices, tobacco and licorice. A sweet, perfumed Pinot, the 2011 is all about balance, finesse and elegance. Sweet red fruit and savory herbs are some of the many notes that ring out on the finish. This is a terrific showing, and even better, a great value. The 2011 is delicate and at times a bit fragile, but immensely appealing. In 2011 the vineyard sources are 40% Gaps Crown, 40% Griffins Lair and 20% Black Knight. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021. This is another exciting, captivating set of wines from Wind Gap and Pax Mahle. Readers who have not yet discovered Wind Gap owe it to themselves to do so. These are some of the most gorgeous, nuanced wines being made in California today. Mahle continues to experiment with concrete and larger casks, both of which seem ideally suited to a minimalist approach that seeks to draw out the maximum expression of each of these sites. The Wind Gap wines achieve that elusive balance of depth without excess heaviness. Once again, I was deeply impressed with the range I tasted and can't recommend these wines highly enough. (AG)  (4/2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (40% whole clusters, raised in concrete and neutral oak and aged in stainless steel; 12.4% alcohol): Bright red. Pungent strawberry and anise aromas are complicated by notes of fresh herbs and rose. Fleshy and appealingly sweet red berry flavors are firmed and defined by dusty minerals, which add cut and back-end bite. Gains weight with air, picking up a deeper cherry quality and a touch of anise. The cherry quality carries through a long, spicy finish that proves refreshingly brisk and precise.  (6/2013)

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/6/2013 | Send Email
I love it when I taste a new California winery making traditional wine! The Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir has the kind of savory intrigue that very few new world producers can achieve, without sacraficing the crackling red fruit of Sonoma. If you like Pinot Noir, this is one to try!

Additional Information:


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.


- 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.
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).