NEWS & EVENTS

2015 Prince of Pinot Reviews


BACK TO
 NEWS & EVENTS

PRINCE OF PINOT
2015 Reviews

Red Car This winery focuses on growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah in the cold-climate regions on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in the West Sonoma Coast. A large of amount of fruit is grown by the winery. For several years, organic and biodynamic farming has been integrated into the vineyards. All wines are made in small lots with native yeast fermentation, gravity flow, and natural acid. Winemaker Carroll Kemp takes the tenants of the In Pursuit of Balance movement seriously.

2014 Red Car Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., $28. Backbone is from the biodynamically farmed Bybee Vineyard in Sebastopol Hills. Pinot Noir was harvested at 21º Brix, whole cluster pressed off skins immediately, and fermented with wild yeast in a mix of stainless steel and French oak. Delicate orange color in the glass. An exceptional rosé with a fragrant perfume of strawberries and blood orange juice and flavors of Rainier cherry, strawberry, and yellow peach. Bright, crisp and bone dry, with a lip-smacking finish that begs another sip. Chill, serve, chill. Score: 91. Reviewed May 14, 2015

2013 Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
13.4% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.75, $38. A blend of grapes from five vineyards with Weeks (42%) and Ritchie (28%) making up the highest percentage. Old Wente clone. Harvest Brix 21.9º. Aged in French oak barrels, 3% new and 97% neutral. Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Nicely appointed aromas of lemon oil, buttery brioche, tarte tartin and nutty oak. Good richness of flavor featuring tastes of lemon creme pie, brown butter and vanilla backed by racy acidity. The intense mid palate attack builds to a focused and bright lemony, slightly tart, lip-smacking finish. Score: 91. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2013 Red Car Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.3% alc.,TA 0.57, $45. Sourced from several vineyards: Red Car Estate (21%), Platt (19%), Bohemian Station (18%), Falstaff (12%), Riddle Ranch (12%), Hagan (11%) and Clary Ranch (7%). Average harvest Brix 22.5º. Calera, “828,” 777, 115, Pommard and Schoolhouse clones. Aged in 10% new and 90% neutral French oak barrels. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Dark red berries and cherries are featured in this mid weight wine that is smooth on the palate, nicely balanced, and offers a lip-smacking cut of acidity on the finish. An admirable reflection of the Sonoma Coast in this vintage. Score: 90. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2013 Red Car Estate Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay
13.8% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.73, 280 cases, $58 (sold out). Inaugural release. Old Hyde Wente selection. Wild yeast fermentation. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 17% new and 83% neutral. Light golden yellow color in the glass. The nose leads with steely aromas of citrus oil and green apple. Refined and smooth on the palate, with good richness of flavors that include lemon curd, baked pear, spice and vanilla. The wine is vibrant, with a good underlying cut of lemon-infused acidity, and some intensity and persistence on the slightly tart, peach-infused finish. Score: 91. Reviewed June 14, 2015

2013 Red Car Hagan Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
13.6% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.59, 75 cases, $58. Grapes harvested from a 1.5-acre section of the organically farmed vineyard planted to Old Wente clone. Yields were half of what was harvested in 2012. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 33% new and 67% neutral. Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Inviting aromas of golden apple, nutty oak and stony minerality. Slightly viscous and very harmonious on the palate, with flavors of lemon, golden apple tart and caramel. Perfectly integrated acidity with a satiny finish filled with yellow fruit goodness. Score: 91. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2013 Red Car Ritchie Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
13.6% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.66, $58. Old Wente clone planted in Goldridge sandy loam. Harvest Brix 22.3º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 28% new, 72% neutral. Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. The aromas are captivating, featuring lemon oil, white peach, butter oak, creme fraiche and flint. Soft on the palate with perfectly integrated acidity enhancing the flavors of lemon, apple, baking spices, and buttered toast. The fruit really stands out for its class, and is on full display on the soprano finish. Score: 94. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2013 Red Car Zephyr Farms Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
13.8% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.84,100 cases, $58. Grapes picked at naturally high acid levels in this vintage. Prosser clone planted in Goldridge sandy loam. Harvest Brix 22.6º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 25% new and 75% neutral. Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Lovely aromas of lemon peel, cut apple and pastry cream arrive slowly over time in the glass. Instantly giving on the palate, with delicious flavors of lemon, grapefruit, green apple and toffee complimented by the faintest oak. The racy finish is incredibly focused, long and intense. Vivid, vibrant and refreshing. Score: 94. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2013 Red Car Hagan Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.2% alc., TA 0.51, 380 cases, $68. Vineyard is located 4.6 miles from the Pacific Ocean on a windswept ridge at 850 feet. Average harvest Brix 22º. Calera, 777 and 115 clones planted in Goldridge sandy loam. 11% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 27% new and 73% neutral French oak barrels. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Reserved nose offering demure aromas of black cherry, briar and rose petal. Delicious core of vivid black cherry and black raspberry fruits that saturate the palate and persist through a remarkably intense finish that really grabs hold. Seductively silky with fine-grain tannins and a savory riff of spice. Score: 92. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2013 Red Car Heaven & Earth Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, 570 cases, $68 (sold out). Sourced from Bohemian Station Vineyard located on a south-facing hillside in a valley, just east of Occidental. The site is notable for its “cool sunshine.” Calera and Dijon “828.” 15% whole cluster, wild yeast fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months, 25% new and 75% neutral. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherry, plum, spice and rose. Delightful flavors of purple berries, plum and spice are accented with a hint of oak and forest floor. The velvety texture is very seductive, the tannins are firm but not hard, and the finish offers plenty of length. Score: 92. Reviewed June 14, 2015

2013 Red Car Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 495 cases, $68. This vineyard overlooks the town of Bodega, 5 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Average harvest Brix 21.9º. Calera and “828” clones planted in Goldridge sandy loam. 10% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 20% new and 80% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Enthralling nose that really drew me into the glass with aromas of red berries, brier, rose petal and spice. Lighter weighted, but generously endowed with vivid strawberry, raspberry, red cherry and spice flavors backed by juicy acidity and backseat tannins. Impeccable balance in this deftly composed and classy wine. Score: 93. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2013 Red Car Zephyr Farms Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., TA 0.51, 388 cases, $68. Vineyard is located 6.7 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the hills above Freestone. Average harvest Brix 23º. Clones 777, 667 and 115 planted in Goldridge sandy loam. 10% whole cluster. Aged 12 months in 13% new and 87% neutral French oak barrels. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of purple berries, purple grapes and damp earth bring persistence on the nose. Silky and long on the palate, with flavors of black cherry, ollaliberry and spice. Nicely ripened fruit with phenolic majesty and welcome brightness. Modest tannins make for easy drinking now, and the juicy cut leads to a mouthwatering finish. Score: 93. Reviewed November 22, 2015

2012 Red Car Hagan Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.52, 400 cases, $68. A 12-acre vineyard is located on Taylor Lane near Summa, Theiriot and Occidental vineyards, west of the town of Occidental. Perched at 850 feet elevation, 4.6 miles from Pacific Ocean. Clones are Calera, Schoolhouse, 777 and 115 planted in Goldridge soil. Harvest Brix 22.9º. 10% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in 24% new and 76% neutral French oak barrels. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Comforting aromas of dark berry jam, rose petal and spice. The most expressive and pleasing nose among the 2012 Red Car Pinot Noirs tasted. Impressive entry and finish with a mid weight plus array of blackberry, boysenberry and crème de cassis flavors with some oak and earthiness in the background. Very silky mouthfeel, with wind-blown tannins and pleasing roundness and fullness on the finish. This wine has plenty of character and a killer texture. Score: 93. Reviewed July 12, 2015

2012 Red Car Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.49, 463 cases, $68. Vineyard overlooks the town of Bodega. Vines struggle to set fruit each year and vineyard is exposed to chilling marine winds from coast 5 miles away. Harvest Brix 22.6º. Clones are Calera, 777 and “828” densely planted in Goldridge soil. 10% whole cluster. Aged 14 months in 20% new and 80% neutral French oak barrels. Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The whole cluster peeks out on the nose in the guise of rose petal and spice aromas framing the cherry fruit. Delicious black raspberry and boysenberry fruit framed by dry, balanced tannins. The silky mouthfeel is engaging and there is notable fruit intensity on the finish. Good harmony in this thoroughly enjoyable wine. Score: 92. Reviewed July 12, 2015

2012 Red Car Zephyr Farms Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.3% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.52, 325 cases, $68. 7-acre vineyard in the hills above Freestone at 525 feet elevation, 6.7 miles from the Pacific Ocean, where it is exposed to dense coastal fog and intense afternoon winds. Harvest Brix 22.4º. Clones 777, 115 and “828.” 10% whole cluster. Aged 18 months in 22% new and 78% neutral French oak barrels. Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark cherry, rose hips tea, wilted rose and sous-bois. The mid weight core of darker cherry and raspberry are presented in a velvety smooth textural style. There is a slight herbal, but not herbaceous tone in the background. The dry tannins make a modest encore on the generously fruity finish. Score: 90. Reviewed July 12, 2015