Restaurant Wine, “Red Car Reviews” by Ronn Wiegand

  • 2012 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay (4 stars)

Red Car is an excellent producer. The Estate bottling is an elegant, understated wine that is full bodied, crisp, and long on the palate, and very persistent, tasting of white peace, lemon peel, clove, roasted nut, and grapefruit, with modest oak overtones. Can be aged. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 27% new. 115 cases. 13.9%.

  • 2012 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (5 stars)

The Ritchie Vineyard is exceptional: finely flavored, full bodied, and beautifully balanced; a wine with refined fruit character (pineapple, white peach, grapefruit, honey), and overtones of toast, vanilla, and butterscotch. Very long, harmonious finish. First rate. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 13% new. 440 cases. 13.9% [2015-2017]

  • 2012 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (4+ stars)

A trio of very fine Pinot Noirs from this excellent producer. The Estate Vineyard, which lies at 1,000 feet in the cool Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, is terrific: medium rich, supple, full bodied, and finely flavored (raspberry, plum, rosehips, nutmeg, toast); a balanced wine with a very long finish. Can be aged a bit. 10% stems. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. 510 cases. 13.8%.

  • 2012 Heaven & Earth Pinot Noir (5 stars)

Heaven & Earth is from the 4.5 acre Bohemian Station Vineyard near Occidental. It is outstanding: full bodied, crisp, and elegantly flavored (black cherry, watermelon, red currant, rosehips, white pepper); a wine with a long flavor evolution and a lightly tannic finish. 10% stems. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 27% new. 425 cases. 13.1%.

  • 2012 Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir (5 stars)

The Platt Vineyard bottling, however, is the star of the show, and the best Red Car wine I have tasted. It is fragrant and refined in character (cherry, rosehips, clove, blueberry), velvety in texture, long on the palate, and very persistent in the finish. Superb Pinot. 10% stems. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. 463 cases. 13.4% [2015 – 2017]

  • 2010 Estate Vineyard Syrah

Supple and complex, this is a distinctively flavored Syrah (blackberry, white pepper, clove, toast, black olive), with medium richness, good balance, and a medium long finish. Understated in style, but excellent. Aged 19 months in French oak barrels, 28% new. 275 cases. 13.3%.

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