More Good Stuff
Joseph Jewell Wines, Cloverdale, CA
Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker craft small quantities of Pinot Noir sourced from vineyards
in the Russian River Valley and Humboldt County. Visit www.josephjewell.com.
2014 Joseph Jewell Humboldt County Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.59, 175 cases, $32.
A blend of grapes from Elk Prarie, Alderpoint and Ryan vineyards. A mix of Dijon 115, 777, and 667,
along with Pommard and Martini clones. Harvest Brix averaged 24.4º. Average yield 0.50 tons per
acre. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. Bottled unfined and
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very giving aromas of cherry, strawberry,
raspberry, bark and a hint of tutti-frutti. Darker fruited flavors on the palate including black cherry
and black raspberry with a pleasing hint of spice. Nicely balanced and quite agreeable, with filigree
tannins and some finishing length.
2014 Joseph Jewell Alderpoint Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.62, 75 cases, $35. Vineyard is located at
500 feet elevation above the middle fork of the Eel River. First open
release from this vineyard. Martini clone planted in 1991. Yield averaged
1.99 tons per acre. Harvest Brix 23.2º. Aged 11 months in French oak
barrels, 33% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
reddish purple color in the glass. Both earthy and fruity in character, with
aromas and flavors of black raspberry and blackberry fruits, spice,
mushroom and mulch. Silky in the mouth, with welcome balance, and a
return of the savory and fruity fragrances that haunt the exhilarating
2014 Joseph Jewell Bucher Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.57, 75
cases, $45. Clones 777 and Pommard 5. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 33% new.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A highly individualistic wine that
displays the typical scent and flavor of guaiacol and mulch associated with this vineyard. The wine is centered
around a black cherry flavored core in a silky and elegantly style with gentle tannins and impressive length on
the finish. Beautifully crafted in a harmonious fashion.
2014 Joseph Jewell Rubies Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., pH 3.51, TA ).59, 100 cases, $N/A.
An annual wine club exclusive offering representing the finest barrels of each harvest. 50% Hallberg Vineyard
clones 777 and Pommard 5, 25% Floodgate Vineyard clones 777, 667, 115 and Pommard 4, and 25% Appian
Way Vineyard clones 115, 777 and Pommard 4 and 5. 100% de-stemmed grapes, aged 18 months in French
oak barrels, 33% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The
nose is rather shy, offering demure aromas of blackberry jam and prune. Very ripe flavors of blackberry, raisin
and cassis with an oak-driven marzipan note. Very silky, with supportive tannins and some length on the finish.
Considerably more appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle,
showing more fruit expression including additional flavors of black plum, black raspberry and spice, and still
sporting considerable length on a fruit-driven finish. This wine definitely needs more time in bottle. The extreme
ripeness of the fruit may or may not be a liability depending on your taste.
Lichen Estate, Anderson Valley, CA
The Lichen Estate Vineyard was planted in 2008 when the owners were operating Breggo Cellars that was
founded on a former sheep ranch in 2005. The brand was sold in 2009, but the land was retained. At the end of
2014, the Breggo lease ended and Lichen’s first estate grown wines were produced.
The name, Lichen, reflects the widespread Lichen covered hillsides in the Anderson Valley. Winegrowers
Douglas and Ana Lucia Stewart farm their high density planted vineyard organically. It is planted to four clones
of Pinot Noir (Martini, Wädenswil, Pommard and Dijon 667) on three rootstocks. There is a smaller planting of
Pinot Gris. The winery’s tasting room is open Thursday-Monday in Boonville. Visit www.lichenestate.com.
2015 Lichen Estate Moonglow Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.56, 324
cases, $35. Released October 2016. 100% Lichen Estate fruit, all four clones, harvest Brix
22.0º-24.0º. 3 to 4-day cold soak, fermented 14-17 days in closed-top stainless fermenters followed
by a 2 to 3-day extended maceration. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, extra tight grain,
medium toast, about 20% new.
Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Readily accessible
aromas of red cherry, raspberry coulis, red licorice, rose petal and rose stem. Relatively light in
weight in a very pleasant, easy-drinking style, featuring red cherry and berry flavors, sleek tannins,
and a juicy finish highlighted with raspberry fruit.
2014 Lichen Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., pH 3.48,
TA 0.56, 182 cases, $65. Released October 2016. Harvest Brix
22.4º-24.6º. 5 to 6-day cold soak, 14 to 17-day fermentation and 2 to 3-
day extended maceration. Aged 17 months on the lees with stirring the
first 9 months in French oak barrels, extra tight grain wood, medium plus
toast Francoise Frères.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass.
Perfumed and sensuous, with deep aromas of cherry, spice, brier and
earthy flora. Lush and satisfying on the mid weight palate, with robust
cherry flavor accented with a subtle thread of cola and spicy oak.
Beautifully balanced, with silky tannins and a bright, juicy finish. Very
ROAR Wines, San Francisco, CA
ROAR Wines is owned by Gary and Rosella Franscioni, who also own the nearby Garys’ Vineyard (50 acres
planted in 1997) and Soberanes Vineyard (35 acres planted in 2008) in partnership with the Pisoni family, and are the sole owners of Sierra Mar Vineyard (38 acres planted in 2007) and Rosella’s Vineyard (50 acres planted in 1996).
The name, “ROAR,” is derived from the sound of the ocean winds that whip through the Santa Lucia
Highlands. The winemakers are Gary Franscioni and his son Adam together with Scott Shapley and are made
at an urban winery in San Francisco.
ROAR produces Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier from grapes grown at Rosella’s, Garys’, Sierra
Mar, Soberanes, and Pisoni vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The wines are sold primarily through a
mailing list at www.roarwines.com. The Franscioni family is pictured below (including their dog “Tiger”).
The wines reviewed here are the February 2017 releases. The grapes for these wines were clearly picked very
ripe, but the fruit does not taste of compote or jam, and admirable balance makes the wines very agreeable.
The high percentage of new oak makes an impression, but is not overbearing. Silky elegance is a common
thread. The wines are still very young and the scores may be a conservative underestimate compared to a
sampling after another year in bottle.
2015 ROAR Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.58, 1,360 cases, $43. Harvest Brix
25.6º-28.4º. Swan, Pisoni, Pommard, 23, 777, 943, 115 and “828” clones. The juice spent an average of 28
days on the skins and aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass with a slight cloudiness. Revealing aromas of cherry, strawberry, soy
and smoke. A comforting wine that is easy to cozy up to, with mid weight flavors of well-spiced dark cherry and
purple berry. Sleek in texture, with taut tannins and a pleasing finish.
2015 ROAR Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.59, 493 cases, $60. Harvest Brix 26.76º-27.1º.
Pisoni clone. The juice spent an average of 33 days on the skins and
aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 65% new. Bottled unfined and
Moderate reddish purple color and slight haze in the glass.
Lovely cherry pie aroma with a hint of red rose and toast. The arsenal of
black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruits have impressive
purity, ever-expanding in the mouth and on the finish. Ripe but not too
ripe. There still is a bit of oak hangover from bottling, but this is sure to
integrate over time. This vineyard always delivers the combination of
virility and charm.
2015 ROAR Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.58, 516 cases, $60. Harvest Brix 25.6º-28.3º. Swan, Pisoni and “828” clones. The
juice spent an average of 28 days on the skins and aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 68% new. Bottled
unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of Bing cherry, spice and
sous-bois lead off. Quite juicy in the mouth, with middleweight core of black cherry and black raspberry flavors
that are expansive. Silky in texture, with a compliment of toast and caramel, energized with adequate acidity,
and finishing with some length revealing young, dry tannins.
2015 ROAR Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
14.6% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.61, 307
cases, $45. Harvest Brix 24.2º. Monty and Hyde clones. The wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation in
barrel and was aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, before being fined in August 2016.
golden yellow color and clear in the glass. This is at first take a bombastic wine, yet with further examination
yields considerably complexity. Aromas of salt air, lemon oil, pineapple and other tropical fruits, nuts and
buttered toast lead to a boldly flavored wine with tastes of citrus, pear, tropical fruits, white chocolate and blond
caramel. Mouth filling with a viscous mouthfeel, yet enough acidity to propel the wine through a bright finish.
Senses Wines, Calistoga, CA
Three childhood friends, Chris Strieter, Max Thieriot and Myles Lawrence-Briggs, partnered with noted
winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from West Sonoma Coast vineyard
sites. The wines are offered directly to a mailing list twice a year. Visit www.senseswines.com.
The 2014 growing season on the West Sonoma Coast offered mild and steady warmth and dry conditions
making for an ideal harvest.
2014 Senses Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $45. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is filled with aromas of cherry, strawberry, blueberry
and spice. Light to mid weight in a laid-back style, with flavors of plum and dark red strawberry with a subtle
oak spice compliment. Very giving and elegantly composed, with a comforting texture and a carefree finish.
2014 Senses Hillcrest Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., $65. Myles Lawrence-Briggs’ parents, Carl Biggs and Lisa
Lawrence, bought this site in 1988, located just outside the town of
Occidental. The vineyard neighbors the Charles Heintz Vineyard to the
west and is home to the original Chardonnay planting in the West
Sonoma Coast (since replanted to Pinot Noir. 2 acres of clones 115 and
“828,” and Calera and Swan selections planted in 2005 in Goldridge
sandy loam soils. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 35% new.
Well-perfumed with aromas of red berries, spice and a hint of smoke.
Well-perfumed with aromas of red berries, spice and a hint of smoke.
Delightful mid weight flavors of dark red cherry and black raspberry with
a sprinkling of woodland spice and smoke. Nothing out of place, with a
mellow texture and a finish that grabs the heart with a soaring black