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Valerie’s Vineyard

This 1-acre vineyard is a partnership between long time Sonoma County public relations man Michael Coats, his wife Valerie, her parents and sister, and Chuck and Jerry Hanson who are owners of Hi-Time Cellars in Costa Mesa, California, a well-known wine retailer. All the partners share in the work of the vineyard which is organically farmed and overseen by viticulturist Phil Cotourri. The 1-acre vineyard was planted in 2000 by vineyardist Chuy Ordaz on resistant rootstock and a secret Russian River Valley clone. Yields are just under 2 tons per acre. The land sits less than 500 feet from the appellation line with Sonoma Valley and is in Sonoma Carneros. Previously the site was a plum orchard.

The estate Pinot Noir was crafted by B.R. Cohn Winery’s winemaker, Tom Montgomery, at B.R. Cohn Winery, Glen Ellen. All three recent vintages have sold out.

2006 Valerie’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 132 cases, $40, very heavy bottle. Aged in a mix of new and two-year-old French oak barrels for 17 months. · The nose offers the aromas of a fresh berry tart with a dusting of oak. Plenty of body and weight to the cherry and berries flavors which are framed by healthy tannins. The most striking feature of this wine is the velvety texture. Over time in the glass, the wine really grows on you as it reveals many nuances of flavor including cola and tea but it is the sensual mouthfeel that lures you back for another sip.

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