Vineyard: Soberanes

OwnersFranscioni Family, Pisoni Family
AppellationSanta Lucia Highlands
StoryThis vineyard was planted in 2006 on a former cow pasture by Pisoni and Franscioni families in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The name, "Sobranes," pays tribute to the historical legacy of the land and the importance of the Soberanes family in the history of Monterey County. In the late 1700s, Jose Maria Soberanes marched from Mexico to Monterey Bay with the famed Portold expedition. He camped on a barren brown plain at the foot of the Sierra de Santa Lucia. The explores called this place El Campo Real del Chocolate or Chocolate Camp. The 16-year-old never dreamed that he would have a son who would acquire this land as repayment for 40 horses, 50 head of cattle, 4 oxen and some sheep. Or that a vineyard planted there centuries later would bear his name.
Dates Planted2008
LocationIn the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands, 9 miles north of Pisoni Vineyards and a stone's throw from Garys' Vineyard.
AspectRows are planted north-south giving a different exposure than Garys' Vineyard to winds that roar through the Salinas Valley and also a different exposure to the sun. 400 feet elevation, blanketed by fog every morning. 20 or so live oaks on the property.
SoilsGranite-laden (pura piedras or "all rock").
VarietiesChardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah
Clones667, Pisoni
Trellis SpacingClose spacing
ManagersGary Franscioni, Mark Pisoni

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2012 Bernardus Santa Lucia Highlands Saignée de Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 569 cases, $24. Made from fresh pressed Pinot Noir grapes. As the grapes are crushed, a small percentage of the juice is blend off before it has a chance to absorb much color from the grape skins. The barely colored juice is then cold fermented in stainless steel in the winery’s coolest cellar to dryness. A blend from multiple Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards including Pisoni, Rosella’s, Sierra Mar, Soberanes, Tondré Grapefield, Fairview, Highlands and Paraiso. · Magnetic pinkish red color and clear in the glass. Lovely nose perfumed with strawberries, red cherries, mangoes, redwood and allspice. The wine is fresh, crisp and bright on the palate with flavors of strawberry, red cherry and cotton candy with a hint of citrus. Drink this wine slightly chilled with sushi for a big smile. Score: 88. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Siduri Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 235 cases, $48. Release June 2014. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Exuberant nose with vibrant aromas of dark red cherries and berries, rose petals and wet earth. Highly flavorful featuring black raspberry, cassis and plum with an oak sheen. Velvety soft and silky in the mouth with balanced, suede tannins. The wine finishes with ornate fruit and a slight bit of heat. Needs more time to integrate the oak. Score: 90. Reviewed April 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 August West Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., ph 3.62, TA 0.66, 406 cases, $32. From Rosella’s, Sierra Mar and Soberanes vineyards. Aged 10 months in 12% new, 59% 1- year-old and 29% 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromatically alive with scents of purple grapes and plums with a hint of spice and brioche. Full-bodied flavors of plum and boysenberry with a hint of spice and smoky oak in the background. Juicy and vibrant with firm tannins. A solid appellation wine. Good (+). Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Anaba Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.65, 142 cases, $48. Pisoni clone. Harvest Brix 25.1º. Destemmed with 12% whole cluster, 4 to 6-day cold soak, native fermentation, basket pressed, aged 11 months sur lie in 37% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very ripe fruited with hi-tone aromas of dark strawberries, muddled black cherries, raspberry jam and spice. Delicious flavors echo the nose with an appealing earthy underpinning. Impressive fruit presence with a balancing firm tannic backbone. The finish is striking and returns in waves for encores. Score: 92. Reviewed February 22, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Siduri Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

235 cases, $48. Adjacent Garys’ Vineyard but rows are oriented differently so the winds pass through the vineyard more evenly and because it is more fertile, the vines are planted closer together. Fourth leaf. Pisoni selection, and 667. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark currants, ripe plum and brandied raisins. Delicious and harmonious, with gorgeous flavors of black plum and blackberries with a note of spice and citrus in the background. The fruit really sparkles in this wine and lasts and lasts on the finish that offers a teasing hint of spice and mocha. Spectacular the following day from a previously opened and closed bottle showing an Elvis on velvet mouth feel. A complete wine that is very refined and sophisticated and clearly the jewel of this vintage for Siduri. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Bernardus Soberanes Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 312 cases, $55. Vineyard farmed by Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni and located adjacent Garys’ Vineyard. Pisoni “clone” and Dijon 667. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. I really liked the nose on this beauty featuring bright aromas of black cherry, blackberry jam, cassis, brewed tea and oak. The delicious fruit including dark cherries and blackberries really jumps out. Nicely composed with integrated tannins, and a lengthy, intensely fruity finish. This wine has broad shoulders but is refined. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Black Kite Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, 273 cases, $55. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Muted aromas of black fruits, cooked beets, and floral perfume. Extravagantly rich with intense flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and black plum. A little earthy and beefy in character. Silky on the palate with balanced dry tannins and modest length on the dry finish. Solid, but not exciting now, and should benefit from further time in bottle. Score: 88. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.60, 149 cases, $55. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of dark cherries and dark berry jam with a hint of mesquite. A delight to drink with middleweight flavors of black cherries in harmony with supple tannins and complimentary acidity. The soft mouth feel is captivating. This wine lacks the vibrancy of the Black Kite Anderson Valley bottlings but is very typical of the Santa Lucia Highlands and is quite charming in its own right. Very good. Reviewed February 4, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »