VOLUME 9, ISSUE 46
August 25, 2014
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
Charles Heintz Vineyards: Getting to Know Winegrower Charlie Heintz and the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from His Very Special Vineyard Lucienne: Very Special Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands Formaglini Vineyards Sips of Recently Tasted Wines A New Wave of Outstanding Print Wine Magazines Pinot Briefs Winemaker Up Close & Personal Paul Clifton, Director of Winemaking, Hahn Estates
Boisset American purchased DeLoach out of bankruptcy in 2003, thirty years after its founding by Cecil De Loach in 1973, and brought in Greg La Follette to bolster the wines. He has since moved on to concentrate on his own label, La Follette Wines, but remained as a consultant. Winemakers Brian Maloney and Julia Vazquez took over.
The future looks bright here as there is serious a commitment to quality and an emphasis on small-lot vineyard-designate wines. The 17-acre vineyard that came with the winery had to be replanted and is now certified organic (by CCOF) and Biodynamic®. 2010 was the first vintage from the new vines. Boisset had to rebuild DeLoach's other fruit sources and currently they source from multiple growers in Green Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, Marin County, Occidental and Mendocino County. The winery's viticulturist is Eric Pooler.
Boisset has maintained the historic focus on Pinot Noir and Zinfandel while creating new wines at higher tiers - most notably the Vineyard Designate series, which includes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Currently there are 24 Vineyard Designate wines, some produced in as little as fifty cases.
Winemaker Brian Maloney has benefited from the upgrade in estate vineyards and vineyard sources and winemaking equipment since Boisset took over. Maloney grew up on his family's ranch in the Petaluma Gap, graduated from the Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis, and worked his first harvest in 2003 at DeLoach Vineyards. He has remained there ever since. He also has overseen the rebirth of the Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma. In 2012, his team was the first to make wine in the historic Champagne cellars in over 30 years. Maloney also guides the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of the JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset winery. He worked with Jean-Charles Boisset and Gregory Patriat, Winemaker at Jean-Claude Boisset winery in Nuits-St.-Georges, France, to create the innovative JCB #3, a wine that unites grapes from the Russian River Valley and Burgundy.
The Zinfandels are now vinified more like their Pinot Noir using open-top fermenters, minimizing tannins and limiting new oak to 25 percent or less.
Production is 150,000 cases annually. Several Pinot Noirs are produced: a Russian River Valley, Sonoma County and Green Valley appellation blends, the OFS release (previously the winery's top-tier label), and vineyard designates from more than six sources including Maboroshi Vineyard, Durell Vineyard and Sonoma Stage Vineyard. The California Pinot Noir is available in a 3L eco-bag for a "cellar-to-glass" wine drinking experience.
The wines are sold on the website and at the tasting room which is set on the beautiful winery grounds and open daily from 10:00 to 5:00. Tours of the winery and Biodynamic garden are offered Monday through Friday at 11:00 by appointment (707-526-9111). DeLoach will provide a picnic basket and picnic table by reservation in advance. Reserve tastings are also available. A Garden Tour is offered weekends by appointment. A seated guided wine and cheese pairing is also available by appointment.
Articles About DeLoach Vineyards
12th Annual World of Pinot Noir (9.4 3/21/2012)
2012 California Value Priced Pinot Noirs Honorable Mention (9.17 12/26/2012)
Along the Pinot Trail in California: Part 2 - North Coast & Other (9.8 6/24/2012)
More Sips of 2007 California Pinot Noir (7.21 7/9/2009)
Pinot Briefs (8.31 2/8/2011)
Pinot Briefs (8.22 9/22/2010)
Small Sips of More California Pinot (7.17 5/7/2009)
Tasty Pinots from the Russian River Valley (6.51 1/20/2008)
Top Wine of 2006… … … … ...Not (6.9 12/18/2006)
2010 De Loach Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $18.50. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherries and forest floor. Soft in the mouth, with appealing dark red cherry flavor, displaying good balance and some length on the finish. Good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2009 De Loach Vineyards California Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $10. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Slightly confected, with aromas of strawberries, cherries, and spice. Riper fruit evident on the palate with notes of stewed plum and raisin. Moderately rich with noticeable oak backing, offering some grainy tannins and bright acidity. Becomes less interesting over time in the glass. A suitable daily drinker at the right price. Decent. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2009 De Loach Vineyards Marin County Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 614 cases, $30. Winemaker Dan Goldfield. Grower Mark Pasternak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose opens slowly, reaching a peak over 45 minutes in the glass, offering scents of dark red cherries and berries and subtle green herbs. Dark raspberry flavor with an earthy bent on a medium frame with balanced fine-grain tannin and good acidity. Nicely composed with some finishing length, but lacks a statement. A “pretty” wine. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2009 De Loach Vineyards OFS Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., $30. · Dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. This wine has a cooked fruit character. Aromas of dark berries, root beer and grilled fruit. Flavors of currants, raisins, and cassis with notes of tea, tar and oak clothed in balanced dry tannins. Soft in the mouth with a hot finish. Decent. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2007 DeLoach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $18.50. · The nose exhibits aromas of slightly confected black cherries with floral and herbal notes (“field nose”) and noticeable dark oak. Decent fullness on the palate with flavors of strawberries and black cherries with a tang on the mildly persistent dry finish. This will work at the table. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »
2007 DeLoach Vineyards Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.61, 991 cases, $45. A blend of several vineyards and clones. Grapes are de-stemmed and undergo native fermentation in open top vats with hand punch downs. Aged 9 months in 25% new French and Hungarian oak · Aromas of dark cherries, herbs, oak and mushrooms. Juicy core of black cherries and cola with an underpinning of oak and a petrol note. Soft tannins with bright citric acidity on the finish. Decent. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »
2007 DeLoach Vineyards Maboroshi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., pH 3.53, 435 cases, $45. The vineyard name means “whimsical dream” in Japanese. Farmed by the Kisaichi family and located southwest of Sebastopol. Soils are Goldridge loam. Aged 12 months in 33% new French oak. · Intense aromas of black cherries, raspberries, herbal oak and cardamon spice. Beautifully composed and gentle in the mouth with tasty red raspberries and currants, a compelling earthiness, and a tasty riff of oak. Harmonious with impressive glass-filling presence. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »
2007 DeLoach Vineyards Masut Vineyard Redwood Valley Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., 1,000 cases, $45. Clones 113 and 115 were planted in 1996 according to biodynamic principles and these vines are tended by pioneers of biodynamic farming, Jacob Fetzer and his family. · Well oaked dark fruits on the nose. Powerfully flavored earth-kissed dark raspberry fruit augmented by plum reduction sauce, spice and a hint of grapefruit peel on the dry and slightly hot finish. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »
2005 De Loach Vineyards Russian River Valley OFS Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $28. This wine is a reserve level Pinot Noir (OFS stands for “Only Finest Selection”). Open-top oak fermenters are used in the vinification. These fermenters offer the advantages of advantageous temperature maintenance, slow and gentle fermentation, and ideal extraction. · Very nice cherry and raspberry infused wine which is elegant, silky and nicely balanced. There are pleasing wood overtones and the lively acid make it a delicious wine with roast chicken. Reviewed January 20, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 De Loach 30th Anniversary Cuvée Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., 350 cases, $45 (sold out). This commemorative bottling comes from the original De Loach estate Pinot Noir vineyard adjacent to the winery planted in 1977. The vines were removed after the 2004 harvest and replaced with new plantings farmed biodynamically. The wine was made with 100% whole cluster fermentation in open top wood fermenters. Aging was in French oak for 10 months. · I drank this wine twice this past year several months apart with consistent notes. It is a medium-bodied Pinot Noir which really needs significant air time to reveal its charms. Initially the nose is closed. Flavors of herbs, oak, plum and cranberry lead to a finish which is stemmy, herbal and moderately astringent with a hint of heat. The texture is smooth and satisfying. I left an opened bottle overnight and re tasted the next day. The nose had cleaned up significantly with appealing toast and cherries. The overall impression was more mellowness and the back end astringency had resolved. The finish now featured some lingering spice and a hint of oak. This wine will benefit from a couple years in the cellar. A decent Pinot with potential, but just not my cup of tea (pinot). When you consider taste, price and availability, I just don’t see how this wine could be the Top Wine out of 10,000, let alone the top Pinot Noir. Reviewed December 18, 2006 ARTICLE »
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