Sonoma-Loeb

Owner(s) Chappellet Winery
Web site www.sonoma-loeb.com
 
Link to this site
Sonoma-Loeb

Owner John L. Loeb, Jr., was the US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark from 1981 to 1983 and later served as a US Delegate to the United Nations. He is a member of the Loeb and Lehman families (Loeb, Rhoades & Co, and Lehman Brothers).

Loeb has been growing grapes in the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley since 1973. The winery's winemaker is Phillip Corallo-Titus who crafts wines in the "Burgundian" mold. Titus has been the winemaker at both Chappellet Winery and Sonoma-Loeb for over 20 years and makes wine under his own label, Titus Vineyards.

The Sonoma-Loeb 2007 Chardonnay was the first wine in the US to be carbon neutral.

Sonoma-Loeb was sold to Chappellet Winery in 2011. Chappellet's renowned vineyard manager, Dave Pirio, was added to the Sonoma-Loeb team and Phillip Corallo-Titus remained the winemaker. The pair had worked together at Chappellet for more than a quarter of a century. New vineyards and vineyard blocks were added to the winegrowing program. Many of Sonoma-Loeb's contracts were switched to acreage contracts allowing them to control everything from yields to fruit thinning and canopy management techniques.

A new barrel chai was completed in 2013 allowing barrel fermentations to take place at very low temperatures and prolonging malolactic fermentation.

The Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are sold through a mailing list with limited retail and restaurant distribution.

Reviewed Wines

2015 Sonoma-Loeb Sangiacomo Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.62, 1150 cases, $27. The relationship with the Sangiacomo family dates to 1990 and today sources have been expanded to include several of Sangiacomo’s best blocks. Harvest Brix 23.7º. Fermented and aged on its lees for 8 months in French oak barrels, with full malolactic fermentation. · Light golden color in the glass. Complex nose offering aromas of citrus peel, apple, butter and lees. Somewhat steely on the palate, with refreshing flavors of grilled lemon, melon and pear. Very slight reductive note of flint is evident. Nicely composed with a good cut on the finish. Score: 91. Reviewed August 6, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 Sonoma-Loeb Envoy Carneros Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.54, 973 cases, $38. A limited production wine made from Wente, Hyde and Robert Young selections of Chardonnay from Sangiacomo Vineyard. Harvest Brix 23.5º-25.0º. Barrel fermented and aged 8 months on its lees in French oak barrels. The wine underwent partial malolactic fermentation. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Very fragrant with aromas of lemon custard, yellow apple, tropical fruits, and vanilla. Citrus-driven flavors of lemon and pineapple reflect plenty of California sunshine kissed goodness. Silky in the mouth, with enviable balance and some finishing intensity. Score: 92. Reviewed August 6, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 Sonoma-Loeb Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,430 cases, pH 3.75, TA 0.61, 1,430 cases, $40. Dijon clones 667, 777 and 115. Harvest Brix 25.2º. Wild and inoculated yeast fermentation, cap managed with punch downs and pump overs, and aged 11 months in French oak barrels. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Hard to find descriptors for the nose as there is little find other than a whiff of oak, even when checked the following day from a previously opened bottle. The wine offers a load of purple and black fruits with a green thread in the background. Difficult to be highly complimentary other than the tannins are supportive. The wine lacks a Pinot message. Score: 87. Reviewed August 6, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 Sonoma-Loeb El Novillero Carneros Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.56, 485 cases, $42. El Novillero is a special cool, windswept section at Sangiacomo Vineyard with unusual for Carneros gravelly, rocky bench land soils. Robert Young clone planted in 1993. Harvest Brix 23.1º. Barrel fermented and aged on its lees for 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new, with 100% malolactic fermentation. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Lovely aromas of lemon, banana and other tropical fruits, creme brulee, and subtle toasty oak. Somewhat lush, seamless and seductive due its clean and fresh character, offering flavors of lemon, Golden Delicious apple, and golden pear. There is deft oak management and a long lemon-infused finish. A connoisseur's Chardonnay. Score: 94. Reviewed August 6, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 Sonoma-Loeb Bateman Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.55, 169 cases, $60. Vineyard is located in Graton in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA. It was planted in 1999 to Dijon 777 and 115 clones in Goldridge soil. Harvest Brix 26,8º. Winemaker is Phillip Corallo-Titus, the winemaker for Sonoma-Loeb and Chappellet since 1990. · Very dark, inky purple color in the glass. The nose lacks aromatic inspiration, offering only a hint of cassis along with oak-driven aromas of dark chocolate and toast. A huge fruit load greets the palate, with a mixed bag of purple and black fruits. Tannins and acidity are in harmony, but the wine lacks nuance and interest. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Hard to know this is Pinot. May be a good transition wine for ex-Cab drinkers. Score: 88. Reviewed August 6, 2017 ARTICLE »

2014 Sonoma-Loeb Sangiacomo Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.62, $27. Harvest Brix 23.4º-26.0º. 50% malolactic fermentation, aged on the lees for 8 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. Produced and bottled by Chappellet Vineyard where winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus has been at the helm since 1990. · Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Inviting scents of lemon meringue, pineapple and baking spices are echoed on the palate with added notes of white nectarine and apple. Fuller bodied, silky in the mouth, with impeccable balance. Score: 90. Reviewed April 22, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 Sonoma-Loeb Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $27. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of blueberry-pomegranate, dried rose petal and mulch. A full-on attack of black cherry fruit saturates the palate but the wine retains a silky, focused touch. Well-structured, with hints of smoke and toast in the background. Some length on the finish that leaves a slight sense of warmth in its wake. Score: 89. Reviewed May 11, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 Sonoma-Loeb Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $40. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, spice and vanilla fade a bit over time in the glass. Mid weight plus sappy flavors of darker berries with complimentary oak seasoning. Suave in the mouth, with matched tannins and a fruit-driven finish. Score: 89. Reviewed May 11, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 Sonoma-Loeb Envoy Carneros Chardonnay

14.9% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.64, $38. Sourced from low-yielding Wente, Hyde and Robert Young clone fruit from the best blocks at Sangiacomo Vineyard. Harvest Brix 23.5º-24.9º. Barrel fermented, 100% malolactic fermentation, aged 8 months sur lie. · Light golden straw color and clear in the glass. Welcoming scents of lemon curd, buttery brioche, peach and chalk dust. Delicious and decadent with waves of citrus fruits including pineapple and lemon, with notes of Asian pear, nectarine, buttery popcorn, and toast. A take no prisoners, barrel fermented charmer made in an opulent and well oaked California style. Score: 90. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Sonoma-Loeb Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.59, $39. Winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus uses Pinot Noir clones 667, 777 and 115 to produce this wine. Harvest Brix 25.6º-26.8º. Wild yeast and proprietary Burgundian strains were used in the fermentation. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The elevating aromas of spiced black raspberry and black cherry are very inviting. A bold expression of Pinot Noir with luscious flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, spice, mocha and coffee-scented oak. Very satisfying with a notably intense finish and admirable balance. Score: 91. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »

2010 Sonoma-Loeb Carneros Private Reserve Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.62, $23. Sourced from one small block of Sangiacomo’s famed “Home” Ranch. Fermented in French oak barrels, aged on the lees for 8 months, and underwent full malolactic fermentation during the aging process. 75% new French oak barrels. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Fresh fruity aromas of pears and peach cobbler along with scents of pastry cream and buttered brioche. Creamy and soft on the palate without perceptible tannin, featuring flavors of crème brûlée, honeyed pear, and gentle toasty oak. Discreet richness with well-integrated acidity, finishing with some persistence. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Sonoma-Loeb Envoy Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.56, $40. Sourced from plantings of Rued clone and Robert Young clone at Dutton Ranch. 80% malolactic fermentation, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Light straw color and clear. Demure but very pleasant aromas of lemon curd, Asian pear, and citrus peel leading to flavors of baked pear, pineapple, brioche, toast and baking spice. Slightly creamy on the palate and impeccably balanced. A little richer than the Carneros bottling with slightly more length on the finish. Like this wine for its polish and exuberance. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Sonoma-Loeb Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.83, TA 0.50,, $45. Clones 667 and 777 from one of the Dutton family’s most prized blocks. Long cold soak, indigenous yeasts, unfined and unfiltered. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Richly perfumed with brandied black cherries, spice, and oak-driven aromas of herbs and vanilla. Full-bodied, husky style, with a big heart of black cherry and blackberry fruit and a staccato of cola, and chocolate. Well oaked, with nicely managed tannins. This wine makes a statement. A little too close to Syrah for my comfort, but very well made in its style. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Sonoma-Loeb Russian River Valley Loeb Family Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $40. · Darkly colored in the glass. Shy and muted fruit aromas which emerge slowly with swirling. Full-bodied essence of black cherries and boysenberries with a hint of oak spice. Soft in the mouth with dry, youthful tannins. A little more expressive the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Big bottle, big fruit, big tannin but doesn’t deliver much interesting flavor or nuance. Decent. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »



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