En Garde Winery

Owner(s) Csaba Szakal, Sandy Szakal
Web site www.engardewinery.com
 
Link to this site
En Garde Winery

Winemaker and proprietor Csaba Szakal is a fourth generation winemaker from Hungary. He moved to California as a computer programmer in 1996 and soon became interested in California wines. He began making wine in his garage before his first commercial release in 2001 which earned a gold medal. He started En Garde Winery in 2007 and now crafts his wines at the Mayo Winery facility in Sonoma Valley.

Multiple varietals are offered from sourced grapes including Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs. Vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs appeared with the 2012 vintage.

The winery's stylish tasting room is open daily from 11:00 - 6:00 at 9077 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood.

Reviewed Wines

2013 En Garde Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 200 cases, $45. Martini, Pommard and 23 clones. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Bing cherry is the theme in this light to mid weight, forward drinking wine with added flavors of baking spices, dark chocolate and cola. The tannins are silky and the modest black cherry finish satisfies. The wine shows Russian River Valley typicality and represents an ideal entry wine. Score: 90. Reviewed June 18, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 En Garde Gold Ridge Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

100 cases, $54. Clones 667, “828,” and 115. Harvest Brix 24º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · This moderately light cherry red colored wine is a cherry bombast. Aromas of fresh cherry and earthy flora lead to a red cherry, strawberry and spicy array of flavors having noticeable mid palate richness that trails off slowly on the long finish. There is good cut for vibrancy and silky tannins making this forward drinking wine very satisfying. Score: 92. Reviewed June 18, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 En Garde Olivet Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 75 cases, $54. Martini clone. Harvest Brix 25.0º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, sarsaparilla and herbs lead to a mid weight styled wine with a mix of fruity and savory elements including Bing cherry, marzipan, spice, herbs and shitake mushroom. Silky in the mouth with seamless integration of tannins and acidity. Score: 92. Reviewed June 18, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 En Garde Pleasant Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

100 cases, $54. Clones 115 and 667. Harvest Brix 25º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Supportive oak embellishes the black raspberry fruit on the nose. Impressive attack of luscious black raspberry and black cherry fruits that are well spiced and accented with oak. Lively, with perfectly matched tannins, admirable harmony, and noticeable finishing power and length. The finish is particularly glorious. Score: 93. Reviewed June 18, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 En Garde Starkey Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

100 cases, $54. Clones are 32, “828,” and Pommard. Harvest Brix 25º. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 75% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of an array of dark red berries. The mid weight blueberry core is inviting, as is the juicy finish. Like all the En Garde wines, the balance is impressive in this mid weight wine that sports complimentary oak enhancements and a soothing mouthfeel. Score: 92. Reviewed June 18, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 En Garde Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

150 cases, $60. Clones are Martini, Pommard, 23, 667. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 83% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is somewhat reserved, opening slowly to reveal lovely aromas of black cherry, spice and bark. A gorgeous black cherry cola core alerts the taste buds, offering more pop than any other wine in the 2013 En Garde lineup. There are more substantial tannins and more oak infusion, but the composite picture is harmonious. Bold, with serious intentions, yet seductive and refined. I liked this wine incrementally more over time in the glass and even more the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed June 18, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 En Garde Olivet Court Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, $48. Release spring 2015. Martini clone. 40-year-old vines planted in gravelly, clay loam soil located across from De Loach Winery. Aged 18 months in 50% new Francois Fréres oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of cherry and raspberry. Very tasty core of black cherry and black raspberry with a hint of dark chocolate and spice. Modest in weight with muscular tannins and a very lengthy finish. The least showy wine in the lineup, but should blossom with more time in bottle. Score: 90-91. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 En Garde Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 175 cases, $48. Released September 1, 2014. Martini and Pommard clones. Aged 10 months in 28% new French oak barrels. · Moderate cherry red color in the glass. Shy aromas of dark cherry with hints of nutty oak. Middleweight flavors of black cherry, dark raspberry, plum and cola with oak and dried herbs in the background. Very approachable and easy to drink, with supple tannins and a bright cut of acidity on the dry finish. Two bottles tasted. Score: 87-88. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 En Garde Starkey Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 125 cases, $54. Release summer 2015. 25% “828,” 25% Pommard, 50% 23. 35-year-old vines planted in Goldridge soil and located just outside the Green Valley AVA. This vineyard is owned by Csaba’s spouse’s best friend. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens slowly in the glass to reveal scents of dusty cherry and strawberry. A plentiful black cherry attack is augmented with notes of spice, cola and tea. Nicely crafted with supple tannins, a good acid underbelly and a lip-smacking, cherry-driven finish. Score: 91-92. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 En Garde Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 150 cases, $60. Release summer 2015. Clones “828,” 23, Pommard and Martini. Aged 18 months in 80% new Francois Fréres oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Extroverted nose featuring scents of Bing cherry, spice, tea and sous-bois. Delicious flavors of fresh, perfectly ripened strawberry, cherry and cranberry with harmoniously integrated oak. Very juicy and charming with plenty of grace, tannins so fine as to be imperceptible, and a long, powerfully scented finish. Still hitting on all cylinders the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »

2011 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $48. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, cut flowers and sandalwood. Mid weight flavors of strawberry, raspberry with a compliment of nutty oak. Noticeable tannin and zippy acidity producing a tangy finish of some length. Score: 89. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 100 cases, $58. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very nice perfume of Bing cherry, raspberry, caramel and spice. Tasty essence of Bing cherries with a long cherry-driven finish. Seamless with balanced t n‘ a. Juicy and very satisfying. Highly accessible now, but has the balance to age effortlessly. Score: 91. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $48. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Initially, the aromas of red strawberry, red cherry, spice and sandalwood are quite charming, but oak dominates over time in the glass. Light weighted flavors of red berries, rhubarb and cherry with a tarry oak note that intrudes in the background. Supple tannins and some finishing intensity. Score: 87. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $58. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Deep, glorious aromas of black cherry with a hint of spice and sandalwood. More structure and finish and a riper fruit profile than the regular bottling offering flavors of black cherry, plum reduction sauce, cola, dark chocolate and anise. The fruit pushes the ripeness envelope resulting in a cooked fruit tone and a little heat peaks out on the finish. Score: 87. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »



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