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Sojourn Cellars

Owner(s) Erich Bradley, Craig Haserot, Ellen Haserot
Web site www.sojourncellars.com
 
Link to this site
Sojourn Cellars

Plato said “Life is but a sojourn. Enjoy the best of it.” Craig Haserot (wine taster) and Erich Bradley (winemaker) are two buddies who met on the tennis courts of Sonoma and decided to take Plato’s advice. They formed Sojourn Cellars in 2000 and released their first Pinot Noir in 2004. Their handcrafted wines have won considerable praise from the wine press. Production has increased from 2,500 cases in 2008 to 5,000 cases in 2011of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Erich's family owned several acres in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon. He studied winemaking at University of California Davis and Santa Rosa Junior College. His first job was with Dick Arrowood at Arrowood Winery. In 2003, he became the winemaker for Audelssa Estate Winery in Glen Ellen, initially working with noted winemaker David Ramey. He has received considerable praise from Robert Parker for his Bordeaux and Rhone inspired wines crafted there.

The wines are made at the Audelssa Estate Winery in Glen Ellen, California. Erich's winemaking is New World in style and the resulting wines are bold and expressive. Two Pinot Noirs were produced in 2006: a Sonoma Coast appellation bottling and a Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Single vineyard Pinot Noirs have since been added from Sangiacomo, Gap's Crown and Rodgers Creek Vineyards. Sojourn also releases a Home Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon and a Beckstoffer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are sold exclusively through an allocated mailing list with limited restaurant and retail distribution.

Winemaking is very hands-off, using whole berry native fermentations in small open-tops, employing hand punch downs, basket pressing, and the avoidance of pumps. The Pinot Noirs are unfined and unfiltered.

The Sojourn Cellars Tasting Salon is open to groups of up to 12 for a personal tasting by appointment, 10:00 to 5:00 daily at no charge. 141 E Napa St., Sonoma. 707-938-7212.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Sojourn Cellars Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.60, 550 cases, $48. Released Spring 2013. Vineyard is high on a ridge in the heart of the Petaluma Gap. The vines receive the full brunt of wind and fog that define this cool climate site. The light chalky volcanic ash soils on steep inclines typically lead to vine stress and high levels of concentration. Pommard and 777 clones. 15% whole cluster (Pommard), aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red berries, black cherries, briar and a hint of spearmint. Light, even a bit thin, with tangy flavors of red cherries, red raspberries and cola, supple tannins, and a good cut of acidity on the mildly shallow finish. Very giving and easy to drink. Good (+). Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Sojourn Cellars Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.57, 975 cases, $48. Released February 2012. This vineyard is located at the western base of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap. Clones 115, 777 and small portions of Swan and Pommard. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Vibrant aromas of fresh cherry pie glaze and baking spice with oak in the background. Juicy and light on its feet, with flavors that echo the nose.Very smooth and comforting, slipping off the palate at the end leaving an impression of perfectly ripe black cherry fruit. A rather feminine wine that packs a wallop of flavor. Still satisfying the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Sojourn Cellars Gap’s Crown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.58, 800 cases, $54. Released Spring 2013. This hillside vineyard is located on Roberts Road just above Sangiacomo Vineyard. Clones are 828, 115 and 667. 10% whole cluster, aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but pleasing aromas of dark red cherries, raspberry jam, peat and wood shed. A pretty wine with impressive roundness and polish, offering flavors of cherry pie glaze and mixed berries, with oak-driven spicy layers in the background, and noticeable richness on the mid palate. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Sojourn Cellars Campbell Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.58, 175 cases, $59. Release fall 2013. Ulises Valdez has taken over vineyard management of the property. Located in the remote coastal mountains near Annapolis, it is surrounded by redwoods at about 750 foot elevation. Clones 115 and 777. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of dark red cherries and berries as well as wooded forest. Very tasty and harmonious, with ripely flavored blueberries, raspberries and cherries. Smoothly textured with soft, dry tannins and a generous finish. Nothing out of place. Still pumping out the flavors nicely the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Sojourn Cellars Ridgetop Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.55, 275 cases, $59. Release fall 2013. This vineyard is owned and managed by Thomas Rivers Brown and Fred Schrader and farmed by Ulises Valdez. Located in the remote coastal mountains near Annapolis, it is surrounded by redwoods at 1100 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Yields are minuscule with concentrated flavors. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. The perfume draws you into the glass with aromas of darker plum and berry with notes of balsam and salt air. Delicious middleweight core of vibrant plum, black cherry, berry and cola flavors clothed in soft, lacy tannins, finishing with a lingering memory of cherry liquor. Very smooth in the mouth and discreetly sappy, this wine displays impeccable balance. Memorable. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Sojourn Cellars Silver Eagle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.56, 175 cases, $59. Release fall 2013. Inaugural vintage for this 30-acre vineyard farmed by Ulises Valdez that is located in the Green Valley AVA north of Occidental and at the western edge of the Sonoma Coast. Pommard clone, and Calera and Vosne-Romanee selections were sourced from a low-vigor section of the vineyard. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Frgrant with aromas of red fruit, particularly cherry, and sandalwood. An elegant wine that is light on its feet with tasty flavors of cherries, raspberries and cranberries accented with baking spice and oak. Forward, easy to drink, with plenty of pinotosity, but not enough fruit singing. A little better when tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Good (+). Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.72, 550 cases, $39. A blend from several vineyards in the Sonoma Coast AVA including the Fedrick Vineyard, Windsor Oaks Vineyard and Sangiacomo Vineyard. All Dijon clones (115, 667, 777). · Very lovely scents of black raspberries, cassis and underbrush. A strikingly smooth and easy going wine featuring the redder spectrum of Pinot fruits including strawberries and raspberries with a hint of sassafras. The tannins are very supple and the whole package is perfectly harmonious. I could sip this one all night. The wine faded a bit the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle so drink this one up now. Reviewed April 23, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.63, 440 cases, $48. This vineyard is located on Roberts Road just above the Sangiacomo Vineyard on the west-facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap. · Nuanced aromatics featuring notes of spiced plums, pine pitch, wooded forest and a little good funk. Intense and concentrated darker fruits are set off by a hint of white pepper and oak. Very smoothly textured with a pleasing fruity persistence on the finish. Not as expressive now as the other 2008 Sojourn wines and needs to shed some tannin. This wine has a way to go before it completely reveals itself. That said, the wine possesses obvious potential. Very good. Reviewed April 23, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.66, 580 cases, $48. This vineyard is located at the western base of Sonoma Mountain. Clones 115 and 777 are from blocks that are more than ten years old. · Plenty of Pinot singing here beginning with enticing aromas of mixed berry jam and spice box including cardamon. Delicious rainbow of berry fruits discreetly concentrated and beautifully layered. Silky smooth in the mouth with remarkable persistence on the aromatic finish. The fruit is pulled into perfect alignment with fine acidity and tannin, and the oak adds just the right nuances. Heaven sent. Reviewed April 23, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Sojourn Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $47. This vineyard is located on west-facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain, where the winds and cool fog from the Petaluma Gap are frequently evident. The vineyard is owned and farmed by Premier Pacific Vineyards. Multiple wineries source from this large vineyard of about 140 acres planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir clones are Swan, 114, 115, 667, 777 and 828 on four different rootstocks. · Really attractive nose composed of bright black cherries, red plums and a dusting of oak. Black cherry and black raspberry fruits cascade easily through the palate complimented by a vein of citric peel and vanillin. Moderately rich with good purity of flavor and a refined mouth feel. A good effort that is very well crafted. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Sojourn Cellars Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 240 cases, $36. This wine is a blend of grapes from two Sangiacomo Vineyards - Roberts Road and Vella. · A medium-bodied Pinot Noir which needs air time to express itself. The nose is replete with rhubarb, exotic woods, toast and Xmas spice. The ripe Pinot fruits tend to the dark flavors and are rustic and tart. The finish delivers a little heat but it is not over the top. Reviewed July 9, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Sojourn Cellars Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 230 cases, $48. The Sangiacomo Vineyard that supplies the grapes for this wine in Cotati in the cool northern end of the Petaluma Gap. The wine is a blend of Dijon clones 115 and 777. · The nose is shy initially and needs plenty of swirling. Xmas spice, especially cinnamon, and leather become apparent. The flavors tend toward darker fruits with a hint of raisin. There is more richness in the mid-palate and the finish than the wine above and the alcohol is better integrated. The texture is smooth and the finish offers a nice soft landing. Reviewed July 9, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Sojourn Cellars Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Owner Craig Hasserot and winemaker Erich Bradley craft this excellent Pinot Noir that has been reviewed in the PinotFile favorably in the past. Tasting the wine in a blind lineup confirms my previous attraction to it. · This wine has shed some weight since last tasted and is quite lovely now. Plenty of flamboyant oak and smoke in the nose. Plush soft fruits leaning toward the red side with cinnamon spice. Elegant in style with lively acidity on the finish. Reviewed December 16, 2007 ARTICLE »