VOLUME 9, ISSUE 24
May 5, 2013
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
Cork Dork Etude: Inspired Wines of the Carneros the Gardener: Got Organic Grapes? Bravium: Relish the Acidity Rivers-Marie: 2010 & 2011 Reflect the Challenges of Farming on the Edge Dunstan Wines from Durell Vineyard Foursight Wines: Family Excels with Pinot COBB Wines: No Wine Before Its Time Sips of Pinot: Wines Tasted Recently Rosé and Chardonnay: Recently Sampled Wines Pinot Briefs
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 2011. A Chardonnay will be added in the future.
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, working with noted winemaker David Ramey. Most recently he has taken over winemaking duties at Hop Kiln as well.
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 on the website.
Winemaking is very hands-off, using whole berry native fermentations in small open-tops, hand punch-downs, basket pressing, no pumps, 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.
Articles About Sojourn Cellars
2010 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Second Team (8.28 12/28/2010)
Life is a Sojourn Pinot Noir (6.31 7/9/2007)
On the Pinot Event Trail (9.3 2/22/2012)
Pinot Noir Shootout Prelims (6.48 12/16/2007)
Pinot on the River 2010: Wilted in the Rain (8.25 11/7/2010)
Small Sips of More California Pinot (7.17 5/7/2009)
Sojourn Cellars: Pull Up a Lawn Chair (8.14 4/23/2010)
The 9th Annual World of Pinot Noir (7.16 4/18/2009)
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 »
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