Kutch Wines

Owner(s) Jamie Kutch
Web site www.kutchwines.com
 
Link to this site

Jamie Kutch, is a Fordham graduate who was a NASDAQ trader with Merrill Lynch, commuting daily to Manhatten via the Long Island Railroad, and gave it all up to move to California and make Pinot Noir. Upon the urgings of Andrew Vingiello (A.P. Vin) and Brian Loring (Loring Wine Company), Jamie sent an e-mail to Michael Browne of Kosta Browne Winery, located in the Russian River Valley at that time, and detailed his dream to make Pinot Noir. Michael’s advice was “Go for your dreams if it is at all possible, otherwise, you might regret it for the rest of your life. A man had once told me that ‘the biggest regrets in life are not things that you did, but the things that you did not do.’ I thought he was a very wise man.” That was all Jamie needed to hear. Michael offered to be his mentor and assist him in making his initial Pinot Noir under his own label. Jamie quit his job, talked his girlfriend into moving west with him, and in a short time was in San Francisco. Jamie’s unusual proposal to his girlfriend (PinotFile, Vol 5, Issue 9, “Love Among the Must”) was only fitting, since wine has played an immortal role in the seducing, loving and marrying of women by men.

Jamie released his inaugural wines from the 2005 vintage: a Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and a Rosé from the Sonoma Coast. By 2009 he was still refining his style, looking to Burgundy for inspiration, and emphasizing earlier picking, some whole cluster in vineyard-designate bottlings, native fermentations, and aging in air-dried, tight grain Francois Frères oak barrels. His goal is Pinot Noir that is food friendly but age worthy. Although he denounces his first two vintages as veering from the direction he is now taking, the initial response to his wines was very favorable, and he quickly became one of the new young hounds in the Pinot race. His wines have been well-received by the wine press including James Laube of the Wine Spectator.

With the 2009 vintage, appellation Pinot Noirs from the Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast and vineyard designated Pinot Noirs from Savoy, Falstaff and McDougall Ranch vineyards are offered.Two Pinot Noirs are produced:

Total production is 1,250 cases. The wines are only sold through a mailing list - sign up on the website.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $39 ($78 per magnum). A blend of two-thirds Campbell Ranch located on a rugged portion of the true Sonoma Coast, and one-third from Sonoma Stage Vineyard on the northern edge of San Pablo Bay. 100% whole cluster. · Deep, dark reddish purple color in the glass. Complex nose with expressive aromas of blackberry, cassis, and whole cluster spice and floral goodness. The full Monty with thick, broad flavors of dark berries, black currants, spice and slate. Although sappy, the wine is not cloying. The sinewy tannin structure is neither astringent or particularly intrusive, but bottle aging will lead to more softness and integration. The finish is satisfying but shy at this stage. Amazing phenolic ripeness at this low alcohol level. Still quite aromatic the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Best to cellar for a few years at least. Score: 90. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $59. Falstaff has a shallow layer of Goldridge soil over marine sandstone that imparts a minerality to the wine. 100% whole cluster. · Deep, dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of blackberry jam, black currant, anise and smoky oak. Remarkable fruit intensity with a full-on array of dark berry fruits embellished with hints of spice and earthy goodness. The wine exhibits a tannin-filled personality that is in balance with the prodigious fruit. Very soft and smooth in the mouth with a long, fruit-laden finish. More aromatic with the telltale floral and spice attributes of whole cluster and more flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Tremendous potential that will require several years of cellaring, but can be enjoyed now with decanting. Score: 92-93. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 345 cases. · Dark purple color in the glass. Very aromatic with hi-tone purple berry and black cherry, exotic spice, confectionary and floral aromas. Full-bodied and intense, with gentle tannins and an attention-grabbing, long finish. Extraordinary. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 1,160 cases, $39. Release February 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 75% de-stemmed (twice daily punch down) and 25% whole cluster (crushed by foot), gravity movement of all wine, aged sur lie 10 months in 30% new and 70% used French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Beguiling aromas of black cherries, clove, nutmeg, orchid and redwood cask with aromas dancing in and out over time in the glass. Earthy flavors of black cherries, plums and black raspberries with a hint of oak anise in the background. Not the finish of the vineyard-designates, but very appealing now. Still fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., 50 cases, $55. Release August 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 50% de-stemmed and 50% whole cluster, all fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged sur lie 10 months without racking in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose picks up intensity and interest over time in the glass, slowly revealing attractive aromas of blackberries, black raspberries and candied plum. Intensely fruity on the attack and mid palate, the broad flavors finishing with impressive length. Deep plum and dark berry flavors caressed in supple tannins with a velvety smooth mouth feel. A very subtle stem note in the background disappears and the flavors really blossom the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Give this wine some time in the cellar and you will be a happy camper. Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 345 cases, $55. Release August 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 50% de-stemmed and 50% whole cluster, all fruit crushed and punched down by foot, aged sur lie for 10 months without racking in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Striking nose offering extroverted scents of black cherries, spice, briar and rose petal. Mouth watering flavors of ripe black cherries and dark red berry jam, with a joyful hint of spice. Very soft and smooth, almost ephemeral, but with eye-opening fruit intensity. There is an extra depth of flavor on the finish that keeps rolling along just when you think it must be finally done. I was really taken by this wine, and as I sat in my chair, I kept looking at the glass and shaking my head in wonderment. Even better the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Similar in some ways to the great 2009 vintage of this wine, but more approachable and elegant in style. Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 345 cases, $55. This vineyard is located 3.5 miles inland from the coast at 935 to 1,030 feet elevation. Clones are 114 and 115. Vine age is 15 years. Farmed by noted vineyardist Ulises Valdez. Hirsch Vineyard is on the next southern ridge. 50% whole cluster. Aged sur lie for 10 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Vibrant aromas of black cherries and whole cluster floral spice. Delicious core of well-ripened black cherries with complimentary spice and a very subtle green thread in the background, finishing with depth of fruit, juicy acidity and a rush of dry tannins. When tasted the following day from a previous opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had dramatically transformed. The wine had really come together, the green thread had disappeared, and the tannins had softened considerably. This will be a very enticing wine for whole cluster fans. I recommend aging this wine at least 2 to 3 years. Score: 93. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Kutch Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 245 cases, $55. Release February 2013. 7-day cold soak, native fermentations, 50% de-stemmed (twice daily punch downs) and 50% whole cluster (crushed by foot), aged sur lie 10 months without racking in 100% neutral oak. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark red fruits, rose petals, jasmine, fruit leather. Moderately rich essence of black raspberries with an earthy soul. Caressing tannins, very smooth and polished, with some delicacy, finishing with uncommon persistence without weight. Very good (+). Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 240 cases, $39. Sourced from three vineyards. 100% de-stemmed, native yeast fermentations, aged 16 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is rather shy and nondescript, offering demure aromas of cherries. Moderately rich essence of dark red cherries and berries with complimentary oak, offering supple tannins, good acidity and a short, but pleasing finish. This wine is refined and balanced, and I would be content to drink it, but it doesn’t emote. Good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Kutch Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.45% alc., 240 cases, $48. 100% de-stemmed. Native yeasts. Aged on lees 16 months in neutral oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Slowly emerging aromas of dark berries, violets, cedar and eucalyptus. Lighter weight flavors of raspberries, cranberries and red plums with a mild oaky, earthy bent. Elegant with a soft tannic backbone, finishing shallow and citrusy. Re-tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still lightly flavored and tart with a little alcohol peeking out. The fruit seems under ripe in this wine. Good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Kutch Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.45% alc., 240 cases, $50. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentations, aged 16 months in neutral oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Well-endowed with aromas of black cherries, black raspberries and baking spices. Elegant and charming with soft tannins, offering flavors of dark red Pinot fruits with a hint of spice, finishing with some crisp length. Highly approachable now, it may pick up more nuance over time. A more delicate Savoy in this vintage. I miss a little touch of new oak, but this is done well in its style. Very good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Kutch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 264 cases, $39. Sourced from Deer Meadow Vineyard. Clones 114, 115, 777 grown organically. Yield 1.5 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentations, aged 18 months sur lie in 30% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddishpurple hue in the glass. Forward and effusive aromas of black cherries and wild berries initially, that fade a bit over time in the glass. Delicious core of vivid black cherry, black raspberry, and spiced plum fruit with restrained oak and tannins, offering a pleasing, but short finish. A very forward drinking wine that is a credible representation of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. Good (+). Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 288 cases, $39. Sourced from Sonoma Stage, Nobles and La Jons vineyards and includes a diversity of suitcase clones. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentations, aged 18 months sur lie in 30% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A pleasing melange of berry aromas with a hint of oak. Tasty mix of red and black berry fruit with complimentary spice. Soft in the mouth with a healthy tannic backbone and restrained oak influences. Lacks nuance and acid zing, but provides a solid drinking experience. Good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Kutch Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 168 cases, $48. Heirloom clones grown biodynamically. Yield .75 ton per acre. 20% whole cluster, native fermentations, aged sur lie 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex nose offering scents of black cherries, plums, spices including clove, and a curious note of prickly pear. This impressive wine offers a vivid and generous core of dark red and black berries and cherries with supporting smoky oak, and appealing spice and loamy earth notes. The fruit is front and center but the wine’s appeal is augmented by a very silky mouth feel, restrained but firm tannins, and bright acidity on an explosive finish which seems to last for 30 seconds. The wine drank nicely the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Needs several years in the cellar for full enjoyment. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 288 cases, $48. Clone 114 planted in 1998 at 935 feet elevation, two ridges in from the Pacific Ocean. Yield 1.8 tons per acre. 50% whole cluster, native fermentations, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose opens over time in the glass offering a lovely mix of scents of darker raspberries and cherries, spice, underbrush and even violets. A delicious and hearty mixed berry core is enhanced by notes of spice and cured meat. The fruit is largely buried by the imposing, ripe tannins but this should resolve with several years in the bottle. This wine has the most tannin in the Kutch lineup, but also possesses the most seductive fruit. The wine offers an unmistakable sense of terroir. Still fine, but closed, the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Don’t even think about drinking this connoisseur's wine for seven to ten years. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Kutch Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 264 cases, $48. Clones 667, 777, 114 and Pommard. 100% destemmed, native fermentations, aged 18 months sur lie in 100% neutral French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued aromas of black fruits, forest floor, vanilla and graham. A silky body of earthy, spicy boysenberry and plum brings the mid palate to attention. Impressive persistence of fruit flavors on the generous finish. Beautifully balanced with lively acidity, ripe tannins and moderately rich fruit flavors acting in harmony. The pedigree of the fruit really comes through. Still great the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Will definitely benefit from a few years in the cellar, but can be approached now with decanting. A wine to contemplate. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rosé

14.1% alc., 125 cases, $15. A saignée of Pinot Noir sur lie aged for l4 months in neutral French oak barrels. Vineyard sources are Kanzler, Umino, John’s, and McDougall. · The wine has a pinkorange color. This is a substantial rosé with plenty of substance and viscosity. Strawberry, lavender, and grassy aromas lead to flavors of strawberries, persimmon and citrus. The finish is tangy and I kept wanting to snap my tongue against the roof of my mouth. Although “rosé” is the French term for “pink,” this is not a feminine wine. It has plenty of pizzazz to accompany hardy foods and should hold out a couple of years. Reviewed April 9, 2007 ARTICLE »

2006 Kutch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 287 cases, $39. 60% Kanzler Vineyard and 40% La Jouls Vineyard, both located in the Green Valley sub-AVA of the Russian River Valley. 30% whole cluster. Aged 16 months on its lees. The website is www.kutchwines.com. · Bright and dark reddish-purple color. Reserved aromas of black cherry and oak char. The fruit is shy but tempting with black cherry and blackberry flavors highlighted by herbs and subtle oak. Only recently bottled, the wine is still reticent. The Kutch style is a work in progress and I like his desire to emphasize elegance, texture and power with restraint. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Kutch McDougall Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 90 cases, $48 The McDougall plantings are 3.4 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean at 935 feet. 25% whole cluster. Aged on the lees for 16 months with no new oak. · Moderately light in color. Red cherries and brown spices on the nose. Lighter-styled, with red fruit profile, herbal notes and graham. Lively acidity. Still reserved from bottling. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Kutch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15% alc., 150 cases, $39. The 2005 growing season was long, dry and mild and just about perfect for Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. This wine was sourced from the Amber Ridge and Demeo Vineyards. · Very nice finely-spiced and ripe red fruits in the aromas and flavors. The alcohol adds an appealing sweetness to the overall impression. The finish closes with pleasant fruit, herbs and ample oak. Reviewed April 9, 2007 ARTICLE »