Sonoma Coast Vineyards

Owner(s) Vintage Wine Estates
Web site www.sonomacoastvineyards.com
 
Link to this site
Sonoma Coast Vineyards

John and Barbara Drady founded this label with the 2002 vintage concentrating on wines sourced from the extreme or true Sonoma Coast. The winemaker is veteran Anthony Austin who has experienced 35 vintages in California. A University of California at Davis graduate, Austin studied under the great Andre Tchelistcheff. He help found and directed the first crush at Firestone Winery in 1976, the first modern-day commercial winery in the Santa Barbara region. After leaving Firestone in 1981 to establish his own label, Austin Cellars, he crafted two legendary Pinot Noirs in 1982 from Sierra Madre Vineyard and Bien Nacido Vineyard.

Sonoma Coast Vineyards was sold in 2007 to Vintage Wine Estates, with John Drady staying on as a managing partner and Austin continuing as winemaker. The label was changed, but extreme Sonoma Coast vineyard sources remained intact. The emphasis is on vineyard-designated wines with several single vineyard Pinot Noirs, a Chardonnay, and a Sauvignon Blanc.

The wines are available through the website store. Tasting is offered at Vintage Wine Estates Tasting Room in downtown Healdsburg.

Reviewed Wines

2008 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Balistreri Vineyard Bodega Ridge Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.62, 117 cases, $50. Inaugural release of this wine. Sourced from the western parcel of the Balistreri Vineyard located in Freestone overlooking the town of Bodega. Soil type is Goldridge. Clones 114, 777 and 828. 20%-25% whole cluster. 10-day cold soak, hand punch downs, inoculated to finish fermentation. Aged 18 months in 65% 36 months air-dried Sirugue French oak barrels. Lightly fined and filtered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of plum sauce, exotic spices, black currants, dark chocolate and seasoned oak. Intense core of sweet black cherry cola flavor persisting on the fruit-driven finish which leaves a subtle hint of tar in its wake. Smooth in texture, with good tannic support. A fruit lovers wine that is similar to the 2007 Balistreri Family Vineyard bottling but veers to riper flavors. Good. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Petersen Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.60, 185 cases, $50. Released Ocrtober 2010. This vineyard was planted in 1999 and is located in the far southwestern corner of Sebastopol. Soil type is Goldridge sandy loam. 20-25% whole cluster. Clones 115, 667 and 777. 10- day cold soak, hand punch downs, inoculated to complete fermentation. Aged 17 months in 65% new 36 month air-dried Sirugue French oak barrels. Lightly fined and filtered. · Lovely aromas of red and black berries, spice, rose petals and moss. Flavors of plum, blueberry and blackberry offered in an elegant style with supple tannins and admirable persistence on the stylish finish. Impeccable balance suggests age ability. Very good. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sea Fog Cuveé Sonoma Coast Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine

12.8% alc., pH 3.08, Residual sugar 1.8 g/L, 480 cases, $25. Sourced from several vineyards adjacent the coast enveloped in fog daily resulting in a high acid profile ideal for producing méthode champenoise sparkling wine. 92% Pinot Noir, 8% Chardonnay. Aged sur lees in bottle for 32 months. Disgorged June 2010. · Delicate light apricot color. Fine bead, pleasing aromas of blood oranges, red berries and yeast. Moderately rich flavored featuring layered notes of citrus, red berries, pear, cherry skins and yeast with a mineral underpinning. Bright, crisp and refreshing. Very good. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Balistreri Family Vineyard Freestone View Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.50, 342 cases, $75. Released June 2010. Clones 114, 115, 667, 777 and 828. 20% whole cluster, extended 10-day cold soak, hand punch downs, inoculated to finish fermentation, aged 18 months in 70% new 36 month air-dried Sirugue French oak barrels. Lightly fined and filtered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. With coaxing, red and black fruit aromas emerge set off by scents of forest floor and oak. Nicely composed with well-mannered tannins embracing a tasty medium-weight core of black cherries and black raspberries with an earthy undertone and a kiss of mocha, finishing with a slight grip of citrus on the big finish. A smooth mouth feel completes the experience. An interesting wine that changes in the glass over time. Decanting suggested if you open a bottle now. Very good. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Petersen Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 380 cases, $63. Clones 115, 667. 10% whole clusters, 8-day cold soak, hand punch downs, wild and Assmanhausen yeast fermentation, aged 10 months in 50% new 3-year-old air-dried tight grain French oak barrels. Lightly filtered. · Enticing aromas of cherries and strawberries with hints of forest floor and oak char. Brimming with juicy flavors of cherries, cranberries and pomegranate with a vein of earthiness, oak and herbs running through to the finish. Silky with gossamer tannins. The most precocious wine in the Sonoma Coast Vineyards lineup that is ready for drinking now. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Peterson Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 760 six bottle cases, Unreleased. Clones 115, 667 from the Peterson Vineyard. Aged 50% in new French oak for 10 months. This wine is offered for earlier drinking than the Sonoma Coast Vineyards and Balistreri Family Vineyard Pinot Noirs. · Lighter violet in color than the Balistreri. Ripe strawberries, black cherry and tar compose the aromas. Elegant presentation of pure and well-defined red berry and cranberry fruit with a touch of mint. Brisk acidity and a pillowy softness in the mouth. Ready for enjoyment now. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Freestone Hills Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $45. · Available on the website. Red plums and black currants with a spicy and earthy undertone. Bright acidity on the refreshing and lively finish. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc., 395 cases, $45. Sourced from Petersen and Hawk Hill Vineyards. Dijon 95 and Wente clones. Ages sur lees for 11 months using 50% new Sirugue French oak. · Very Burgundian in style featuring flavors of apple, citrus, brioche and roasted nuts with enough bright and crisp acidity to cut through lobster and an underlying minerality that is startling for California. Simply great. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 475 cases, $60. Way too young to drink now and thus still unreleased. · Tempting deep, dark fruits which are still engulfed by oak. Plenty of earthy spirit with a citrus lift on the lingering finish. Reviewed December 16, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 487 cases, $60. Clones 115, 667 and 777. 50% Koos Family Vineyard, 50% Zephyr Ranch Vineyard. 30% whole clusters, cold soaked 8-10 days, hand punch downs, spontaneous wild yeast fermentation supplemented with Assmanhausen yeast. Aged 20-22 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Lightly fined and filtered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple robe. On the nuanced nose there are aromas of black raspberry, forest floor, sage and oak toast. Darkly fruited with prominent plum jam flavors framed by seasoned oak. Admirable elegance and silkiness with brisk acidity showing a bit of citrus peel on the finish. Improves when tasted later in the day suggesting age ability. Wants, needs and should have food if drunk now. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Freestone Hills Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 270 cases, $62. Balistreri (4%) and Zephyr (96%) vineyards. Yields one-half to one ton per acre. 75% de-stemmed, 25% whole clusters, 8-10 day cold soak, hand punch downs, fermentation initiated with wild yeast and finished with Assmanhausen yeast. Aged 21 months in 50% new 3-year-old air-dried tight grain French oak barrels. Lightly fined and filtered. · Ripe berries and cherries create a glass-filling presence on the nose. High-collared ripe dark fruit with a riff of herbs and loam and a healthy acidic spine leaving an impression of grapefruit peel on an amazingly long finish. This wine has more cajones, the ripest fruit and the most comforting mouthfeel of any of the other 2005 vintage Pinot Noirs from Sonoma Coast Vineyards. Tasted again the next day from a previously opened re-corked bottle, it was even better portending a long life ahead. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Balistreri Family Vineyard Freestone View Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 72 cases, $67. Clones 114, 115, 667 and 828. 30% whole cluster, 11 day cold soak, hand punch downs two to three times a day, wild and proprietary yeast fermentation. Aged 21 months in 50% new 3-year-old air-dried, tight grain French oak barrels. Lightly fined and filtered. · Aromas of a fresh dark cherry pie entice. Demure dark stone fruits with plentiful oak and a vein of citrus that lingers on the finish. A bit austere and tight now but showing respectable finesse and soft tannins. This wine will perform beautifully at the dinner table. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2004 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.23% alc., 1043 cases, $60 was released in January, 2007. It is composed of grapes from 6 vineyards (60% Freestone area) and 7 French clones including Pommard 3, 113, 114, 115, 667, 777, and 828. · It is still un-evolved at this stage. I find that the Drady’s Pinot Noirs take at least a year after purchase to really strut their stuff. The 2003 is just now coming into its own (see page 7), Still, the pedigree is evident. There are copious and dense dark Pinot fruits, some earthiness and mushrooms lurking and a lush texture with a strong but but sensible tannic structure. Reviewed January 29, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.23% alc., 1,043 cases, $60. From seven vineyards in the extreme Sonoma Coast. Clones are Dijon 113, 114, 115, 667, 777, 828, and Pommard 3. Aged 20 months in 50% new French oak. · Deep ruby robe. Intense and rich but reticent nose of dark berries and allspice. Big plush fruit offers a fullness on the palate with notes of lavender, dark chocolate and herbs. Always changing in the glass. This wine reminds me more of Burgundy than most California Pinot Noirs. Obvious sophisticated breeding and winemaking. Needs more time to fully appreciate. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Balistreri Family Vineyard Freestone View Block Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.37% alc., 454 six-bottle cases, $100. The original 4-acre Freestone View Block of the Balistreri Family Vineyard was planted to a range of Pinot Noir Dijon clones in 1999. The 1- acre Alessio Block was added in 2005, two additional blocks were planted to Pinot Noir: Salmon Creek (3.4 acres) and the Bodega Ridge (4.2 acres). The southern-facing property is quite special, situated one mile west of Freestone and a mere four and half miles from the Pacific Ocean. Owned by Jack and Kathy Balistreri, this vineyard is one of the coldest vineyards on the extreme Sonoma Coast. High density planting of five Dijon clones (114, 115, 667, 777, 828). Yields are less than one ton per acre. 25% whole cluster. 10-day cold soak after clones blended together. Aged 20 months in 50% new French oak (36-month air dried barrels. Sonoma Coast Vineyards plans to build a winery on the Balistreri property in the near future. · Deep reddish-purple robe. Aromatic profile is complex with intense dark plum fruit, forest floor, steak char, roses and a little good funk. Attractive wild berry core with herbal overtones. Velvety texture and plenty of snappy acidity at end. Still relatively young and shy, cellaring for one to two years will reward the patient. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Ballisteri Vineyard Pinot Noir

14.37% alc., <200 cases, $100. Will not be released until the summer of this year. I wanted to get my hands on some of this now. The wine is from the Ballistreri Family vineyard, Freestone View Block , consisting of Dijon clones 114, 115, 667, 777, and 828. · Still tight like its estate brethren, the aromatics attack the senses with wondrous Pinot extracts. It is fat in the mouth with dark stone fruit, game and soy flavors accented by healthy tannins and an explosive finish. The generous acid backbone portends a long life. Reviewed January 29, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.16% alc., 783 cases, $60. · This was very sexy juice when young and now it is totally scandalous. Full bodied in texture and lush, this smells like earthy mushrooms and dark cherries. In the mouth there are plush ripe berry flavors that carry over into a finish that lasts an eternity. This wine has plenty of structure for the long haul. It builds in intensity over time in the glass which is a sign of a great wine. Still good the next day from an opened bottle. Reviewed January 29, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.16% alc., 783 cases, $60. Clones 113, 114,115, 667, 777, Pommard 3, Swan from six vineyards. Aged 19 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · On the aged nose there are aromas of dark fruits with a hint of porto, forest floor and crusty bread. Very ripe fruit accented by cigar box, root beer and raisin. Very smooth and silky with a pleasing dry finish. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2002 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.28% alc., 715 cases, $60. · Deep plum, blackberry and black cherry aromas set the stage for an onslaught of dark fruit flavors highlighted by herbs, wet earth and oak. Easy to drink, and Burgundian in spirit, this Pinot has the right balance of acid and dusty tannins to complement food. Reviewed January 29, 2007 ARTICLE »

2002 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.28% alc., 715 cases, $60. Clones 113, 114, 115, 667, 777, Beringer from four vineyards. Aged 19 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Strange fruitless aromatics resembling ranch dressing. Grape flavors, a touch of raisin, leather and oak. Moderately light with a very silky texture and moderate fine-grained tannins. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »