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Furthermore Pinot Noir Impresses

I love to give Chad Richards, one of the winemaker/owners of Furthermore Wines, a bad time about the winery’s labels. The winery's name, Furthermore, is in small script way at the bottom of the label which is 80% blank, and the name of the vineyard (Furthermore only produced vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs until recently) is in even tinier print below the winery name. Presbyopic adults will find the label challengingto read to say the least.

That said, I don’t give Chad a bad time about the quality of Furthermore Pinot Noirs for they are superb. I have been reviewing the wines for many years, dating back to the origins of the winery in 2006 at San Francisco’s now defunct Crushpad. The wines are now produced at an urban winery in San Francisco (ROAR), which Chad likes to downplay since consumers often perceive wines produced at urban wineries of lesser quality. This is definitely not the case with Furthermore Wines which have steadily and dramatically improved with each vintage.

I reviewed a number of 2012 Furthermore wines in March of this year, awarding high scores to all the offerings: Gloria Vineyard (94), Sierra Mar Vineyard (91), Gap’s Crown Vineyard (92), Nevina’s Vineyard (93), and Weir Vineyard (91). Four additional 2012 vintage Pinot Noirs including a small production, inaugural release special cuvée are reviewed here.

At this year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition, the Andre Tchelistcheff Winemakers of the Year award went to Chad Richard, Robert Zeches and Shalini Sekhar of Furthermore Wines. In addition, the 2013 Furthermore Nevina’s Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir won "Best Pinot Noir" in the competition and all 2012 Pinot Noirs received either a Gold or Double Gold award.

The wines are produced from grapes sourced along California’s coastal region, except for the estate Nevina’s Vineyard which was added to the lineup in 2011. The sources have varied some in different vintages and have included the following premium vineyards:

Furthermore Pinot Noir is sold on the winery’s website at and are sensibly priced. In addition, the wines are distributed to select restaurants and wine retailers in Northern California. The website was updated and considerably improved while I was writing this feature.

2013 Furthermore Eden Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.72, 125 cases, $50. 100% Mount Eden clone (thus the name of the vineyard). Harvest Brix 24.6º. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Striking aromas of fresh strawberry, cherry and sandalwood lead to a light to mid weight core of intensely flavored oak-kissed cherries. Very forward and immensely satisfying with a silky mouthfeel, the wine finishes with plenty of cherry goodness. When tasted later in the day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had further blossomed and offered a delightful charge of cherry and spice. Plenty of Pinot singing. Score: 94

2012 Furthermore La Encantada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 100 cases, $50. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of strawberry, raspberry and woodshed. Darker fruited on the palate featuring flavors of black raspberry and pomegranate. Forward and enjoyable now, with supple tannins and a lovely velvety mouthfeel that is quite seductive. Score: 91

2012 Furthermore Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 151 cases, $50. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Reserved aromas of cherry, rose hips tea and baking spices. This wine is packed with stunning spiced cherry cola flavor that attacks with a vengeance and persists through a long, refined finish. The tannins are balanced, the texture is rich and lush, and a mild tug of oak plays in the background. Score: 91

2012 Furthermore ALCHEMY Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 88 cases, $85. A new bottling that is a special cuvée blended from a subset of the winery’s single vineyard designates. This barrel selection is meant to reflect the vintage and the terroir of the Sonoma Coast and to age well. This wine will be made only in great vintages when the magic happens. · Moderately dark violet red color in the glass. There is noticeable oak overlay in this mid weight plus wine which offers a luscious array of darker red and black fruits accented with spice, cola and dark chocolate. The mid palate attack is intense and the finish is rich and satisfying. Lay this one down for a few years to allow the oak to settle in and the aromatics to fully arrive. Score: 93

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