Uninvited But Welcome
Sometimes great Pinot just falls in your lap. Most of the Pinot Noir I currently review is wine sent to me by my
invitation. Occasionally, wine will show up at me wine locker, asking to be reviewed. Here are two producers
who recently followed that scrip.
Winemaker Erich Bradley gained notoriety with the excellent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
wines he crafted for Sojourn Cellars in Sonoma and more recently, the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines under
the Texture label. Jules Janssen is the assistant winemaker.
The brand is named after Dr. Pangloss, the eternal optimist in Voltaire’s novel Candide. The lineup of varietals
includes Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, a white Rhone blend, Chardonnay and Chenin
Blanc. Some wines are only sold to wine club members of ‘The Optimist Society.’ such as the 2017 Charles
Vineyard Pinot Noir reviewed here. Tasting is available daily by reservation at the Pangloss Cellars Tasting
Lounge in Sonoma. Visit www.panglosscellars.com.
2017 Pangloss Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.58, 506 cases, $40. Aged 10
months in French oak barrels, 30% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Inviting scents of black cherry, wax
and a hint of oak. Light to mid-weight in style, with plenty of well-spiced dark cherry and berry fruits to satisfy.
Very sleek and polished in the mouth showing excellent harmony and a cherry-driven finish. A very friendly
2017 Pangloss Cellars Charles Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.55, 492
cases, $50. Sourced from a 15-acre vineyard near the town of Boonville that is farmed by Bill and Nancy
charles. 100% Pommard clone.Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 30% new.
Moderate garnet color in the
glass. Aromas of dark cherry, raspberry, strawberry and cardamom spice rise from the glass. Very impressive
entry and mid-palate fullness in a mid-weight plus style featuring flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and
boysenberry. A compliment of oak and cola pitches in. A wine that aims to please with admirable length on the
Three Furies Wines
There is a philosophical bent to this winery’s goal. The vigneron from the antipodes, Martin Mckenzie, produces
wines “that are a manifestation of his insatiable curiosity and quest for truth, power, and beauty in wine.” His
wines are “an expression of respect for the power of nature.” Martin is a New Zealand native who crafted wines
for Stonyridge Vineyard on remote Waiheke Island, New Zealand, for ten years before moving to California
wine country in 2009 to practice his craft. Three Furies Wines is a partnership between Martin and Olin
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are offered in limited-edition, single-vineyard releases. Current releases are
Constant Vengeance Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA and The Angry One Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia
Highlands (The Second Fury). The third wine, Fury (The Third Fury) will be released in 2022. The winery’s
mailing list membership, “The Society,” gives members the convenience of receiving three bottles of each
Furies wines upon release. Visit www.threefurieswines.com.
The wines have a few special placements including The French Laundry, Torc, Sante, The Fairmont Sonoma
Mission Inn, and the K. Laz Wine Collection.
2019 Three Furies Constant Vengeance Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 120 cases, $85. Sourced
from the 35-acre Rancho La Viña Vineyard planted to
Pinot Noir. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Enticing
aromas of black cherry, pomegranate, brisket, spice and
a hint of espresso. A very luxurious mouthfeel is instantly
agreeable. A mid-weight styled wine with a heady core of
black cherry, dark raspberry and cola flavors with a
subtle note of toasty oak. Nicely integrated tannins and
acidity, with a quenching finish that leaves an
impression. As Martin noted, “Constant Vengeance is
impossible to resist,” and I agree. The wine is
considerably more enjoyable several hours after opening
and reaches a crescendo the following day from a
previously opened bottle.