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Harrington Wine

Harrington is an urban winery, located in a warehouse in the Produce District of San Francisco. Proprietor and winemaker Bryan Harrington is a Pinot Noir specialist who has achieved little notoriety, but his wines are truly worth your interest.

While working as a bartender in San Francisco, Harrington traveled to Europe and became enamored with the very small producers, tending tiny vineyard plots and crafting a few barrels of wine. It was a model that he eventually was to pursue. He began by making wine in his basement in San Francisco, took several University of California Davis classes, moved on to a cooperative winemaking facility in Berkeley, and most recently settled into a new winery in San Francisco.

The 2006 lineup of Pinot Noirs includes wines from five California appellations: Brousseau Vineyard in the Chalone appellation of Monterey County, the Gap’s Crown Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast, the Iund Vineyard in Carneros, the former Birkmyer Vineyard of Wild Horse Valley in Napa and the Wiley Vineyard in the Anderson Valley. The wines are crafted in an artisanal fashion with no wine made in larger than a 221 case lot.

I first became interested in Harrington wines after tasting them at the World of Pinot Noir in 2006. The wines stood out with individuality, were strikingly seamless and exhibited deft winemaking.

2007 Harrington Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.59, 227 cases, $40. This vineyard sits 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most westerly Anderson Valley vineyards. This cool area, known as the “deep end,” is often the last Pinot Noir vineyard harvested in the Anderson Valley. The old vines are rooted in fractured sandstone and dense loam. Integral to this wine is the 25-year-old Pommard block. Clones 37 and 777 complete the composition. Aged 10 months in 25% new French oak. · A big nose replete with black fruits, oregano and green garden. Blue and red fruits on the palate with a citric tang on the finish. Pleasant, but seems dull at present, lacking punch and finish. Not typical of what I have come to expect from this vineyard and I suspect this is an off bottle. I reviewed this wine at the 2009 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival and said, “Alluring nose of black cherries with forest floor and stem spice. Very tasty dark berry and plum fruit with edible flower and chocolate overtones. Comforting in the mouth with soft tannins and bright acidity.”

2006 Harrington Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $45. · This alluring wine smells and tastes like a fresh Bing cherry pie. There is judicious use of oak, brisk acidity and a seamless integration of fruit and tannin.

Harrington Wines are available for tasting daily at Grange Sonoma, a tasting room collective located in Sonoma at 23564 Arnold Drive (on Highway 121). An Open House will be held at the new winery located at 1559 Custer Avenue in San Francisco on Saturday, December 13th, 12:00-5:00. The wines are available for purchase from the website at as well as a number of retailers in the Bay Area. 415-652-9655.

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