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Small Sips of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

2008 Stomping Girl Split Rock Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $38. A newer family owned winery specializing in Pinot Noir from purchased grapes. · Shy aromatics with hints of black cherries, spice and warm cookies. Nicely weighted cherry and strawberry fruits carry over to a pleasant finish of moderate length. Doesn’t have the firm tannins often found in Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs. I admire this wine for its balance and finesse. Very good (-).

2007 Hart’s Desire Rockin H Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $20. Double Gold Medal at Sonoma County Harvest Fair. · Very strange aromatics featuring dilute dried cherry aromas, oak and green beans. Slightly confected cherry essence delicately structured with soft tannins. The flavors trump the nose. Decent.

2007 Calstar Cellars Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $22. From winemaker Rick Davis (Londer, Halleck). · The nose starts off bright with aromas of black cherries, red berries, spring herbs and a hint of oak. Over time in the glass, the intensity fades unveiling notes of wet leaves and brioche. Nicely herbed red fruits with discreet richness, soft tannins, and moderate persistence. A workhorse Pinot that is not extraordinary, but has everything in check leading to a pleasant drinking experience that is value-priced to boot. Decent (+)

2007 Roessler Wines Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 248 cases, $42. · The nose is very subdued at present showing little fruit and primarily herbal oak. Slightly tart raspberry, cranberry and blackberry flavors supported by sweet oak. Plush and reasonably intense on the mid palate with some persistence on the finish which leaves a sharp snap of acidity in its wake. Doesn’t impress at this price. Decent.

2007 Ceritas Escarpa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 130 cases, $54, wax seal. The name Ceritas is Spanish for “mineral expression of soil.” My first experience with this newer label from winemaker John Raytek and his spouse Phoebe Bass. · Deeply colored in the glass. Bright cherry cola, wild berry, and sawed wood aromas come at you. Hard to resist. Dark red fruits sing on the palate. Rich, but with admirable finesse and a good cut of acidity. This wine really aims to please with a pillowy texture, fine tannins, and a lingering finish. You get well-structured fruit, lively acidity, and low alcohol to boot: any whiners? Order online at or

2006 Emeritus William Wesley Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $45. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A fruity nose displaying scents of dried cherries, grape jam and barnyard. Tasty wild berry and black cherry compote wrapped in firm tannins finishing with an aromatic and fruity finish of impressive length. With lively acidity and good harmony, this Pinot will age beautifully. A wine to partner with hearty food. Very good.

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