2008 Sonoma Coast

Pinot Noir

$55.00 a bottle

I felt it was time to blog another great Sonoma County Pinot Noir. We are so lucky to have so many great ones to choose from here. My favorite and first choice for Pinot Noir is the Russian River Valley with their complexity, huge structures and earthiness. So I was surprised that I really enjoyed this 2008 Freestone Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This wine is definitely at the top of my list for great Sonoma County Pinot. Last year I attended an event called “Pinot Smack Down” which numerous North Coast Pinot Noirs were all under one roof for us to taste and judge. There were many good wines I tasted that day but this 2008 Freestone Pinot Noir really stood out among the rest, and was an easy first place vote for me. Freestone Winery and Vineyards is located just 5-8 miles from the Pacific Ocean just west of Bodega Bay in the small town of Freestone. This location provides a long and cool growing season just perfect for Pinot Noir. Freestone Winery is owned by the Phelp’s family of Joseph Phelps Vineyard. In 1999 they began developing 100 acres of vineyards near Freestone and in 2007 produced their first harvest of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Freestone Winery practices bio-dynamic farming, enhancing the natural vineyard under the guidance of winemaker Theresa Heredia. I was finally able to visit and taste at Freestone Winery this week for the first time. I was also able to meet and taste with Freestone’s, extremely knowledgeable tasting room manager, Brad Schneider. Brad insisted that I try all their wines that day even though I was just there for the Pinot Noir. After revisiting their Pinot Noir I remembered why I enjoyed this wine so much. This 2008 Pinot Noir has enhancing aromas of black cherry and cedar box. First tasting vibrant cherry and tea that lingers, infusing into spices and a light earthiness. This Pinot’s finish is creamy and extremely smooth on the palate leaving you craving another sip. Freestone’s 2008 has great acidity, great structure, rich with flavors but yet very elegant. Wine Enthusiast gave this bottle a 90 point rating. If heading out to the Sonoma Coast a definite must stop!

Inspiration Vineyards

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Dry Creek Valley

$48.00 a bottle

Over the last year and a half I have met some very incredible people in the wine industry through twitter and blogging. When I find that memorable bottle to blog it’s always important for me to meet up with the winemaker and or owner to hear their story and what goes into creating that great bottle. I wanted to start off my blog this 2012 with a winery owner and winemaker that left everything behind to follow his dream of owning a winery and making his own wine. Jon Phillips and his wife Barbara left everything behind in the bay area and headed up to the wine country to pursue a dream. Jon Phillips of Inspiration Vineyards has such a passion for wine that radiates off him, there is definitely no denying that he loves what he does. I had the pleasure through twitter to meet up with both him and his wife, whom turned out to be two amazing people that I’m so lucky to have had the chance to meet. Back when this 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was still in the barrel I was able to meet up with Jon to taste a barrel sample. After sampling that day I knew then this was going to be a great wine and future blog.

Knowing my love for the Rock Pile appellation and wine, Jon was very excited to have me sample this Cabernet Sauvignon. Jon was able to purchase a small amount of the Rock Pile to add to this Cabernet. His 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 80% Cabernet from Dry Creek Valley, 10% Merlot from Rock Pile, 5% Cabernet from Sonoma Valley, 5% Cabernet Franc from Sonoma Valley. This Cabernet is aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 33 months, 30% which are new. With this combination of vineyards I feel that Jon has really perfected his Cabernet Sauvignon. A super smooth Cabernet that is complex with flavors yet has a nice softness on the palette. Aroma’s of this wine are of huge fruit, dark berries, black currant, dried fruit and spices. Tasting first blackberry then other dark berries, plum, and extremely rich spices. This 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon finishes with mocha and light cigar box. Definitely ready to drink and enjoy now but I think wine will be at it’s prime in two years. Inspiration Vineyards is a small winery located in the Russian River Valley and makes several varietals of wine that include Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Syrah.