Our last tasting of 2021 concluded with a lineup of amazing Pinot Noirs. The most astonishing thing was the outcome. In all the years of blind tastings we never had a unanimous decision.
The line up included the following wines:
Paul Lato “Victor Francis” 95 Points
Dragonette “Sanford & Benedict” 96 Points
Brewer Clifton “Hapgood” 98 Points
Rivers Marie Occidental 97 Points
DuMol “Ryan” 96 Points
Lucia “Soberanes” 96 Points
Cattleya “Belly of the Whale” 97 Points
Roar “Rosella’s” 95 Points
Peay “Pomarium” 94 Points
Ernest “Cleary Freestone Ranch” 95 Points
THE WINNER: ERNEST CLEARY FREESTONE RANCH
Second place: Cattleya “Belly of the Whale” 97 Points
Third place tie: DuMol “Ryan” 96 Points
Third place tie: Paul Lato “Victor Francis” 95 Points
Ernest 2019 Pinot Noir Cleary Freestone Ranch, Sonoma Coast
Retail 64.00 — GGWC 59.99
SPECIAL PRICING 54.99 on 12 SOLID (CALL IN YOUR ORDER TO RECEIVE SPECIAL PRICE)
Well structured and nicely concentrated, this outstanding medium to full-bodied wine accents its core of focused red-cherry flavors with subtle ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg that add attractive complexity and interest. Made with 30% whole clusters in the fermenting vat and aged in 38% new French barrels, it should be best from 2025
The Vineyard: Cleary Freestone Ranch encompasses the 14 acres of Ernest’s vines in foggy Freestone Valley. Only 7 miles from the Pacific, it is one of the coldest areas in all of west Sonoma Coast with the marine layer lingering well into mid-day and returning late afternoon. Goldridge soil with clay peppering closer to Salmon Creek. The extremely cool climate allows for extended hang time before harvest delivering deep complexity.
Winery Notes: The workhorse blocks of our 14 acres of PN in Freestone Valley lead a beautiful and juicy attack on this wine. Peppered with a little bit of stems to balance out its naturally high acidity, this is one of the most complete wines we’ve made off of our land. The organic farming practices are paying off, lending naturally low yields as the vines find their balance without much intervention from us. Some of the best chemistry and fermentation curves I’ve seen off of these blocks. Aged in mostly 500L puncheons with some new 228L barrels for 18 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Only 150 cases were produced!
Winemaker Notes: “Garnet in color revealing focused red cherry, plums, wild bramble, and undisturbed forest floor on the nose. The cool growing season delivers supple tannins framing bright, natural acidity and a purity of fruit traced with ginger and nutmeg.”
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