James Family Cellars
2008 Stony Point Vineyard Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Stony Point Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Coast
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s single vineyard Pinot Noir is an absolutely lovely wine made by a great boutique winery that specializes in Pinot Noir. With just over 200 cases produced, be sure to pick up an allocation of this delicious wine – before it is gone forever.
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Mission Codename: Nothin’ Phony About Stony – Part Two
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to James Family Cellars, a hidden gem, first uncovered by The Wine Spies two years ago. Secure a delicious single vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: James Family Cellars
Wine Subject: 2008 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Mat Gustafson
The Sonoma Coast AVA is the 750 square mile area with the Pacific ocean on its western boundary, the San Pablo Bay to the south and Mendocino County to the north, headed inland to the other designated AVAs in Sonoma County. The region is heavily influenced by the cooler ocean climate, increased rainfall and fog that lingers long on the coastal mountains. The specific climate suits the demanding Burgundian varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir very well.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Bright and crystal clear ruby red with glistening highlights through its deep hued heart. Along the edges the color lightens to a ruby pink and when swirled, this springy wine leaves random clusters of medium thick fast legs on the side of the glass.
Smell – Both ripe and tart red fruit, but primarily red cherry blends with complex exotic and hot spice, sweet oak (vanilla and caramel), subtle earthy and graphite gun flint and finally fresh floral aromas.
Feel – Smooth and supple but still well structured with lively acidity. The tannins linger at the mid-palate giving this medium-to-full-bodied dry wine a great feel on the tongue.
Taste – Rich fresh and tart red fruit including red cherry, raspberry and hints of strawberry and cranberry are supported by sweet oak and exotic spice. A touch of vanilla caramel and cola linger with this wine’s soft earthy, floral and flinty undertones.
Finish – Long and pleasant with this wine’s red fruit lingering and then gently fading leaving behind the tannins and acidity from the mid-palate with hints of spice, earth and sweet oak.
Conclusion – The 2008 James Family Cellars Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a wonderful wine that is drinking very well now, but will certainly improve and evolve in its complexity over the next several years. Fresh and approachable, with great subtle complexity on both the nose and palate. Well structured but still plush and elegant.
* GRAPE GROWER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER*
SUBJECT: Jeff James
FARMING EDUCATION: U.C. Davis – Agricultural Science & Management degree
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF:
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Start with good grapes, then don’t mess them up.
GRAPE GROWER QUOTE: “You want to know how to make a small fortune in farming?… you start with a large fortune.”
FIRST HARVEST AT STONY POINT VINEYARD: September, 2000
GRAPE GROWER INTERVIEW
AGENT RED: Greetings, Jeff. It’s great to be showcasing your wine again – and it’s great to have a chance to interview a grape grower. We are thrilled to be showing your latest Pinot Noir today. Our Operatives have always really loved your Pinot! Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
GROWER: Thank you so much. We’re happy to have the fruits of our labors on display.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER:My friends at U.C. Davis would occasionally bring the wines that they were making from their vineyards at home. Some were really good… some were not.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
GROWER: This wine is made from our ’08 harvest. It was a year of tremendous frost in the springtime and generally moderate growing conditions throughout the season. We wound up with a slightly larger than expected crop, which is great because the wine is tasting so good that it would have been a shame to come up short.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
GROWER: Try it with grilled pork tenderloin with a cranberry-apple chutney. Delicious!
RED: In your opinion, what makes your vineyard so special?
GROWER: Our vineyard is influenced throughout the year by the wind and fog that prowl in from the Pacific Ocean. The wind and cool weather create a very long ripening season that allows our fruit to develop a lot of complexity.
RED: What is occupying your time in the vineyard these days?
GROWER: I’m still mowing weeds, which is generally unnecessary by this point in the season. We’re removing suckers and unwanted shoots so that the vines can put all of their energy into the grape clusters that we’ve selected to keep.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
GROWER: The next time you enjoy a glass of wine or a bite of food, try to remember to honor the farmer that produced it for you. Cheers!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the James Family Cellars can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal - San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Juicy cherry with hints of raspberry flavors pop from the glass along with a breath of roses and vanilla on the nose. Silky caramel, dark cherry and vanilla mingle on the palate while berries and plum grace the finish. Delicious tonight, or enjoy to its fullest over the next 4-5 years. James Family Cellars is proud to have won a Gold medal for this wine at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Stony Point Vineyard is located in a particularly cool area of the famed Sonoma Coast winegrowing region. Situated on the northern edge of the Petaluma Wind Gap and less than sixteen miles from the coastline the vines are influenced by the Pacific Ocean daily. This cool climate creates a low-yielding slow-ripening environment that is perfect for Pinot Noir.
Single Vineyard Pinot Noir:
From the vineyard to the cellar, our goal is to craft wines that are a delight to drink and a distinct expression of our vineyard. This ensures that our site’s singular “fingerprint” is revealed in the wine that we ultimately present to our customers.
Patience is a Virtue For Pinot Noir - James Family Cellars’ grapes are nurtured in the vineyard throughout the year and hand picked based on taste and appearance. In the cellar, we emphasize gentle handling, slow fermentation and lengthy aging to promote a Pinot Noir wine that is both elegant and long lasting. Our patience is rewarded by the seductive flavors and textures of a world-class Pinot Noir.
Cases Produced: 628 cases
Clones: 113, 115
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: Stony Point Vineyard
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Harvest Dates: 10/1/2008
Barrel Aging: 10 months in French Oak (33% new)