2009 Falco Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Coast
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE / QPR ALERT:
Today’s Pinot Noir is an fantastic, approachable, budget-minded wine that we can’t recommend highly enough.
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Mission Codename: The Pinnacle
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red in search of a delicious, budget-minded Pinot Noir, for our exacting, Pinot-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: DaVero Farms & Winery
Wine Subject: 2009 Falco Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Winemaker: Ridgely Evers
Backgrounder: 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 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay very well.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful light ruby red, with even coloration from core on out to the pink edges of the wine. The wine spins and spins after a hearty swirl. When it settles, it leaves behind tall columns of wine-stained tears that move swiftly down the glass.
Smell – Bing cherry, raspberry, soft leather and brown spice mingle with young strawberry, bramble, subtle gunpowder and a hint of oak.
Feel – Soft and supple, the wine has a soft entry. Then, plush tannins and a bright acidity frame a mid-palate roundness that give the wine a voluptuous feel. As the fruit fades, soft spice makes a brief appearance.
Taste – Fresh black cherry juice, flinty raspberry and young strawberry gradually give way to spiced blackberry juice, dried cranberry, Bing cherry, dried violet petals and a hint of green tobacco leaf.
Finish – Long, bright and mouthwatering, with delicious fruit flavors that yield to earthy flavors of spice, minerals and flower petals.
Conclusion – Today’s 2009 Falco Pinot Noir from our new friends at DaVero Farms & Winery, is a bright, delicious, juicy, easily approachable wine. Easy drinking and lively, this wine shows great balance, on the palate and on the nose, delivering bright fruit and darker elements in near equal proportion. This is a very food-friendly wine that is as flexible as it is tasty. We paired our review bottles with fresh linguine with a fresh marinara sauce, steamed artichokes and spicy Italian sausages. The combination was divine!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Ridgely Evers
WINE EDUCATION: Self-taught
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Started helping to make wine in the Napa Valley in 1978; have directed DaVero’s winemaking since 2006.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: let Nature do her thing: natural yeasts, neutral oak, zero manipulation.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Nature bats last”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 2006
AGENT RED: Greetings, Ridge. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 Falco Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
RIDGELY EVERS: Great to be here — I think you guys are on to something.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
RIDGE: Two wines have been forks in the road of my life. In 1979 I had a 1961 Chateau Petrus, and it was a revelation; I thought to myself, “so THIS is what all the fuss is about!”
Then, in 1998 I was having dinner with Chef Mario Batali at his then-new restaurant in NYC, Babbo. He introduced me to a varietal I’d never had before, in the form of a 1994 Paolo Be a Sagrantino di Montefalco. We were having dinner at the bar, and I literally turned to him and said, “I’m going to plant this grape and make this wine.”
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
RIDGE: Paolo Bea. His wines are earthy, sexy, alive, and entirely natural. And I think we’re almost there with our Sangiovese and Sagrantino!
RED: Who do you make wine for?
RIDGE: We always make wine for ourselves and our friends, wines we love to drink. We don’t ever make wine for the “market” or for reviewers (in fact, we never submit our wines for reviews).
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
RIDGE: This is an absolutely classic Sonoma Coast pinot, in the lighter style. Bright bright color, lovely nose, and that incredible cherry character that pinot produces at its best.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
RIDGE: As a lighter pinot, it’s best paired with dishes of the same “weight.” This is the wine I reach for with salmon and asparagus, which is just starting to come on. I love it with a light pasta — say a primavera. And it’s delicious pre-dinner as an aperitif.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Sonoma Coast such a special place for Pinot Noir?
RIDGE: Nature does the work there. It’s cooler than it is inland, which makes the vines struggle a bit more to get their fruit ripe. This leads to that touch of austerity that I like in a wine, because it makes the wine much better with food.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
RIDGE: This is the time we focus on getting ready for the season to come. We just finished up a new, low-water frost system for our valley-floor vineyard, planted a hedgerow and insectory to improve the over vitality of the ecosystem, and finished pruning our 5,000 olive trees. I’d say 95% of what we do overall is in the field, not in the winery.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
RIDGE: To me, life is all about the dinner table. The most important ingredient is the people there with you, then the food and wine. Wine is an ingredient in a meal, and needs to be thought of in that context. You don’t want to be that loud guy at the bar; you want to be a delightful dinner companion that everyone remembers fondly.
We strive to make those wines.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
RIDGE: Seek out wines made from grapes that “want” to be where they’re grown; we can grow anything here in the wine country, but the varietals that are generally best suited for our climates are mostly Italian and Spanish (that’s good news, because there are some outstanding wines being made in Italy and Spain). And always taste wine with food, because your palate will taste that wine entirely differently than when you taste it by itself.
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 DaVero Farms & Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
A classic Sonoma Coast Pinot — translucent, star bright, with garnet tones. This is a soft Pinot Noir with a delicate balance of summer berries, supple tannins, and just a hint of oak in the finish.
This was a crowd pleaser at our June Sunset Supper. It’s fresh, fun, and food-friendly!
About The Winery:
Nestled in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley in northern Sonoma, our family farm feels a lot like Tuscany.
Which is no surprise: since 1982 we have consciously modeled ourselves after the farms in Tuscany. And every day we’re rewarded by this special place that never fails to amaze us with its sheer beauty.
We’ve always focused on sustainable farming and authentic flavors. Here, we grow olives, wine grapes, Meyer lemons, oranges, tangerines, peaches, plums, apples, pears, blackberries, quince, figs, persimmons, pomegranates, lavender – plus a huge vegetable garden. We also raise pigs, and chickens for eggs.
We’re proud to say we’re certified organic as well as Biodynamic® — a method and philosophy of farming that actually improves the land every year.
Of course, it’s not just the diversity of those Italian farms that we admire. It’s their passion for life, friends, family – and food!
Hardly a week goes by on our farm by without some kind of gathering involving family and friends, whether it’s cooking over the Tuscan grill in our fireplace, baking bread and pizzas in the outdoor oven Ridge and Philip built, or a pot-luck featuring spit-roast pig.
We hope you’ll find that our passion comes through in the products we make. Every one of them is hand-made and very small production, and everything we do is focused on quality.
Varietals: Pinot Noir