2005 Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Herrerias Vineyard
California: Sonoma County
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Adobe Road.
Mission Codename: Days of wine and Porsches
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Spend a day at the track with wine producer and Porsche racing legend Kevin Buckler to find why his wines, like the cars he races, are legendary
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Adobe Road
Wine Subject: 2005 Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Franc Dusac
SPECIAL NOTE: This weekend, January 26th and 27th, Kevin and his team will be running their Porsches at the Rolex 24 at Datyona, in Florida. The Wine Spies wish them the greatest success!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautifully shimmering red, reminding me of Porsche GT3 brake calipers, this wine has a hint of violet color at its heart, is clear at the edges, and has slow-moving legs that streak down the glass in groups of six (was this a planned homage to the Porsche GT3 3.6 liter flat 6 cylinder engine?)
Smell – Earthen cherry, gunpowder, salted rocks, dried violets, mildest forest floor, sweet oak and the slightest hint of dried salami. One of our agents even suggested that they detected the smell of fresh racing slicks, but under chemical analysis we can assure you that this wine is 100% Pinot Noir
Feel – Slippery and mouthcoating, this wine has supple tannins that grip the cheeks and tongue
Taste – Dusky and smoky cherry with dark stone fruit, mild spice, cherry, Indian black tea and cranberry
Finish – Great great minerality and dryness and flavors that taper off slowly and ‘mouth-watheringly’
Conclusion – Like Kevin’s racing career, this wine finishes in first place. It is a classic California Pinot with a refined and very balanced quality that I really love. While Porsche cars are seen extremely technical, Porsche racing as demonstrated by Kevin Buckler, is filled with passion and excitement. This fervor translates into his wines, but rather than seeming an overly technical or mechanical wine (as we have experienced from other producers), this is a wine of sophisticated but also subtle character.
I love my missions to France. The wine, the climate and the food all seem to agree with me.
On a recent mission to the French village of Anjou in the Loire Valley (the region in France best known for Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc wines), I was tipped off by a local asset that winery owner and racing legend Kevin Buckler was staying in a hotel neighboring my own.
He was in France for his annual appearance at the world famous auto race, 24 Hours of Le Mans. Kevin and his team drive the incredible Porsche GT3. Kevin is a world-class driver, and he and his team have racked up wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002.
Kevin’s winery, Adobe Road, had been under light surveillance for a few months already and Central Command was preparing to send an Agent to investigate – but I got my own once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Kevin in his racing element, and Central Command approved my impromptu mission and I extended my stay in France.
I am enough of a Porsche fan to have my own sights set on a 2008 Cayman S. Since I had the brochure with me on my travels I used it as a prop, taking it with me to the hotel restaurant where Kevin and his team were having dinner. Having made friends with the Maître ’D earlier (I buttered him up with a bottle of Patrick Bodouin Anjou Villages Cabernet Franc ), I was seated next to their table.
I sat down and positioned the Cayman brochure so that it would be seen by Kevin or his crew. Then I ordered a bottle of great wine and waited. They took the bait and one of the guys at the table leaned over and said to me, “Hey, Buddy. That’s a nice car, but why not spring for a real Porsche and get a GT3?”
Now, I knew that the monster GT3 was their car, but I replied, “I leave that car to the professionals. It’s better suited to the racetrack, if you ask me.”
That opened up a great conversation about Porsches and about wine that went late into the night. Kevin waxed poetic about both and I enjoyed his passion on these two great subjects. As the evening was ending, Kevin’s crew chief invited me to visit pit row for a brief tour of their on-track operations. I jumped at the chance and enjoyed every second of it. At the end of the tour, I asked if I could ride along during a check-ride… and was nearly laughed off the track.
Once the crew chief wiped the tears from his eyes, he became very serious. He quickly escorted me away from the pit row, handed me a few bottles of Adobe Road Pinot Noir, and pushed me toward the security exit. Oh, well. At least I tried. And, at least I walked away with an arm full of Kevin’s excellent Pinot Noir.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Herrerias Vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.
The location the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the Daytona Speedway can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
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About This Wine:
This concentrated cherry-filled Pinot takes on a range of classic Sonoma Coast characteristics and flavors including dried violets, black tea and cranberries, all nicely layered with sweet oak and a wisp of forest floor. This gregariously youthful wine dances on your palate with just enough acid and tannins to be a sure favorite of yours for drinking now or cellaring for the next few years.
About The Winery:
Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.
Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.
With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off.
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Harvest: September 3, 2005
Barrel Aging: 19 months in French oak
Winemaking: Hand harvested gently destemmed berries that were cold soaked and fermented in small, open-top stainless steel tanks that were punched down three time daily through fermentation and gently basket pressed. And set to barrel aging.
Release: May 2007
Bottled: April 4, 2007
Production: 394 cases
Analysis: Alcohol 14.3%