What We Say 2005 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
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 Peters Family Winery.
Mission Codename: The Burgundian Californian
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Locate and procure a stunning single vineyard Pinot Noir in Sonoma County
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Peters Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Douglas Peters
Backgrounder: The Wine Spies have been featuring some incredible Pinot Noir of late, but requests have been pouring in for a Single Vineyard Pinot Noir – so we sent Agent Red to Sonoma County to discover the best example he could find. Read his tasting notes and his mission report below to find out how he located today’s incredible Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale garnet with great clarity and sparkling edges, with a tight surface and fat, tightly-spaced legs
Smell – Deep and warm aromatics of raspberry, cherry, candy apple, vanilla, and earth, with subtle tones of mocha, spice, earth and a hint of dried meats
Feel – Soft and round with an initial wetness that is soon complimented by a slight dryness as the wines soft tannins appear
Taste – Rich and dark, with concentrated flavors of cherry, raspberry, mocha, black fig with leather and soft spice
Finish – Long and lushly sweet with flavors that shift and change as they tail off slowly
Conclusion – You’ll thank me when you taste this great Pinot Noir, I assure you. This wonderful wine from wine maker, Douglas Peters, is a shining example of how great California Pinot Noir can be. With lavishly deep flavors, great aromatics, and a softly round mouth-feel, this is a Pinot that pleases on so many levels. Be sure to decant this wine before you drink it for the best experience. After 4 hours in the air, the wine cooled down, softened and really opened up for me. If you are sleuthing out the perfect single vineyard Pinot, sleuth no further. You’ve found it in this great wine.
One of my most valued Assets, Codename: Valley Girl, alerted me to Peters Family Winery’s Pinot Noir recently. After an undercover visit to the winery tasting room, I needed no convincing that this wine was wonderful treat that our Operatives needed to be brought up to speed on.
Typically, when I have my sights set on a wine, procuring it is not usually a problem. Our reputation often proceeds us and wineries make their wonderful wines immediately available to us.
The mission to procure this wine, however, was somewhat more difficult; Peters Family winemaker and head honcho, Douglas Peters was secreted away in an undisclosed location – but I was determined to track him down so that we could negotiate a small procurement for our Operatives.
A flurry of email and telephonic subterfuge ensued and I tracked Doug to his secret lair south of the border. Because his Pinot Noir is that good_, I spared no expense and called on our resident pilot, Agent White, to fuel up the Wine Spies Spy Plane. Reluctant to spend the money for a long flight like this one, Agent White did take a bit of persuasion but, in the end, complied with my request; He was easily convinced after one small taste of this wine.
While I didn’t have an exact location on Doug, I did have the name of the village. After a harrowing landing on a small dirt strip in high crosswinds (an Agent White favorite!), we were able to convince the local constabulary to help us locate Doug. It only too a few cases of wine to do the trick.
We found Doug on the beach, recognizing him from his photo on his website. A glass of wine in hand, Doug seems to be enjoying the sunset.
Wasting no time with subterfuge, I got right to the point.
“I’m sorry to bother you on your vacation, Mr. Peters. I’m Agent Red, Wine Spy, and I am here to ask you for a your wine.”
“Sorry, I don’t link to share glasses with strangers. You know, germs”
Then a smile spreads across his face and he claps me on the shoulder (a feat that, at a head and a half taller than me, requires that Doug stoop slightly to reach me). “I’m just having fun with you,” He says. “Come on, have a seat, I’ll pour you a glass of my Pinot Noir.”
I explained that is was because of this same Pinot that I made this expedition.
“It’s gooooood, isn’t it?” he asks.
My turn to smile.
We enjoyed the rest of the bottle, chatting about his wines and his approach to winemaking. Doug creates wines that are certainly of California, but also in a more Burgundian style, giving the wines a great balance between old world and new. This, in my opinion, is a great way to approach winemaking as it delivers the best qualities of these two winemaking styles – without being at odds with each other.
After some deft negotiations, I had secured a small allotment for you, Operative, and then Doug excused himself.
“Here’s another bottle for you,” he offered. I’m off to watch the lunar eclipse tonight. It’ll be 3 years until we see another one. See you back in the States!"
With that, he left me there to further ponder his Pinot Noir. Doug’s love for his craft shines through in this wine, which exhibits balance, brilliance and a depth of character that I find uncommon.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The general location of the Stage Gulch Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Peters Family Winery
About This Wine:
This beautifully balanced, richly concentrated pinot noir showcases classic pinot noir varietal flavors, its Sonoma Coast single vineyard terroir, and its Burgundian vinification. On the nose the wine exhibits opulent, seductive aromas of cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, vanilla, and lavender. On the palate lush cherry, raspberry, mocha, vanilla, and fig notes are followed by mineral, leather, and asian spice notes on the classically textured silky finish. Miniscule yields of 1-2 tons per acre in the vineyard, and extended maceration during fermentation contribute to this pinot’s rich fruit concentration and ample tannic structure. A combination of diverse clonal selections in the vineyard, and varied yeast selections during fermentation, contribute to the complexity of the lots selected for the final blend. The use of 100 % free run wine only lends beautiful balance to the final blend, and bottling 100% unfiltered captures all of this wines complex flavors, aromas, and texture. This pinot noir’s great balance of fruit, acid, tannin, and alcohol make it delicious and approachable now in its youth, as well as a wine which will reward careful cellaring over the next decade.
About The Winery:
Peters Family Winery is dedicated to producing compelling, extraordinary wines which reflect their single vineyard terroir and meticulous vinification. Our partnerships with world-class vineyards, and our commitment to intensive hand-crafted production, have produced wines which showcase great flavors, exceptional complexity, and superb balance. All of our wine operations are conducted with great care at our winery, located in the town of Sebastopol, Califonia, in the heart of Sonoma county. Our continuing goal is to spare no effort to produce truly great wines. Cheers!