2010 Sonoma Valley Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Estate Vineyard
California: Sonoma Valley
Today’s Westwood Winery 2010 Sonoma Valley Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir is a welcome return from one of our favorite winemakers and wineries. Pinot grapes are notoriously difficult to grow well, and John Kelly has most certainly cracked the code!
Today’s wine is a tremendous balance of richness and subtlety, without any of the overblown characteristics that can sometime appear in the varietal. Lush flavors of tart cherry and sweet, dusty earth coat the palate, leaving you with hints of homemade cherry pie. The true highlight is the finish, with a lovely acidity that begs this wine to be paired with a robust, hearty winter meal.
If you’re a Pinot fan, we heartily recommend today’s wine. You’ll more than happy you did!
Deep, beautifully translucent garnet at the heart of the glass, with just a touch of a lighter, hazy rim.
Lush and concentrated on the nose, with notes of tart red cherry, raspberry, kola nut, dusty sweet earth, nutmeg, and a touch of minerality.
Well balanced, with sweet plum and fresh Bing cherry mingling with freshly picked mushroom, berry bramble, dark baking spices, and pomegranate black tea.
Elegant and restrained, with a lengthy finish highlighted by wonderful acidity, sweet fruit, and grippy tannins.
This is a real food wine. A golden puff pastry stuffed with beef tenderloin and freshly picked mushrooms would be wonderful. A lamb shank in a demi glace reduction served with polenta would also be great!
What the Winery Says
Color is a medium garnet with pale rose-purple edges; good clarity. The initial aroma is intensely estery. Once this blows off there is a profound, complex layer of fruit: sour cherry, pomegranate, plum skin, and raspberry. Beyond the fruit there is a mix of citrus peel, cinnamon or nutmeg, earth, and graphite. The initial perception in the mouth is sweet and round, but the acidity of the wine quickly asserts itself. This wine is tart. The finish is long and intense, with a creamy note under the tartness and tannin. The aftertaste is very grippy, intensely fruity, and briary.
Our 2010 Estate Pinot breaks new ground for us. It is very much a product of a much cooler-than-average vintage, and asserts itself in ways our prior releases of Pinot Noir do not. Today, the wine screams out for pairing with rich and fatty dishes. We believe that there is a strong potential for this wine to age with the power and elegance of our 1986 Haynes Vineyard Pinot.
- John Kelly
- Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
- Estate Vineyard
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Aged in 100% French oak
About the Winery
The modern history of Westwood Winery began in 2005 when the winery – founded in 1984 by Bert Urch and Betty Stoltz – was purchased and moved to Sonoma Valley. In 2014, the partners agreed that Westwood was ready to meet the world. Carl Stanton, a long-time Westwood partner and wine lover teamed up with celebrated Sonoma winemaker, David Ramey, to assemble some of the best artisans in Sonoma. Ben Cane joined to lead our winemaking team after seven years heading Twomey Cellars. Together the Westwood team is as unique as the Estate itself.
Winemaker Ben Cane
Ben is a native of Australia. After earning a B.S. in Organic Chemistry and Psychology from the University of Adelaide, a pivotal conversation with a family friend and winemaking mentor led him back for a post-graduate diploma in oenology in 1998. While in graduate school, to supplement and pay for his education he worked in many aspects of the wine industry, including vineyard and cellar work and managing a bottle shop. With winemaking degree in hand, Ben set out first for the** Hunter Valley, where he worked a harvest, and then to Santa Barbara County in California, where he was assistant winemaker for **Arcadian Wines.
Eventually he became a vineyard manager in the Barossa Valley. For the next five years Ben worked alternate vintages between Australia and Europe, with cellar and winemaking jobs in the Languedoc, New South Wales, Domaine Dujac in Morey-St.-Denis, De Bortoli Wines in Yarra Valley, Poderi Colla in Piedmont** and Yalumba Wines in the Barossa.
In 2006 Ben became a harvest assistant winemaker at Joseph Phelp’s Freestone Vineyards. In 2007, he was hired in an assistant winemaker role for the developing Pinot Noir program at Twomey Cellars and in 2008 was named as Winemaker. Through the 2013 vintage, Ben led the development of the Twomey Cellar’s exceptional Pinot Noir program, making Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and expanding the program to other regional and vineyard-focused wines.
In the northernmost part of the Valley of the Moon, tucked between Hood Mountain to the north and the Sonoma Mountains to the south we found our raison d’etre. The Annadel Gap Vineyard is blessed with prefect conditions for fruit that benefits from cool climate and slower maturation. Soft morning fog covers the vineyard until noon most days, and the afternoons are bathed in cool westerly winds ushered in from the Ocean. We were convinced this site was ideally suited to making exceptional Burgundian and Rhone based wines so, starting in 2001 and over the next several years, we meticulously planted our Annadel Gap Vineyard to rare clones of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Counoise, Mourvedre, Roussanne and Viognier. For the last decade, Westwood has focused on making limited amounts of Pinot Noir and Rhone Blends.