What We Say 2006 'Gap's Crown' Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
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 Humanitas Wines.
WINE GIVES ALERT!: Today’s wine is presented by Wine Gives and a portion of the proceeds from today’s sale will fight hunger and provide affordable housing for those in need. If you were invited to this wine event by a charitable cause, please be sure to use the special promotional code that they provided to you. Wine Gives takes no fees and 100% of all procceds raised go straight to the charity. Everybody wins – when Wine Gives.
Please tell your friends about today’s sale.
EXCLUSIVE WINE ALERT!: Today’s superb wine is available here before it becomes available anywhere else! Take advantage of this special offer now – before the rest of our operatives snap it all up…
SAVINGS ALERT!: This wine is being offered to you at 20% below the winery’s retail price, smart Operatives that buy six or more bottles today will also receive free ground shipping with coupon code: PINOTSPY (note: If you received another coupon code, please use that to ensure that your charitable contribution will be made.)
Mission Codename: Wine for the Greater Good
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Satisfy our Operatives thirst for great Pinot Noir while also satisfying their urge to support important social causes – and drink charitably
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Humanitas Wines
Wine Subject: 2006 Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Patrick Mahaney
Winemaster: Judd Wallenbrock
Backgrounder: When The Wine Spies was founded more than a year ago, founding Agents White and Red extended their personal commitment to social responsibility to the organization itself. In early 2008 Agent Red and Agent White founded an organization called Wine Gives, which brings together wineries and other wine retailers to support important causes. To date, numerous causes have received financial support from the efforts of all involved in Wine Gives fundraising programs. When Wine Gives got the call from Humanitas Wines owner, Judd Wallenbrock, The Wine Spies were fast to respond. Judd had been a respected icon and a hero of The Wine Spies since learning of his commitment to “finding solutions to three very primary issues: hunger, affordable housing and illiteracy”. This weekend Humanitas Wines and The Wine Spies are proud to present the perfect pairing: Humanitas’ Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir and YOU.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Ruby red with perfect clarity, to violet at its heart. This wine possesses a super bouncy surface that quickly settles quickly to perfectly still when swirled, leaving behind chubby and tightly-spaced legs that crawl down the glass
Smell – Richly aromatic with a rich nose of smoky blackberry, raspberry, sweet cherry, fresh earthen anise, spice, smoked meats and a beautiful flinty gunpowder that tells us that we’ll love this Pinot Noir
Feel – Silky and very round up-front, the wine is rich, thick and slightly warming with a unique combination of soft creaminess and soft, structured tannins
Taste – Delicious and bright, with layers of soft spice and fruit of deep cherry, smoky raspberry and blueberry with mild sage, mildest flint and soft cedar
Finish – This wine has a great finish that starts big, with a slight tartness and fruit – but then, interestingly, gets bigger, presenting elevating mid-palate smoky flavors – before ending delicate, elegant and slightly dry
Conclusion – Today’s wine makes us feel good – on multiple levels! Humanitas’ Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir is deep and delicious and satisfying to the senses, but also to the soul. Drinking a wine whose purpose it is drive positive social change is an experience that extends beyond the visceral experience of the drinking of the wine. It also happens that the wine itself is fantastic. The Gap’s Crown vineyard in the Petaluma Gap in southern Sonoma County has built fruit that expresses a truely unique character. Certainly this is a high quality California Pinot Noir, but there is something in this wine that is also pleasingly unfamiliar. Perhaps we are so used to this wines great Pinot Cousins from neighboring Carneros and other points in Napa and Sonoma, that this wine stands out as unique. Perhaps this is an expression or an example of what the French call Terrior. Whatever the case, we just love the wine!
Welcome, Reader. In this space, we usually write a fun-to-read description of how we came to know the winery that we are featuring. Fraught with peril, intrigue, drama and humor, these mission reports are intended to inform, entertain and, always tell you as mush as we can about the wine, the winemaker and the vineyards. Today we simply wanted to share with you this open letter to Judd Wallenbrock, owner of Humanitas Wines.
Thanks for putting your wine where your mouth is! Or, for putting it where other peoples mouths are – as a way to help those in need.
You have our admiration and deepest respect for your efforts to make the world a better place and we can’t think of a better way, than through the enjoyment of a fine wine.
Not to toot our own horns overly, but your belief in social responsibility mirrors our own. You do a great job of taking action and effecting change.
We’re proud, today, to be a part of your mission and you have our thanks for allowing us to bring your Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir to our Operatives before it is available anywhere else!
Speaking of your new Pinot, its exceptional, and one that we are certain our Operatives will fall in love with. We appreciate the sense of terrior (the mystical French terms for a wines expression of place) that the wine conveys and think that the Gap’s Crown region produces a very distinctive and very delicious Pinot Noir!
Keep up the great work, Judd, and the great wine. You’ve made fans of The Wine Spies. Both of your wines, and your spirit!
The Wine Spies
What the Winery Says
HOT WEATHER ALERT:
Due to the high in parts of the country, we recommend that you use an ‘Air Shipping’ option. Please be advsied that The Wine Spies will hold some orders as best we can to ensure a safe delivery, however, once your order is in UPS’s hands we have limited control of your wine shipment – please see our shipping policies for more information. To make your Air Shipment more affordable please use the promotion code AIRSPY to save 5% on your order. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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About This Wine:
Deep violet color; multi-layered aromas of dark fruits, spice and smoked meat; big, rich, lush and silky
on palate; attractive black cherry, spice and earth flavors; great structure and grip with a lasting finish.
All of the Humanitas wines are born of personal inspiration; much like a singer-songwriter weaves his/her story in song. Our 2006 ‘Gap’s Crown’ Pinot Noir was inspired by the Executive Director of a local food bank in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is perhaps the nicest person on Earth – completely giving of himself – yet driven, serious, and complex. And it helps that he is a Pinot freak!
This Pinot Noir has similar attributes – a very generous wine with a very serious nature, great pedigree, excellent in social situations and absolutely memorable. It is fantastic with duck, pork loin, and moderate cheeses. It also seems to go quite well with the most recent Cold Play CD and is perfect with just about any Keb’ Mo’ (but what isn’t?)!
Rooted to the steep, western-facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain, ‘Gap’s Crown’ is planted to Dijon clones 115, 667, & 828. Rocky, well-drained soils stress vines shrouded in summer fog from the Petaluma Gap. Tiny, concentrated berries yield an intense, stylistic Pinot Noir. It is a vibrant expression of the cool Sonoma Coast region.
About The Vineyard:
Gap’s Crown® is nestled on the western hillside of Sonoma Mountain leaving it exposed to the cool ocean breezes that funnel through the Petaluma wind gap throughout the growing season. This southern section of the Sonoma Coast AVA is emerging as a truly unique environment to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The blocks at Gap’s Crown® are planted between 320’ and 820’ above sea level and are predominantly situated on Goulding-Toomes Complex soil.
Humanitas is a unique winery with a very compelling story. Simply we make wine, sell it, and give the profits to charity!
Specifically, the profits go to find solutions to three very primary issues — hunger, affordable housing and illiteracy — and we’ve chosen America’s Second Harvest, Habitat for Humanity and Reading is Fundamental as our primary charities. However, we try to support whatever charity best addresses these issues community by community.
You see, at Humanitas, we don’t give the funds to the national headquarters of these charities. Rather, we give to the regional chapters in the communities where the wine was sold. In this way, by enjoying Humanitas, you are giving back to your own community!
But Humanitas is first and foremost about the wines. We are wine people — pure & simple. Our goal is to make outstanding wines and sell them affordably. And we also want to ‘do something good’ for the world. We married these two passions and Humanitas was born.
Humanitas is really delightful wine passionately crafted by a band of folks having a great time doing a good thing. We hope to change the world…one sip at a time!
Please join us, and please tell your friends, family & co-workers who love good wine and might embrace our vision. It is so easy…simply go to the ‘Wine Store’ section of the site, place and order, and enjoy a wonderful bottle of wine knowing that your purchase is also helping those less fortunate. What a painless and, well, enjoyable way to contribute! Charity never tasted so good!!
Case Production: 251 (11 barrels)
Bottling Date: April 7, 2008
Appellation: Sonoma Coast – ‘Gap’s Crown’ Vineyards Designation
Blend: 100% Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Clones: 3 barrels – clone 828; 4 barrels – clone 115’ 4 barrels – clone 777
Wood: 16 months French Oak