What We Say 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
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Mission Codename: 50 69 6E 6F 74
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Peters Family Winery’s to retreive their newest Pinot Noir, their 2006 Sonoma Coast
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Peters Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast
Winemaker: Douglas Peters
Backgrounder: Our Operatives were so smitten with the last Peter’s Family Pinot Noir that we featured, that we kept the winery under close surveillance – in anticipation of the release of their newest Pinot. Today, Agent Red returns with their 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. You’ll find it here, today, before it is available anywhere else. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report for the full details on today’s fantastic wine.
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 varietal of Pinot Noir very well.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Crystal clear ruby red with a slightly darker core and great concentration out to the slightly lighter edges of the wines. When swirled, quickly-formed and tightly-packed clusters of thick legs legs speed down the side of the glass
Smell – Lush and fruit-driven at first, with bold aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and young blackberry. These sit easily atop intriguing aromatic black tea, cinnamon, soft gunpowder, vanilla and dark mixed spices
Feel – Soft and cool up front, this wine starts soft and plump. Then, quickly, mild medium tannins take hold at the mid-palate, drying the tongue, lips and cheeks with a soft minerality
Taste – Pronounced cherry, young strawberry and raspberry lead the charge. These are followed by touches of spice, earth, fresh herbs, flinty minerals and subtle gunpowder smoke. These add to the overall complexity – but without overpowering the silky texture and flavors of the wine
Finish – This wine finishes long and elegant with bold fruit, oaky vanilla, minerals that dry – and soft spice
Conclusion – This fantastic wine is drinking beautifully now, but I cannot help but ponder just how fantastic it will be in 6 months or more. I’m drinking half of my stash of this 2006 Peters Family Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast – and saving the other half until next year. IF I can wait that long. Long on fruit and complimented by a plethora of supporting characters, this wine is a complex California Pinot that intrigues from first sip, though to its long and flavorful finish.
What follows is our initial mission to Peters Family Winery, in which we first came to learn of Doug and his fabulous wines. Note: Doug remains as elusive today as he was then.
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.
What the Winery Says
Peters Family Winery
About This Wine:
On the nose this lovely pinot noir exhibits beautiful perfumed aromas of cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, vanilla, lavender, and black tea. The flavors on the palate are well delineated, with lush, bright cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, mocha, and vanilla notes, followed by anise, mineral, leather, and spice notes on the silky finish. This delicious pinot noir showcases classic varietal flavors, silky texture, and beautifully balanced flavors displayed with great finesse.
Winemaking Notes: Our 2006 PFW Sonoma Coast pinot noir is sourced from two great vineyards, both located within the Sonoma Coast appellation, Sonoma Stage Vineyard, and Dunah Vineyard. Heavy rains throughout the Winter and Sping in 2006, required intensive pruning in the vineyards to maintain low yields. Unusually hot August temperatures stimulated ripeness, while cool September temperatures allowed the grapes additional hang time to achieve optimal ripeness and complexity. At harvest, the various clonal selections from each vineyard block were separately hand-picked, then carefully hand-sorted, and gently de-stemmed. The must was moved directly to fermentation tanks without the use of any pumps and the clones were separately fermented with Burgundy yeast strains. Traditional Burgundian vinification techniques were employed throughout fermentation and barrel aging in the cellar. The wines were aged in a selection of French oak barrels from the forests of Alliers, Troncais, Vosges and Argonne, and remained on their original free-run lees for 12 months before their first rack. After extended barrel aging for 26-28 months, the final blend was assembled in early 2009, and then bottled 100% unfined and unfiltered.
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!
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Vineyards: Sonoma Stage Vineyard (59%), Dunah Vineyard (41%)
Clones: Swan, Calera, Pommard
Case Production: 455
Release Date: Fall 2009
Retail Price: $ 34