SONOMA VINTAGE GUIDE
Click on each vintage to see what we currently have in stock on our main website:
2017 - An already challenging growing season was further marred by wildfires that fanned across much of Northern California. The fires hit while many wineries were in the midst of harvest, presenting a host of challenges. Despite these many obstacles, the overall quality of the 2017s is excellent. The biggest concern was smoke taint, fortunately only a very small portion of the wines produced was affected. All in all, the 2017s show excellent balance, precision, and purity with Wine Enthusiast noting they “can be purchased with confidence.” There is little doubt that 2017 will become a collector’s favorite.
2016 - A terrific vintage that shows its caliber everywhere from entry-level to collectible releases. A cool end to another drought season brought ideal conditions for everything from Chardonnay to Zinfandel. The wines show focus, delineation, and a terrific upside. They might demand a bit more patience than the more immediate wines of the preceding vintages, but those who see it through will have some brilliant bottles to enjoy.
2015 - Despite some challenges in the Spring, winemakers were very pleased with the quality of the fruit delivered in 2015, albeit a much smaller crop than usual. Russian River and Alexander Valley shone the brightest producing wines of demonstrative aromatics, phenolic complexity, and good tannic structure for the reds. Overall a lovely vintage, but given the limited yields allocations for the elite bottlings will be even more restricted.
2014 - The drought years continue creating hydric stress for some sites, but by in large a very successful vintage thanks to moderate temperatures throughout the growing season. A particularly strong vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but in the final assessment Pinot Noir might be deemed the biggest success story. Bright acidity and supple textures are the most common descriptors applied to the 2014s.
2013 - Minimal rain, but no matter as temperatures remained moderate throughout the season. Notable for an abundance of quality fruit and an early start to the season, quality was across the board evenly high. All varietals did splendidly well, making it kind the bounteous vintage that winemakers love. Good tannins and structure make for some very long lived red. As for the whites, except high levels of concentration. Given the size of the crop there are some great values to be found.
2012 - A welcome easy vintage after a pair that required more effort than normal to coax out the best. Perfect temperatures led to a huge crop which, in turn, maxed out capacity at many facilities—a good problem to have. Given the even-handed nature of the vintage all varietals did fabulously well with Pinot Noir being the darling of the year. All in all the idyllic season made for idyllic wines that will be long-lived and will charm many a wine drinker.
2011 - Much like 2010 rain seemed to occur at all the wrong times making for back to back challenging vintages. On the upside, warm temperatures in September delivered some much needed ripening with the resulting wines showing great elegance and finesse. For those enjoy New World wines with an old world flare, 2011 offers a bevy of opportunities.
2010 - Low temperatures early on, a deluge of rain, and then a heat wave all combined to make this one of the most challenging vintages in a decade. The August heat caused the most damage resulting in significant crop reduction. Despite all this, careful and attentive winemakers were able to conjure up a number of solid efforts. By in large, the 2010s show good concentration, modest alcohol levels, and crisp acidity. Great for near term drinking and perfect for those who enjoy restraint over bombast.
2009 - A vintage with all the markers for perfection, that is until rain came during harvest. A cool Spring led to a Summer with ideal even temperatures which the grapes showing perfect phenolic development. Thankfully most producers knew rains were coming early, so made a mad scramble to pick as quickly as possible. In the end Chardonnay and Pinot Noir turned out very well with Zinfandel being a bit more of a challenge. The wines are much more of a classic California style than the two subsequent vintages showing great depth of color, ripeness, and intensity. Bright acidity across the board will make for wines of good aging potential.