First, let’s talk about the Vineyard, some history and the philosophies that they use to establish greatness in the bottle.
Founders Dan Kosta and Michael Browne started out with humble beginnings while working together in a local restaurant in 1997. Full of passion but short on capital, Michael developed relationships with key growers in Northern California, while Dan, along with the help of a third party, Chris Costello, worked to market and sell the wines.
In 2011, they were named Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year with their Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It was an honor that could only fuel their steadfast dedication and focus on quality. They have remained committed to embracing innovation, pushing boundaries and they welcome unconventional approaches in the cellar to make irresistible Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines of elegant intensity.
These varieties reflect their growing conditions and wine- making approaches like no other and they are obsessed with capturing the individual expression of the state’s finest growing regions — the rugged and diverse Sonoma Coast, the foggy Russian River Valley, the chilly Santa Lucia Highlands, the coastal proximity of the Santa Rita Hills and the wild, untamed Anderson Valley.
Through the artful blending of their vineyards and their individual blocks and rows, they strive to create the purest expression of each appellation’s unique personality.
2019 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
“The Western Edge Personified”
The Sonoma Coast Appellation overlaps with that of the Russian River Valley in many places and is similarly shaped by the ocean. Local geology can be complex there, a direct result of being located at the intersection of two tectonic plates. For this wine, they found themselves drawn to vineyards that are particularly influenced by the Pacific Ocean and are fortunate to work with some spectacular sites.
The vineyards they source from lie in both the southern portion of the appellation and in the northern true coastal zone. Together, they form a singular wine that is distinctly Sonoma Coast — dense, powerful and with notes of blue fruit. In the southern area, the Petaluma Wind Gap and the San Pablo Bay drive cooler temperatures and provide deep flavors and richly textured wines. The vineyards from the coastal reaches contribute savory and spiced characteristics that they love as well as great structure and poise. On the nose, the Sonoma Coast Pinot entices with aromas of fresh blueberries, blackberries and lilacs, while delicate notes of baking spice and vanilla integrate seamlessly. On the palate, ripe blue fruit complements the precise balance of structure, layered acidity and a long, powerful finish.
Old-School Beef Wellington comes to mind with this one. Pair the beef with paprika and parmesan rubbed Hasselback potatoes, your favorite garden vegetable and finish it all with a spicy berry chutney.
2019 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir
“The Western Edge Personified”
Planted in 1996 and featuring an array of elite clones, the dry-farmed Keefer Ranch is in the coolest part of the Russian River Valley. Wind and fog lengthen the growing season at the site, which helps to produce one of the most refined and graceful Pinot Noirs. They began working with this site in 2005 in collaboration with the legendary Marcy Keefer.
In the winery, they used an array of fermentation vessels to showcase different aspects of this remarkable vineyard. The resulting wine is expressive of Russian River, with black cherry, blackberry and fresh raspberry. Subdued elements of vanilla and black licorice waft from the glass while it’s flirtatious elegance and smooth tannins delight.
I know we are far away from Thanksgiving, but a Cajun-rubbed turkey with wild mushroom stuffing, fresh berry relish and
some roasted Brussels sprouts all sound like a feast with
the Keefer Ranch.
The next time you are at the Club, please say hello,
Jeffrey Cohen is the Wine Specialist at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org