2018 Holdredge "The True" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir - 94 points
Vineyard location: Annapolis, CA
Distance to Pacific: approximately 3.5 miles (second ridge in)
Elevation: approximately 1250 feet
It’s about a 3 ½ hour round trip from Healdsburg just to do a quick check on this vineyard. I never mind it though- whether I go due west on Stewarts’s Point road or take Highway 1 up the coast, it’s incredibly beautiful. I’ve traveled these roads for almost forty years now, and have more than a few fond memories out here. Sometimes, when I wait to call the pick to get “something more”, I wonder if it’s also that I’m just reluctant to lose my reason for going out there.
This wine simply hits all the notes I love in Pinot- it’s got stunning aromatics, with lots of floral notes, bright red fruit, and a little “stewed fruit” aromatic that I really love (like a cherry compote). Typical of a cold site, it had brilliant acid, but still has the suppleness, the silkiness, and the layered richness that reflects why true Sonoma Coast Pinot can be so special.
The final blend of 5 barrels was drawn from 9 different barrels in varying amounts. The wine evolved rather slowly at first; it took until mid-June to finish its second (malolactic) fermentation. We couldn’t use sulfur before then, so I did additional lees (the dead yeast cells) stirring because it serves as something of an antioxidant. I also really like the impact it has on both aromatics and mouthfeel, and I think it shows in this wine.