TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

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Sean_S
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TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#1 Post by Sean_S » June 12th, 2019, 10:02 pm

Well, we were fortunate enough to taste a vertical of every Vintage of Kutch Falstaff last week and it was certainly a treat. All the bottles were in good shape and still evolving. Jamie and his assistant winemaker Joanna Wells were in attendance as we blind tasted through the entire Vertical of Falstaff pinots. Joanna warmed us up with a tasting of her Model Farm Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. This one was right up my ally. Lean, with lots of minerality and no overt oakiness. Made from own rooted chardonnay vines from a tiny vineyard deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Nice wine, wish there was more but it was long gone. Will be looking to acquire some of her future efforts with this grape.

This tasting was single-blind and lots of fun as always. After tasted and ranked I thought the results were rather surprising. I'll skip typing for all 9 wines but wanted to highlight a standout. My #1 of the night and the groups #2 was the 2017.

This wine reminded me a bit of the 2017 Sonoma Coast bottling but was even better. It jumped out of the glass immediately with this intense Strawberry and Rhubarb notes. A hint carbonic and as one taster noted reminiscent of Beaujolais in a very good way. Intense fruit on the palate with great acidity and moderate tannins. The whole cluster seemed less obvious on this wine than some of the others. The finish is long and plush. I could smell this wine all day. Not the savory notes of some of the other vintages but totally captivating. Surprising to me this was the top wine for many amongst a very strong lineup. If you're a Kutch fan and haven't bought this one yet I recommend stocking up. It's a notch or two above the Sonoma Coast bottling which shares many of these wines great characteristics. Might be my favorite Kutch Pinot yet. Overall a beautiful AFWE Pinot Noir.

It was awesome to taste through these with Jamie and Joanna. Interesting fact, Joanna was nailing the vintages more than Jamie and was an encyclopedia about the different vintages. Bravo Joanna! Jamie's memory might be slipping in his old age [tease.gif]

Jamie Kutch and the full lineup
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Chris Seiber
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#2 Post by Chris Seiber » June 13th, 2019, 1:02 am

Sean_S wrote:
June 12th, 2019, 10:02 pm
After tasted and ranked I thought the results were rather surprising. I'll skip typing for all 9 wines but wanted to highlight a standout. My #1 of the night and the groups #2 was the 2017.
Why skip typing up the wines? At least give us some quick impressions. It’s your thread after all.

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dcornutt
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#3 Post by dcornutt » June 13th, 2019, 1:37 am

Allen Meadows gushed about Jamie's 2017s in his newest report. I bet this was excellent! I like Falstaff but LOVE McDougall. Congrats Jamie. Thanks for this note.
DON Cornutt

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eat or drink,because eating without a friend is the life of the lion or the wolf." Epicurius

Hao Lu
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#4 Post by Hao Lu » June 13th, 2019, 5:16 am

Love Kutch! Thanks for the note!

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Sean_S
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#5 Post by Sean_S » June 13th, 2019, 7:24 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 1:02 am
Sean_S wrote:
June 12th, 2019, 10:02 pm
After tasted and ranked I thought the results were rather surprising. I'll skip typing for all 9 wines but wanted to highlight a standout. My #1 of the night and the groups #2 was the 2017.
Why skip typing up the wines? At least give us some quick impressions. It’s your thread after all.
Cuz, can't find my tote bag which has my detailed tasting notes and rankings. Looked all over last night and its buried in clutter somewhere around here and when I find it I will add impressions of the other wines...

Sean
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Frank Murray III
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#6 Post by Frank Murray III » June 13th, 2019, 1:24 pm

Joanna and Sean make a terrific Chard, I have had it several times and it's in the style I seek today. As for the 17 'Staff, I need to try another one. I am going to put that wine to the test, as I want to stand up my high praise for it. My most recent 2 TNs are below.

Sean, thanks for the post, appreciate the insight.
  • 2017 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (2/18/2019)
    Damn. Jamie really hit the home run with this vintage of 'Staff. Each time I have it I find myself pausing and just appreciating what a genius of a wine this turned out to be. This bottle showed a lift of stems and perfume from the cluster that I didn't remember from the last few bottles, which is fine because it adds that extra factor to what is already a dynamic wine. Tasting this, at one moment it is crunchy and then the next a pure push of black and red fruit that follows into a long finish that also offers structure, too. The length, purity and complexity of this vintage of 'Staff is simply gorgeous. For me, clearly the best wine Jamie Kutch has ever made. No question, and one of the best CA pinot noirs I have tasted. Bravo.
  • 2017 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/4/2018)
    Kutch and Model Farm dinner at my place in the OC (My House In The South OC): Poured in the same flight as the 2013 and 2015 McDougall, this Falstaff was the finishing wine of that flight. This is right now about strength, intensity, with tannin, juicy dark raspberry fruit and present acidity. Stacked with black and red fruits, and credit to Chris Fitch who was next to me, that termed this core quality as 'pomegranate'. Spot on descriptor. It's the closing feature of the finish, adding a spicy, pure dark quality to the wine. Excellent Falstaff, one that will age and develop as it integrates its power....as a follow-up note, I am still enjoying the remnants of the wine a day later, this is such a pure, delicious bottle of PN, with some rocky notes, purple and red fruit and flavor composite that is just a joy. For me, gotta be the best Falstaff to date, for sure. Bravo.....and what the hell, one more follow-up. The bottle has now been open 2 full days and it continues to drink like it did during the dinner. This wine is yoked with so much power--the structure, fruit intensity and depth. The thrill this kind of wine engenders is pretty cool for me. The key now will be to see where this wine heads, with more age, more time to show itself. I'm in for the ride!
Posted from CellarTracker
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

Russ Williams
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#7 Post by Russ Williams » June 13th, 2019, 2:52 pm

Falstaff has always been my favorite vineyard.
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#8 Post by AlexS » June 13th, 2019, 4:49 pm

dcornutt wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 1:37 am
Allen Meadows gushed about Jamie's 2017s in his newest report. I bet this was excellent! I like Falstaff but LOVE McDougall. Congrats Jamie. Thanks for this note.
I'm with Don, McDougall is my favorite of the SVDs - 2016 is absolutely killer. Can't wait to taste the 2017s.
s t e w @ r t

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Frank Murray III
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#9 Post by Frank Murray III » June 24th, 2019, 6:31 pm

There is a reason why this wine was my red wine of the year in 2018. The wine is fantastic. Jamie hit the home run with this vintage of Falstaff, and I have been drinking Jamie's wines for a long time now, and this is clearly for me the best wine he has ever crafted. Beauty in a bottle. Jamie, THANK YOU!
  • 2017 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (6/24/2019)
    Poured blind, as part of a 6 wine CA Pinot Noir flight. I had no idea this wine was in the flight, so there's zero bias in my TN here. I say that because this wine has been over and over again I believe the best wine Jamie Kutch has made to date. So, here's the odd thing. When I first poured this, I wrote down "some pepper, tight and out of balance with a juicy, stewed/candied quality". I judged the wine based on what I found in my glass. 45 mins later, tasted again....transformed. And of note, when I noticed the wine had evolved and changed so significantly, it was still bagged. Ultimately, this became the beautiful blend of red and blue fruit, rocky and expressive, nothing like the first pour. Damn, this wine is such a treat. Fantastic stuff again......managed to take the remnants of the bottle home, which gave me one glass for tonight. Damn, this is dialed in. The texture on this is magic, showing a plush, deep flavor of blueberry, raspberry and a nice inflection from the stems which also helps the aromatics. Juicy, stony, with tension in the finish. The finish has a length and intensity that is beautiful. I'll say it again, this is the best wine Jamie Kutch has made to date, and I got 4 bottles of this stuff in my cellar ready to bring me smiles and joy for the next many years. Genius CA Pinot Noir.
Posted from CellarTracker
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge SC PN
2017 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Platt SC PN
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

Len Stevens
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Re: TN: 2017 Kutch Falstaff Pinot Noir

#10 Post by Len Stevens » June 25th, 2019, 8:57 am

This thread really makes me happy! Jamie is a class individual and makes absolutely amazing wine IMO. Each time I open one of his wines, I drop him a quick email and he always responds with appreciation.

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