This is a great offer and I am in for a mix of Pinots (Ronda’s, Phelps and the Reserve) and Ishi Pishi Ranch Zinfandel.
Funnily enough, I happened to see that the 2017 Ronda’s is also being featured on SommSelect today. The write-up there is seriously impressive.
Believe it or not, our fastest-selling Pinot Noir offer hasn’t been from Burgundy, Willamette, or Sonoma. It was the one time we were able to feature Briceland Vineyards, the esoteric and rarely encountered legend of Humboldt County. That sellout came almost two years ago today, and I remember it vividly: Our parcel was inhaled one collective breath, forcing me to interrupt Andrew Morris’ Saturday morning pleading for more. Alas, he wanted to save the few remaining cases for Humboldt locals, and I loved that answer. Two years flashed by before he called me out of the blue and offered a small portion of today’s 2017 “Ronda’s Vineyard” Pinot Noir.
Of course, I was euphoric because I’ve encountered Briceland’s wines fewer times than Dujac. This scarcity, however, isn’t due to tight allocations or rabid demand—it’s because of the sheer remoteness, small scale, and mystique of it all. Tiny production aside (today’s cuvée was just four barrels), Andrew’s wines are generally untraceable online, and you’d have to sweep a vast majority of restaurants and wine bars before stumbling upon a bottle. Your best bet is to make the long trek up to redwood-studded Humboldt County and either knock on his front door or flag down his station wagon in Eureka where he’ll likely have a case or two in the back. Can you see why these organic, long-aged, savory/spicy Pinots have garnered an underground cult following? I hope so! Purchases are limited to six bottles. SommSelect - Daily Offer - Marqués de Murrieta, Ygay “Etiqueta Blanca” Rioja Rioja, Spain 1973
I’m guessing that’s the first time that Humboldt County wine has been compared to Dujac, but at any rate, all of the SVD’s but especially the Ronda’s, are quite good. Also, Andrew in case you’re reading this, do you really have a station wagon? I thought you were a pick-up truck kind of a guy.
Well, Corey…. I do drive a full-size dodge diesel for work. But I am a practical guy. My VW diesel wagon with 6 speed manual gets 42 miles to the gallon with 25 cases in it making the 160 mile delivery route north cost a whopping $22 in fuel. Less manly for sure, but I’d rather keep the cash. Waiting on an electric for my next car….
Just had the 2015 of this last night, and it was showing perfectly. The fruit was a little less bright, and there were some hints of secondary aromas and flavors. For me, this was in a perfect window, before it dropped much fruit, but after it had developed just enough other interesting flavors to round it out.
I opened it 5 hours before serving just to check on it, then recorked and pulled the cork again at the time we poured it.
I thought it was good. Very violet (of course), cool purple fruit, mineral. Guesses were all over the place, of course – was it Northern Rhone, or Bordeaux, or Italian? My wife finally was the one to guess Petit Verdot, and when I said that was it, then Brig correctly guessed it was Briceland.
I would say that when I’ve had these a few years younger, I’ve been a little more wowed. I think the intensity of the fresh fruit is a little more compelling, at least from memory. This was a good showing though – not fading away or anything by any means. But I might start opening them a little younger.
I think the 2012 is an outlier so far. Perhaps it has most in common with 2014. 13 & 15 have more structure and I think can last and improve longer. Thanks for the note though. I guess it’s time to burn through the 12’s that I have set aside.
12 was a cooler year, so more acid and less tannins.
I have several vintages but have only tried the 15 PV and just keep going back to that one. Really enjoy it each time I pop a bottle. Not good with tasting notes, but every time, I always think of bacon. It’s delicious. I’ll need to open the 12 and 14 next
The 2012 was a wow wine when I opened it. I was watching a movie and wasn’t really thinking about the wine and I was blown away. Have enjoyed subsequent years, too, but having no expectations added to the fun surprise.
I feel this way about some of the Pinots. I think that they can go a long time, but I think that they are a bit more fun just after they have shed some baby fat.
Initially I thought this was Bordeaux but the hint of bacon said northern Rhone syrah. Got hung up on that. There is definitely violet or white flower on the nose which could have been viognier in a Rhone.
I brought the scraps home so I’ll check in tonight.
When I tried the 2012 (alas, only tried it once), it blew me the funk (editor’s note: absolutely not funk) away, reminding me of la mission haut brion, which ironically uses no PV in its blend. Anyhow, your note inspired me to open the 2014 and it was super enjoyable. Notably I got that floral note you picked up on and that I really dig in Andrew’s wines.
In case Andrew is reading this, do you have any idea where that floral note (I usually perceive as white flowers) comes from? I know you don’t use much new oak, so all I can come up with is terroir, particularly because it seems far more prevalent in your Humboldt County wines than the Mendocino wines.