Ladd Cellars!

I make Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from West Sonoma Coast, Sebastopol and the deep end of the Anderson Valley. I’ve also started making a bit of wine from the Sierra Foothills…higher elevation vineyards with interesting/complex soils, picked early for complex & refreshing wines.

My Pinots have been described as ‘Oregon-style pinot but with more fruit’, which I think is apt, or old world, and applies to all my wines.

Quotes for some of these wines are in last year’s Falltacular 2018 thread

The Chard 2 pack:
Two bottles:
2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

The pH in the bottle is 3.25, entirely natural acid, similar to 2014. The 2015 is richer than the 2014…and excellent acidity, richness and old vine character is what makes a great chardonnay.

This is from a single vineyard of 40+ year old vines, on the coast between Sebastopol & Occidental. The great thing about old vines is the character, density & balance of the wine that they produce. This shows in my Chardonnay, and it’s what I credit for the several Michelin Star placements I’ve gotten. The unfortunate part is the declining yields (tons of fruit per acre) as the years march on. The vineyard owner began looking at replanting, and has started in some blocks…a terrifying moment when I first heard! Fortunately, I’ve been able to pay up to retain the old vines in my block! I’m thrilled, and the vineyard owner is as well.

The Mixed 4 pack
One bottle each:
2014 Pratt Vineyard (Sexton Road), Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2013 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
2013 Cuvee Abigail Pinot Noir

These are some of my favorite wines in their early stage of showing well, and will be officially released this Fall.

The Middle Range 2 pack
One bottle each:
2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2009 Cuvee Abigail, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Both of these wines are a bit more forward, but still in my range. The ripeness is similar to my 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot, if you’ve had (or heard about) that.

A 2011 being a bit more forward? Really? In a normal year, I have a great/deep seated fear of my grapes getting hit by a heat wave when they’re close to being picked, when they are their most delicate. There was no possibility of that happening in 2011, so I delayed picking a bit…I’m really happy with the results.

The Classics 2 pack
One bottle each:
2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2008 Cuvee Abigail, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

My current favorite wines with some age on them, with earth and other savory and nuanced qualities showing up. Both are still quite youthful, and will continue to develop for another 10 years or so.

The Foothills Adventure Returns
Two bottles of:
2015 Avio Vineyard Sierra Foothills Zinfandel

Zinfandel made in an earlier picked Claret style (13.8% alc). Red & black cherries, plums and raspberries, with some tobacco and thyme that gives in a Claret style, and good (not dominating) acidity that’s consistent with my style and being picked early. I blind tasted a Somm, who said they didn’t know but it reminded them of a Bolgheri Merlot (Bolgheri is a renowned region in Italy for Bdx varieties). The Avio Zin was picked at 23 brix.

It was my sister that convinced me to start making Chardonnay…which was excellent advice. So I finally agreed when she said she wanted me to make a Zin like the one’s I used to share in the 90s & early 2000s (Rafanelli Zin, back in the Dave Rafanelli days). The tough part was finding the right vineyard. Fortunately, WB Berry Crawford had been doing a lot of exploring of zin vineyards in the foothills, making small lots. Berry convinced me that the Foothills was the right place for what I wanted to make, since I’d be picking early (late picked foothills is a different style). Berry pointed me at Avio Vineyard, which Berry has dubbed a Grand Cru Zin vineyard. Thanks Berry!

Random thoughts about above wines/vineyards/etc:

Moore Ranch, aka my RRV Pinot
Located near Sebastopol on Occidental road. Thin topsoil on top of a rocky subsoil gives a savory/earthy/mineral quality to the wines, in addition to the red and dark fruit. Because of its cool location, these wines display a Sonoma Coast character in addition to the Russian River. Moore Ranch wines have a strong terroir signature, from the soil, location and vine age of course. Clones include Pommard, Swan, 115, 114, 777 and 667, planted in 1997.

Nash Mill
Located not far from Burt Williams’ Morning Dew Ranch, in the deep end of Anderson valley, north west of Octopus Mountain…making this a mountain slope vineyard. The topsoil is a sandy clay loam typical to the deep end. The subsoil has large amounts of shale in it, which adds an appealing/distinctive savory quality. Tho the type of soil is common in AV, the large amount of shale isn’t, and it’s a common characteristic of most of the top AV sites.

The 2013 Anderson Valley Pinot is a mix of Pommard, 115 & 667, entirely from Nash Mill. It’s a red fruited Pinot that’s both pretty and savory at the same time. Can’t ask for anything more than that imo.

Pratt Vineyard
Located between Occidental, Sebastopol and Freestone, and is a stone’s throw from Falstaff vineyard. The Pinot clones/selections I get here include Pommard, 23, 9 and 2a. Most of the vines I get fruit from are on their own roots (rather than being grafted to a rootstock), possibly removing an element that disguises the terroir. Owned and farmed by Jim Pratt, vineyard manager to many famous vineyards!

Thanks for your interest!

Hey Eric, Are shipping costs marked per pack or per purchase?

Hey Shane,

Thanks for asking that, it’s per purchase (i.e. no matter how much you order), not per pack. And with shipping costs these days, even at the smallest order my shipping fee is a small fraction of what my actual shipping cost are, sadly.

I’ll added that worthwhile clarification to my post above!

Eric’s Cuvee Abagail with age on it is so beautiful - nice to see it offered ‘pre-aged’!!!

These are well made wines.

My first tasting note when I ran into these was, “Classy.”

Really well done.


Quick question - how does the zin line up against the primitivo you poured at Falltacular last year?

Thanks and cheers!

WTF! There was a Ladd Primitivo last year? Someone find me for these treats! I miss out on all the good stuff!

Great question Paul.

The Primitivo was picked at 22 brix, surprisingly early for a Primitivo…heck for any red, but it was fully colored up and had great flavors, so I went for it.

The Zin was picked at 23.2 brix (i.e. low 23 brix)…also colored up & great flavors when picked. I love Foothills fruit when picked early like this.

The Primitivo was from granitic soils, and the Zin from volcanic. Granite is a volcanic rock, but it cooled underground (when the lava pushed up through the earth’s crust). Volcanic rocks are any of those that cooled on surface (much faster than granite, giving the rocks much different characteristic). Wait, what was the question again? Both strongly show they soil characteristics (however that might happen).

I’ve made a few wines from Musick soils (the granitic) and all have shown a similar set of characteristics. Likewise with volcanic, tho this is the first time I’ve worked with this specific volcanic soil. Still, they taste like very soil driven wines to me, which was my goal.

The Primitivo does taste like something in the Zin family, but barely (due partly to early picking and partly to soil)…it has a lot of Pinot like characteristics imo.

The Zin is more clearly zin like, tho the claret character is pretty clear, which I’m happy about. It has a good amount of savory, and fruit, flavors, and is low in the ‘sweetness’ (not actually sugar) that often comes with Ca wines and esp with Zins.

Hopefully that makes some amount of sense!

Hey Todd: I’ll bring a couple of bottles of Primitivo down to Falltacular for you…it’s the least I can do!

PM sent

PM sent. Enjoyed last year’s chard.

In again. Eric’s doing good work.

Agree - pleased to get some more of Eric’s wines - the Pinots and the Chards have been highly enjoyable in past years.

If it’s good enough for multiple Michelin starred restaurants, it’s good enough for me.

Third time ordering these wines…Eric makes great Pinots that extremely well balanced. At this price it’s a downright steal.

PM sent!

Thanks for all the great comments and orders…keep them coming!

Just sent you a PM…So I can pay champagne.gif

I’m all caught up now, so if you’ve ordered and haven’t gotten an invoice & a link to pay with (separate emails) then ping me and I’ll figure out what’s going on (except for you Seth!). I’ll be out until later this evening (might be on occasionally tho, maybe). Thanks for everything…Woo Hoo!

Order in

One more late night order. In for the 4 pack and zin 2 pack.