TN: 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinots with a 2013 Santa Cruz Mts bonus pour

2012 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (1/31/2015)
I have now had this wine 3 times in recent months, and every time it is a special experience. Even in a tasting format versus a sit down with a meal, it stood out as special. I had a quick sip when I was checking all the bottles, and was just blown away by the presence, vibrance and flavor definition of the wine. Fast forward to the tasting, and the wine had opened up even further, with red fruit framed by elegant tannins. The wine retained its vibrance through the mid-palate through the finish. I wanted to just sit with the glass and absorb the experience, but it was time to move on to the next wine. This was also a huge hit with everyone in the room - experienced and not.

2012 Ceritas Pinot Noir Old Shop Block Hellenthal Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (1/31/2015)
This followed the Kutch Sonoma Coast in the tasting, and as it was notably lighter in body and more focused on its acids, there was a bit of a letdown. I look back to the prior bottle of this wine, and my notes were pretty consistent - red fruit, acid, elegance. It just got stuck in a tough place.

2012 Littorai Pinot Noir Mays Canyon - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/31/2015)
After the Kutch and Ceritas, this showed as the complete package. It had the elegance of the Ceritas with the depth and presence of the Kutch. Red/black fruit, subtle framing tannins, and a persistent earth element came through with every sip. After the “formal” tasting was over I went back to this wine - after the Syrahs and the Cabs had been worked through - and it was still a star. It stood up and took center stage, clearly showing as the most complete wine of the night. Magnificent.

2013 Arnot-Roberts Pinot Noir Trout Gulch Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (1/31/2015)
This was a bonus pour, after the tasting was largely completed. It was closest in comparison to the Ceritas, showing lots of red fruit and bright acidity. The Ceritas had been given more air, so this bottle did not show quite as put together. 30 minutes of air was very beneficial, taming the initially spiky acids. Overall this seems to need to settle down for a while, or have it with some more assertive food. I think the pieces are there, but judgement deferred for a while.

Posted from CellarTracker

Informative notes, thanks. Any guesses on relative ageability / drinking windows?

Nice notes, David. Thanks for taking the time to post.

As far as overall drinking windows I am not sure. I really do not have enoug experience with these Pinots to hazard an educated guess.

That being said, I doubt my Kutch Sonoma Coast bottles will last the year. They are too delicious now. I think the Ceritas and Arnot-Roberts need a couple of years at minimum. The Littorai doesn’t need time, but is so perfectly balanced that it should cruise along for a while.

David, your note on the Kutch caused me to look back at mine. I posted them below and I share them to help add to the discussion related to Rich’s question, too. Your experience tells a story of the wine being more approachable and maybe it’s starting to soften since last July. I just remember both the SC and McDougall being pretty coiled so it’s cool to hear that the SC may be coming softening.

  • 2012 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/17/2014)
    Preparing for a smal dinner later, I opened this up and poured off a small glass. My sense was to expect a lot of structure and to offer air to this well ahead of dinner. This is showing much more open than I expected, more approachable. Spicy, dark raspberry fruit, dark cherry, minerally and good dose of tannin on the finish. There is some tension here, but the offset and what I see as dominant, in charge, is the fruit and spice. This is very good and while I don’t know what we’ll see in another 4 hours, but I’ll just say it’s pretty damn solid with such sparse air…and finishing over dinner later in the evening, the wine did coil up some, and the herbal component of the stems shows more in the palate. It was more approachable when first opened, but the minerally tannin found its way back. My guess is that this wine will continue to develop, and get better as it ages forward, although as I said, it shows the pieces to be a strong wine with more age or a lot of air now.
  • 2012 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (3/15/2014)
    Jamie Kutch Visits The OC For Dinner (Luciana’s In Dana Point (South OC)): Tasted blind. Like with the 2012 McDougall, this SC is tannic and intense, with a dark core and iron. Rocky and youuthful–this will need time so don’t rush it.

Posted from CellarTracker

Love the sonoma coast.

This certainly wasn’t coiled up at all. Insanely approachable would be more like it.

Thanks for posting. The Hellenthal was my first Ceritas Pinot and sounds like we had a similar experience.

I jumped back into Kutch this year and look forward to trying the 13’s. I think I need to source a few of these 12’s as well.