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Peay Vineyards 2019 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Co., CA

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Based in the west Sonoma Coast, Peay Vineyards focuses on terroir-driven, single variety wines that underscore the beautiful expressions of the coastline's rugged terroir. 

Winemaker: Vanessa Wong

Farming: Practicing organic

Variety: Pinot Noir {Clones: 34% 777; 22% 115; 14% Pommard; 10% Calera; 7% Swan; 6% “Suitcase”; 3% 667; 3% 828; 1% Mt. Eden}

Terroir / Soil: 4 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, with a strong cool climate influence. Uplifted ancient seabed, mingles with sandy loam and hints of clay. 

Vinification: All clones from single vineyards are tasted blindly out of barrel to create the best possible blend from the vineyard that expresses its terroir. Any wine that does not make it into the single-site bottlings goes into this Sonoma Coast blend .2% whole cluster fermentation.

Aging: aged on lees for 11 months in 26% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: The nose on the 2019 Sonoma Coast blend is a knock-out with a prominent orange rind and black tea. The mouth confirms the impression on the nose adding aromas of rose petals and dried herbs along with tart dried fruit qualities. The mid-palate is medium-bodied with light silky tannins and bright acidity. This a wine where earth, fruit and floral aromas are in harmony and as a result will become even better as the wine opens up and/or ages in bottle. 

This wine is elegant and approachable, and shows the true heart of True Sonoma Coast fruit. 

The 2018 vintage was Featured in October 2020 Bottle Club!

What can we say about Peay Vineyards that doesn’t make me sound like I am being paid by them? We love Peay Vineyards so MUCH, as these wines have been a part of Simi and Cara’s careers since the beginning. In 2009, Peay Vineyards was named The San Francisco Chronicle’s Winery of the Year, and the praise has only grown since then.

At the helm of winemaking is Vanessa Wong. Since 2001 (Peay’s first vintage), Vanessa has been coaxing an utter elegance from the high elevation, rugged mountaintop vineyards in Annapolis the West Sonoma Coast, so far north into Sonoma you are almost in Mendocino, and so far West you are only four miles (as the crow flies) to the Pacific Coast. Vanessa is a San Francisco native and prior to joining the Peays, she made wine for Peter Michael Winery, spent time working in the cellars of Château Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac and Domaine Jean Gros in Vosne-Romanée as well as in California at Hirsch Winery after finishing her oenology degree at UC Davis. She *knows* elegance. She lives elegance.

Her husband Nick Peay in the farmer behind the winemaker. He and brother Andy, who manages sales and education, purchased the land and planted some of the vineyards in 1998 with the vision to tame the wild mountains and conquer the incredibly cool climate (There is no month that has an average temperature of over 71 degrees in Annapolis). The vineyards are farmed organically with no additives, and the vines of pinot noir are planted and then fermented by their clonal type, each which gives a different nuance to the wines.

Most of the wines Peay Vineyards releases are special expressions of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and the occasional Viognier and Roussane/Marsanne blend. Due to the cool, moderate weather in the mountains, Peay experiences quite a long growing season that allows the fruit to be picked ripe without the encumbrance of too much sugar (and resulting alcohol), yet retaining the refreshing acidity and high-toned aromatics that make Pinot Noir so incredible. This wine is a blend of the plots and clones on the estate, giving us a balanced melange of qualities from across the 36-acre vineyard: aromas of orange rind, raspberry, violets, and hints of Christmas spice leap out of the glass, the palate is silky, and the bight red fruits are given ballast by dried earth, tea, and bark notes mixed with leather and anise seed. Truly an incredible Pinot Noir. - Cara Patricia

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