Between 1845 and 1855 approximately 300,000 people flocked to California in search of gold. Gold that would be life-altering and bring them immense wealth. The wines of the Petaluma Gap (a sub-appellation of the Sonoma Coast) are recalling this prosperous era.
"It’s hard not to make gold with gold coming in,” said winemaker Erica Stancliff. The conditions here are perfect: cool growing season along with winds to cool the grapes and protect them from mildew. The long growing season rewards those with patience and determination. Today's gold-producing prospector is the 2018 Meeker Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast.
It's a quintessential expression of a cool-climate Pinot Noir. I continue to fall in love with this wine sip after sip. The wine is a masterclass in elegance, filled with wild raspberries, cassis, nutmeg, and fresh river rocks. It's equal parts charming and sophisticated, bringing solace to every palate.
Petaluma Gap's goldilocks terroir was blessed with one of the greatest growing seasons ever seen in the Sonoma Coast. Jeb Dunnuck tells us:
"This long, even growing season produced everything I look for in a great vintage: incredible top tier quality, a vast selection of absolutely beautiful wines at all price points, and wines that show their place of origin as well as singular characters."
What more is there to say about the Sonoma Coast's 2018 vintage that world-renowned critic, Jeb Dunnuck, hasn't already said? How about Antonio Galloni's glowing 98 point vintage rating? This is a serious wine from an even more serious vintage. There is a lot we love and appreciate about this nugget.
The one aspect I love most about this wine is its versatility in the kitchen. The cool-climate expression of this wine lends to lower alcohol levels, elevated acidity, without sacrificing any structural elements. This translates into a food-friendly dream that will pair impeccably with a wide variety of dishes!
If you're a Pinot Noir devotee or would like to explore this up-and-coming terroir, here's your opportunity to quench that thirst. Don't let this moment blow past like the coastal winds cooling Petaluma Gap's heavenly vineyards.