19 Oct

Burghound Gets Longoria

“I’ve said this before but Longoria is crafting some lovely wines that display a definite sense of place, particularly with the Fe Ciega vineyard.” Allen Meadows

 2013 Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido Vineyard “Block N”                             91 Points
(Santa Maria Valley, 185 cases, 14.3%). Beautifully fresh and ripe red and blue pinot fruit aromas are liberally mixed with lovely spice and floral nuances. There is fine volume and a sleek mouth feel to the delicious medium-bodied flavors that possess solid mid-palate density, all wrapped in a dusty, sappy and ever-so-slightly warm finale where the supporting tannins are firm but not hard. This robust but not rustic effort should amply reward extended cellaring and is definitely worth a look, particularly if you’re a fan of the Bien Nacido vineyard. 91/2021+

 2013 Pinot Noir – La Encantada Vineyard                                                91 Points
(Sta. Rita Hills, 100 cases, 14.1%). Here the expressive nose is even more elegant if a bit less complex with its cool and pure array of fresh red currant, raspberry and essence of cherry liqueur aromas. I very much like the sophisticated texture to the utterly delicious and caressing middle weight flavors that offer a bit more depth than the nose before concluding in a sappy and palate coating finale. This harmonious effort could already be enjoyed thanks to the exquisite balance though I would suggest giving this 5 years or so of bottle age first. 91/2019+

 2013 Pinot Noir – Lovely Rita                                                                       92 Points
(Sta. Rita Hills, 480 cases, 13.9%). This too is cool, pure and admirably complex with its pretty blend of various red berry scents with violet, sandalwood and tea nuances. Once again Longoria has succeeded in obtaining a refined mouth feel with the caressing and lively medium-bodied flavors that exhibit a dusty and beautifully complex finish that goes on and on. This firmly structured effort is simply terrific and offers sensational value for the money! Highly recommended for both value and quality. 92/2020+

 2013 Pinot Noir – Sanford & Benedict Vineyard                                    93 Points
(Sta. Rita Hills, 100 cases, 13.3%). Here the reserved and well-layered nose is much more deeply pitched with its array of plum, violet, underbrush and dark pinot fruit scents. There is excellent volume to the delicious and fleshy medium weight flavors that possess a suave, even lush mouth feel before culminating in a dusty, firm and lingering finish where a hint of bitter cherry appears. This is presently quite backward and will definitely need an extended stay in a cool cellar. In sum, this is first-rate but note that it will not make for especially good early drinking and thus I would recommend it only to those who have the patience to age it. 93/2023+

 2012 Pinot Noir – Fe Ciega Vineyard                                                          93 Points
(Sta. Rita Hills, 360 cases, 14.3%). This is also notably restrained and a bit more deeply pitched still with its notes of earth, underbrush and humus adding breadth to the attractively spiced dark currant and plum scented-nose. There is again fine volume and mid-palate concentration to the delicious but quite serious medium weight plus flavors that coat the palate with dry extract while delivering excellent depth and length on the robust, bold and powerful finish. This is a classic Fe Ciega and like the 2013 Sanford & Benedict, I would recommend this only to those who possess the patience to hold it for future development as this is presently promising but very tightly wound. 93/2022+

 

13 Oct

Burghound Celebrates Small Vines

From owners Paul and Kathryn Sloan who founded Small Vines Viticulture in 1998 as their vineyard organic farming and development company. They started their Small Vines Wines label with their first release in 2007 (vintage 2005). Their range continues to grow steadily as their new high density planted vineyard holdings (4×3 and 4×4) come into production. Starting with a business that focused on grape growing, they recognize “the smaller the vine the better the wine.” To date, the Sloan’s operate the only winegrowing company in Sonoma County specializing in environmentally sensitive, high-density plantings. Wines are estate grown, unfined and unfiltered.

2012 Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast                                     89 Points
(Sonoma Coast, 100% from Barlow Homestead Vineyard planted in 2009, 169 cases, 13.2%). A pretty if restrained nose features notes of cool red berries that are trimmed in subtle spice and floral nuances. The generous and plump middle weight flavors possess a fine sense of energy before terminating in a delicious, dusty and solidly complex finale, particularly for such young vines. 89/2019+

2012 Pinot Noir – Baranoff Vineyard                             90 Points
(Russian River Valley, planted in 2001, 35% whole cluster, 93 cases, 13.4%). Here the equally restrained nose is notably more floral in character with spiced herbal tea and plum scents adding breadth. I very much like the sleek mouth feel of the delineated and vibrant medium-bodied flavors that deliver a dusty, palate coating and firmly structured finish that evidences a touch of youthful asperity. This is clearly going to require a few years of bottle age to harmonize and flesh out as it is presently quite tight. 90/2020+

2012 Pinot Noir – Estate Cuvée                                        91 Points
(Russian River Valley, 27% whole cluster, 383 cases, 13.6%). Like the Baranoff this is markedly floral on the cool and airy nose that is comprised by notes of maraschino cherry, red currant and discreet spice, tar and plum nuances. There is good richness to the velvet-textured medium weight flavors that possess good mid-palate concentration, all wrapped in a dusty, complex and impressively persistent finale. While this too exhibits a bit of youthful asperity it is less pronounced which would allow this to be approached sooner if desired. That said, this is still going to require at least 5 years of bottle age. 91/2020+

2012 Pinot Noir – MK Vineyard                                       91 Points
(Sonoma Coast, planted in 1999, 25% whole cluster, 143 cases, 13.6%). A ripe array of plum, violet, spice, tea and earth aromas leads to lush, round and generously proportioned middle weight flavors that coat the palate with dry extract while exhibiting good length on the moderately robust, muscular and powerful finish. This is easily the biggest wine in the range but it doesn’t offer quite the overall depth and class of the Estate. Still, if you have the patience to wait, or just prefer broad-shouldered and structured pinot, this would be a good choice because of the solid balance. 91/2022+

02 Oct

BBW to Represent Small Vines Wines

Big Bang Wines is proud to welcome Small Vines Wines to our portfolio of superior wineries. Effective October 1, 2015, we will be managing national sales and distribution for this highly-coveted producer in all markets across the United States.

Since 1999, Paul and Kathryn Sloan have been planting and farming low-vigor, high-density vineyards in the cool coastal regions of Northern California. Today they farm more than 100 acres of highly-prized sites in Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties. The combination of superior terroir and thoughtful viticultural practices produces transparent Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays with great intensity, lower alcohol, firm acids and the ability to age.

     

VINEYARDSHigh Density, Cool Climate, Planted and Farmed by Small Vines

  • All vineyards are planted and farmed by the Sloans giving them complete control over the fruit.
  • Superior terroir: All sites are selected for their cool climates, low vigor soils and superb drainage.
  • All blocks feature high density plantings (typically 3,630 vines per acre).

VITICULTURELabor Intensive, Dry Farmed, Organic Methods

  • Labor-intensive viticulture. Each vine is touched 25-30 times during the year.
  • Low yields. Each vine carries only 1-2 pounds of fruit. (This is less than 1/10th the average in CA.)
  • Individual shoot positioning. Berry-by-berry thinning.
  • Dry farmed vineyards. Light-weight tractors
  • Organic farming practices are followed at all vineyards.

WINEMAKINGModern Primitive

  • Hand harvesting by flavors not numbers.
  • Native yeast primary and secondary fermentations.
  • Pinot Noir: 3 to 5-day cold soak, aged 15 months on fine lees in French oak.
  • Chardonnay: Whole cluster press, barrel fermentation, aged 10 months on lees (stirred) in French oak.
  • Natural traditional winemaking methods.
  • No fining. No filtration. No acid additions.

WINES

  • Estate Chardonnay
  • Estate Pinot Noir
  • Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • MK Vineyard Pinot Noir  (Allocated)
  • Baranoff Pinot Noir (Allocated)