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+