Sonoma Coast is one of my favorite places for Pinot Noir. I live in Sonoma and that’s part of the appeal. The coast here is one of the most strikingly beautiful in California and, during the past decade, a distinctive style of Pinot has emerged from the region. At their best, the wines are dense and have a firm framework of acidity and tannins, but are elegant and light on their feet, balancing both ripe and tart black cherry fruit with notes of mineral and white pepper.
Trouble is, the wines are typically expensive, $40 or more. That’s why Pali Riviera 2008 is so appealing: It captures everything I like about Sonoma Coast Pinot and sells for only $19. It’s rich and luscious yet beautifully structured, with concentrated cherry and earthy spice notes. I rated it 89 points, non-blind. Brian Loring made the Pali wines until 2007 and now at the helm is Kenneth Juhasz, who also makes the impressive Pinots at Donum Estate.
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