The 2010 Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard is the first wine Brown made with whole clusters, 10% in this vintage. Plums, cherries, mint, tobacco and incense waft from the glass from this attractive, mid-weight Pinot. A finessed, supple finish leaves a lasting impression. It will be interesting to watch this wine evolve, and specifically to see if the use of whole clusters is an experiment or if it becomes a staple of the approach here. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.
This is a beautiful set of Pinot Noirs from proprietors Thomas Rivers Brown and Genevieve Marie Welsh. Brown notes that the 2010 vintage was not looking so great at a number of these sites because of the cold summer. The late September heat wave gave the vines the last kick they needed to fully ripen. Brown gave the 2010 Pinots 10 months in French oak barrels ranging from 25-80% new. As good as the vineyard designates are, the real star here is the Sonoma Coast bottling, which is one of the most fairly priced Pinot Noirs from anywhere in the world. Antonio Galloni