So a vineyard manager and a winemaker walk into a bar…

This week we had the honor of hosting a world class winemaker (Ken Bernards of Ancien) and THE premier vineyard manager in Sonoma County (Ulises Valdez). These guys are the best in the business.

Learn more about Ulises Valdez.

See a video of Ken Bernards talking about Winemaking and Tournesol Winery.

2012 Ancien ‘Red Dog Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Sonoma Mountain

Wine Spectrum 95: Subtle and alluring, with a finish that goes on for a long, long time.  This vineyard is maturing nicely, exhibiting its dramatically unique terroir within a package of quiet and exotic beauty.  The nose opens to an exotic perfume of candied rapsberry, rose hips, cherry, and orange peelcigar, cedar, followed by more organic and rich aromas of cigar, cedar, and forest floor.  Spiced throughout with orange peel, cinnamon, lavender, and sage.  The fruit expands in the glass and fills the palate with fresh pomegranate, boysenberry, black cherry, cherry preserve, ripe plums, dried cranberries, and hints of geranium, dried mushroom, clove, and mandarin.  The mouth feel is soft and rich, with a considerable acidic lift.  Toward the back, it reveals an earthen and tannic strength, and the finish is long and dominated by fine, dry tannins and dried spices and fruits.  With age this wine deepens and softens, rewarding the palate, while also exhibiting an even more exotic nose as the bouquet develops.  Cellar this wine for anywhere from 6-12 year, and beyond.

2012 Valdez ‘Valdez Vineyards’ Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Wine Spectrum 94+: Bright, fresh, and juicy red fruit aromas jump from the glass. Black cherry, blueberry and raspberry flavors are interlaced on the palate with lean minerality and wrapped around a taut, muscular structure. The fruit for this wine is sourced from the UV Vineyard, Laguna Vineyard, and Kimble Ranch. Just a few hundred cases produced. 

Wine Spectator 94: A rich, broad, expressive style that captures a wide range of deep flavors, with spicy wild blackberry notes and touches of cinnamon and spice, matched by cedary, toasty oak and rich, full, mineral-laced tannins. Drink now through 2021.

2013 Ancien ‘Mink Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Coombsville Napa Valley

Wine Spectrum 94+: Without sacrificing weight and depth, this wine displays elegance and finesse.  Fruit notes of blueberry, cherries, and huckleberry dance upon a nose of wet stone. The palate reveals mouthwatering minerality rounded with plum, chocolate and currant, spiced with notes of tobacco.  As always, the finish is dominated with the fine, chalky and mineral tannins coating the entire palate and lingering long into the finish.  A singular California Pinot Noir, displaying the uniqueness of Coombsville.  Drinks well now and will mature with grace for 8-12 years.

2011 Valdez ‘St. Peter’s Church’ Zinfandel, Alexander Valley

Valdez Zinfandel St Peter labelWine Spectrum 94: Slightly leaner and more elegant than the previous vintage, the 2011 St. Peter’s Church Zinfandel shows aromas of fresh blackberries, macerated red cherries, and slight hints of lavender and baking spice. The palate demonstrates notes of fiery cracked black pepper, briary black fruits like blackberries, black raspberries and plums, and elements of sweet, toasty oak. Soft tannins and a long finish make this Zinfandel a perfect pairing with ribs, BBQ or burgers.

2012 Valdez Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

Valdez Chardonnay Sonoma Coast labelWine Spectrum 94, Wine Spectator 93: Smooth, rich and creamy, filling out the palate with a pure mix of honey-laced fig, green apple, pear, melon and jazzy oak notes that linger, gaining depth and richness. Drink now through 2020. 210 cases made.

2013 Kinsella Estates ‘Spencer Vineyard’ Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

spencerWine Spectrum 93+: Beautiful and expressive aromas of violets, brandied cherries, cinnamon and cloves lead to enticing flavors of dark cherry preserves, freshly picked blackberries and red licorice. This wine has a plush mouthfeel with fine, well-integrated tannins and a dusty minerality. Patience is rewarded after a short decant, revealing gorgeous notes of sandalwood and boysenberry jam. 219 cases produced. 

2012 Ancien Chardonnay, Carneros

shop-2012CCHLabel-250.0.0Wine Spectrum 93+ Announced by rich aromatics of melon, pear, and fig accented with Granny Smith apples and tangerine. Chalky, wet stone and graphite add nuance, topped with decadent creme brulee and brioche.  Intense palate weight and luscious fruit tannins fill the mid-palate,finishing mouth-filling minerality. Citrus flavors are intermixed with peaches and cream and citron notes and just a hint of pineapple.  Cardamom, and toasty biscotti notes, liven the palate, leading into the finish which is long, layered, and complex.  The tannins, minerality, and acidity that are the calling card of well-raised, true Old Wente Chardonnay are in full display.

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