2012 Onward Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir



In 2013 I first introduced you to Faith Armstrong-Foster’s Pinot Noirs under her label “Onward”. I was so taken with these Pinot Noirs that I professionally cellared some away so that at future point I could reoffer them at the height of their glory – perfectly matured, exceptional domestic Pinot from an inspiring producer.

I am writing today to make that offer – we’ve now got both of her Pinots on special, Hawkeye Ranch in Redwood Valley and Cerise Vineyard in Anderson Valley. Both are extraordinary with pronounced aromatics, supple and beautifully light mid-palates, seamlessly integrated, and of course deliciously enjoyable now, at eight and six years old.

The Cerise Vineyard’s hillside location in the Anderson Valley provides an ideal climate for growing Pinot Noir. The terroir is further enhanced by organic and biodynamic viticulture methods. The result is a wine of lush, ripe blackberries and raspberry fruit character, coupled with the toothsome depth of savory sous bois. This is a full and richly flavored Pinot Noir with a joyful expression of California fruit. However, it doesn’t have any of the glycerol heaviness of many of its California brethren and finishes fresh, vibrant, and alive. This is gorgeous wine.

The Johnson Family, owners of Redwood Valley’s Hawkeye Ranch, are fifth-generation family farmers, and their strong sense of sustainability shines through in this heritage vineyard, planted with old vine Martini clone. The heritage clone creates a wine with Pinot’s beautiful brown sugar, cinnamon, clove and sherry wood aromas. On the palate, these are joined by flavors of strawberry and pomegranate. The finish ends with a lingering sense of fruity minerality, a combination of crushed dried flowers and roasted fruits that is also simply gorgeous.

I’ll say it again, these two Pinots are what is great in Pinot Noir and at perfect maturity. It is such a joy to share our cellar selections with you – but we weren’t able to stash away a huge quantity so let us know your interest as soon as possible.

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