92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
The Heintz Ranch has been in their family for nearly 100 years, but despite some early experimentation with Zinfandel (aborted thanks to the beginning of prohibition), it wasn’t until 1982 that the property was planted with Chardonnay vines. As the amazing potential of this cool site near the Pacific Ocean became clear, Pinot Noir was added, and this unique site’s destiny as a haven for Burgundian varieties in California was realized. Heintz Ranch grapes are used by many of the top Pinot and Chard producers in California, including Littorai, Freeman, and Williams-Selyem, but the family reserves some of the best blocks for their own label. The finest lots are used for the ultra-premium Heintz label, and we are very lucky to have been able to snag a small allocation of the Heintz Pinot Noir from the stunning 2008 vintage.
The 2008 Heintz Pinot Noir, sourced 100% from the Heintz vineyard on the western edge of the Russian River Valley, is a very pale ruby color. The nose shows a beautiful bouquet of red fruit, with raspberry, cherry and cranberry, accompanied by notes of briar and candied plum. The palate is a little darker, with berry and cherry flavors intertwined with licorice, pomegranate, and mineral notes. The flavors are wonderfully layered, providing plenty of punch while the wine itself remains light and elegant, with silky tannin contributing a remarkable texture. This wine beautifully demonstrates that there is more to California Pinot Noir than just over the top fruit, and for those who prefer a little subtlety in their reds, this one is sure to be a delight for years to come. At just $35, this Pinot blows away competitors that are charging $50 to $60 for such quality.
This wine is hard to find and normally allocated, let alone at any discount. So don’t miss your chance on this one!
Appellation: Sonoma Coast (Heintz Ranch)
Production: Bottled 8/17/09 - 500 cases
Heintz Ranch has been owned by the Heintz family for nearly 100 years. Charlies’ grandparents purchased the land in 1912. Over the many decades they grew many crops. In the first years it was chickens, berries, cherries apples and other vegetables.
The Heintz family grew to nine children, which became the labor force. In the early 1900’s the Heintz family planted a few acres of vineyard. Zinfandel grew well here. At Prohibition, the grape vines were removed and replaced with apple orchards. Apples stayed in production here until the Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1982.
Charlie began farming Heintz Ranch in 1984. He continually strives to learn new techniques, keeping up with the latest tools and innovations.
Their first label became known as “Dutch Bill Creek” in recognition of one of the early settlers of the town of Occidental, CA named William “Dutch Bill” Howard and the creek that was later named after him. The train on our label is representative of the train that used to pass through the center of town.
The ultra-premium label is “Heintz.” These small-production wines are made from 100% Heintz Ranch fruit.
Because the wines are produced in small quantities, they receive the utmost care and attention, which is reflected in the taste, color and aroma of our wines. Charlie painstakingly manages all aspects of farming the 55 acres of vineyard including operations and personally overseeing the winemaking process of our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Syrah.
In addition to producing their own wine each year, the remaining Heintz Ranch fruit goes to a few select, high-end wineries in Sonoma and Napa tha include: Littorai, Freeman, and Williams-Selyem. Charlie prides himself on working closely with each winemaker to deliver quality fruit, consistently, each and every year.
More at www.heintzvineyards.com.