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.
So yes, our eyes lit up when this sample arrived in the mail, as this one has pretty much everything going for it. Estate grown on one of Sonoma’s great vineyards, Heintz Ranch on the true Sonoma Coast, this Pinot Noir never disappoints. And even better, it hails from the 2009 vintage, perhaps the best Pinot vintage of the last 10+ years. The fruit is meticulously farmed by Charles Heintz, and while he sells most of his fruit to Sonoma’s top producers, he reserves a small block of Swan clone Pinot for his own wine.
Its easy to look at bottle and expect a beautiful wine, but the question is always, how does it taste? The 2009 Heintz Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is light garnet in color, showing just a hint of age. The nose offers intense cherry aromas, joined by cocoa and briar notes. The wine is medium in body, yet remarkably intense in flavor with spicy cherry and cranberry joined by darker black currant and berry compote flavors. These berry flavors linger on the palate with a bit of black pepper and fresh cut violet joining in. This wine is singing now, and showing a touch of age, so those who like their wines young will probably want to enjoy it over the next couple of years, while those who like a more advanced wine can keep it for five years or more.
Appellation: Appellation: Sonoma Coast (100% Heintz Ranch, Swan Clone)
Production: Bottled 3/7/11 - 204 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.