92 Points - PinotFile, January 2015
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Best of Class, Gold Medal - New World Intl. Wine Comp.
Gold Medal - Pinot Noir Shootout
Gold Medal - Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Kaufman Sunnyslope Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain AVA
Planted to grapevines in 1994 (originally Merlot but soon after grafted to Pinot noir), this six acre parcel sits on the cooler north side of the prestigious Sonoma Mountain AVA. Owned by Jim and Sue Kaufman, Willowbrook has been producing single vineyard wines from this renowned site since 2008. It is planted to two clones, of which Willowbrook takes the Dijon 777 clone.
This beautiful hillside vineyard, with impressive views, benefits from consistent daytime sunshine but with heat moderated by the influence of the marine layer coming through the Petaluma Wind Gap, allowing the fruit to develop fully with little risk of sunburn, producing consistently ripe brix, low pH and excellent skin color: Willowbrook’s Kaufman Sunnyslope Pinots have great aging potential and long finishes.
The 2012 Willowbrook Kaufman Vineyard Pinot Noir is ruby in color, and loaded with aromas of rich dark berries. The palate is PURE Pinot, with savory spice leading to a deliciously rich mouthfeel with red CHERRY and sandalwood notes. The finish is focused and structured, with hints of PLEASANT tobacco leaf and vanilla. For those that think terroir is the key to Pinot Noir, this is sure to delight. It beautifully shows off Sonoma mountain's unique character.
Appellation: Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Fermentation: French Oak Barrels
Alcohol %: 14.57
Production: 197 cases
Willowbrook started in 2001 as a dream of winemaker, Joe Otos, then 26 years old. This dream became reality after he teamed up with retired technology executives, John Tracy and Ed Sillari. Sillari and Tracy had recently moved to the wine country and had begun separately to explore opportunities to pursue their passion for wine. Sillari was involved in wine sales and Tracy had acquired a hilltop vineyard in Forestville. Their combined experiences were all the pieces needed to get Willowbrook Cellars started.
During the first few years production was limited to about 500 cases split between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Willowbrook began to increase its production of vineyard designate wines; seeking out interesting small vineyards each with its own microclimate and flavor profile.
Willowbrook Cellars wines may be found in gourmet restaurants and in specialty wine stores, but because of the small case production, most of the sales have been generated by word of mouth.
Learn more at www.willowbrookcellars.com.