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Wine of the Day

2009 Von Holt Pinot Noir Suacci Vineyard

Von Holt is new, small-production wine label focusing on cool climate wines. Total production is just 600 cases, spread among two Pinot Noir and two Syrah. They plan to release a Chardonnay later this year as well. Because of their small size and this being their first year of releases, they do not have a tasting room.

John Fones makes the wines for the proprietors, Chris and Pamela Von Holt. Fones is also assistant winemaker to Ed Kurtzman for the Roar, August West and Sandler wineries. All of those wines, and the Von Holt, are made at Kurtzman’s facility in the city of San Francisco. Ed Kurtzman also serves as a consultant for Von Holt.

Proprietors Pamela and Chris Von Holt at the Family Winemakers Tasting on August 21, 2011.

The 2009 Von Holt Pinot Noir Suacci Vineyard is ruby in color with a pale rim. Aromas of black cherry and pomegranate flow generously from the glass. A closer sniff reveals sandalwood, leather and cranberry. The body is medium-plus with a supple mouthfeel. The tannins and alcohol are both moderate and well-integrated. The flavors are rich and include tart black cherry, wild strawberry, vanilla and orange. A suggestion of cherry cough drop emerges as the long finishes slowly subsides. This is an excellent Pinot Noir that proves (again) that California Pinot can have powerful fruit without being either simple or high in alcohol. It is rich and satisfying with complexity that rewards focus but enough forward fruit to make easy to enjoy. Drink now through 2016. Highly Recommended.

On a side note, this Von Holt wine was bottled as a Suacci Vineyard, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. But Suacci-Carciere bills their own offering from the same vineyard as a Russian River Pinot Noir. How can that be?

The Russian River and Sonoma Coast AVAs are very large and there is substantial overlap between the two. The 6.5 acre Suacci Vineyard, located south of Sebastopol, is one of many that falls within both appellations. Of course, it also lies within the Sonoma County, North Coast and California AVAs. When a wine comes from an area of overlapping appellations, the winery can choose which one to list on their bottle.

von-holt-pinot2009 Von Holt Pinot Noir Suacci Vineyard
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2016
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Closure: Cork
Production: 225 cases
Retail Price: $42.00

Winemaker: John Fones
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir (Dijon, 115 and 777 clones)
Origin: 100% Sonoma Coast/Russian River, Suacci Vineyard
Fermentation: Native yeast

Aging: 11 months in French oak barrels, 30% new

Alcohol: 13.3%

This wine was received for review from the winery. It was tasted blind in a flight of three Russian River/Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

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This article is original to Photos by Fred Swan. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.