We were delighted to see that our 2019 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was featured prominently in The Press Democrat newspaper’s “100 Most Amazing Wines in Sonoma County.”
Esteemed wine writer Linda Murphy:
Alex Kanzler is the winemaker for his family’s brand, which launched after a Kosta Browne Kanzler Pinot Noir knocked the socks off an influential wine critic a decade ago. Aromas of violets, spice and forest floor flood the nose, the dark berry/cherry flavors are crisp and pure, and the finish is long and scintillating. Beautifully balanced.
The complete list of wines can be found here.
Murphy penned this thoughtful introduction to her list:
The remarkable North Bay wines that were released in 2021 is credited to the farmers, winemakers and their crews, who faced a run of unprecedented challenges from 2017 into 2021 to get great wine into our glasses and on Thanksgiving tables. It took can-do attitude, and the earned response is gratitude, from those who appreciate local wines, enjoy the joie de vivre they bring, and the jobs and economic boost a resourceful wine business provides.
The Press Democrat’s 100 Amazing Wines list is populated by bottles produced in 2017 through 2020 (with a 2016 outlier or two), each year having its own harvest-time issues. The catastrophic Tubbs, Nuns and Atlas fires of 2017; the scramble by vintners to install generators, replant scorched vines and create defensive space around buildings in 2018; the 2019 Kincade fire structural damage and preventative evacuations; and the smoky 2020 season, in which county grape growers lost as much as 30% of their crop to smoke taint in the grapes. Add the coronavirus pandemic, drought and labor shortages, and the last five vintages have not been easy.
Despite all this, Sonoma’s reputation as a world-class wine region remains not only intact, but enhanced. A diverse group of winemakers has taken the field, bringing new and sometimes radical ideas that wine new wine drinkers and keep the long-established wineries on their toes. What was once considered a lame claim, “We grow everything here,” has become cool, as nearly every grape variety known to humankind can grow successfully here.
The most admired wines in the world are expensive, their prices based on demand and prestige; Sonoma has entered this sphere, and unfortunately, some of the wines on the list are beyond the means of some. It’s the price of success.