RATINGS & REVIEWS
2014 Couloir Cambell Ranch, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
94pts, Editors' Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "This is a beautifully bold wine, tannic and brimming in supportive oak that speaks to an age-worthy potential for cellaring. Crisp wisps of orange and red cherry meet a touch of smoked meat and wild sage to memorable affect, a taste of the sauvage that's hard to beat."
92pts PinotFile: "Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Highly enjoyable in every way, with enchanting aromas of blackberry liquor, plum, soy sauce and subtle oak. Mid weight flavors of ripe black cherry and purple berries are accented with a hint of toasty oak and Asian spices. Suave in the mouth with soft tannins, leading to a bright, gifted finish that leaves a little alcoholic heat in its wake. Score: 92"
2014 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard, Marin County Pinot Noir
94pts, Editors' Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "This wine grabs the attention with a distinctive earthy, wild yet sophisticated personality. The aroma is like forest floor, dried mushrooms and black tea. Flavors convey rhubarb and plum but also are savory and smoky as they fill the mouth and linger on the finish."
92pts PinotFile: "Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Like a walk in a forest after a rain, featuring aromas of cedar, pine and sandalwood along with crushed wild berries off the vine. Delightfully composed, with middleweight flavors of boysenberry and dark raspberry along with a touch of smoke. Very fine-grain tannins create a sensual texture and the wine finishes with a dazzling array of berry flavors. Score: 92"
2014 Couloir John Sebastiano, Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
94pts PinotFile: "Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of blackberry jam, soy, potpourri and earthy flora. The wine explodes with glorious fruit on entry, saturating the mid palate with delicious flavors of black raspberry, plum and spice, finishing with both length and intensity. Impeccably balanced with vibrant acidity and integrated tannins, this beauty offers a sublime experience for hedonists. Score: 94"
93pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Baked black cherry and black plum meet with lots of crushed gravel and light fennel on the nose of this bottling that is all about fruit and earth, rather than herb and spice. Tart red plum and sour raspberry show upon the palate's gravelly texture, but darker red fruit awaits in the midpalate along with char and a touch of soy."
2014 Couloir Monument Tree, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
94pts, Editors' Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Fabulous flavors and a racy, elegant texture lift this wine above the pack. It has an intricate perfume of baking spices, rhubarb and forest floor followed by vivid and slightly tangy fruit flavors all held together with ease by the lightly gripping mouth-feel."
94pts PinotFile: "...Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine really impresses with aromas of muddled black cherry and raspberry, along with spice and wooded forest infusions. The aromas achieve more penetration with time in the glass. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, blackberry and spice satisfy with added accents of dark caramel and char from oak. Intriguing and beautifully balanced, with a seductive velvety texture that makes you want to pour this syrupy Pinot on your waffle. Score: 94"
2013 Couloir Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir
93pts Wine & Spirits Magazine: "This is winemaker Jon Grant's second year working with Campbell Ranch, a site planted at 750 feet of elevation among the fog-shrouded redwoods near Annapolis. It buzzes with coastal energy, feeling pristine and perfectly ripe, the cranberry and sour cherry pulse of the fruit layered with aromas of woodland flowers and pine fronds, the overall impression as crisp as spring water."
93pts, Editors' Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "From the extreme wilds near Annapolis, this vineyard-designate is rapaciously earthy in all the right ways, a taste of its environs, sauvage and demanding. Dark cherry and blueberry exude on the nose and follow through on the palate, in between jolts of baking spice and dried herb. Medium bodied, the wine is on the money right now, but should also do well in the bottle for years to come."
92pts PinotFile: "Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose mixes aromas of fresh cherries with red currants and candied apple. On entry, the wine saturates the palate with flavorful cherry and berry fruits and persists with a vengeance through a glorious finish replete with highly aromatic fruit. Beautifully crafted, with balanced tannins and sheer beauty of flavor."
90pts Wine Spectator - 8 Thrilling Sonoma Pinot Noirs
"Well-structured and tempting, with blueberry, raspberry, plum and cherry notes, all subtle and well-defined. On the delicate side. Drink now. 241 cases made."—J.L.
2013 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard, Marin County Pinot Noir
91pts, Cellar Selection Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Powerful, natural, uncomplicated grape aromas and flavors fuel this light-bodied but memorable wine. With each sip its depth, complexity and appeal improve. The density and intensity of the fruit flavors combine with very firm tannins and lively acidity to make it nervy and delicious. Best now through 2019."
94pts PinotFile: "Moderately deep red color in the glass. The nose really perks up the senses with flamboyant aromas of red cherry and boysenberry. Expansive and layered on the palate, with impressive attack and finish featuring flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice. Amazing fruit intensity for Marin County and spectacular phenolic ripeness at a relatively low ABV. A very pleasing wine with balanced tannins and acidity, a silky texture, and an intense finish featuring sweet black cherry and berry flavors with real length."
2013 Couloir John Sebastiano, Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
91pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Warm aromas of cherries, clove and cinnamon mix with brick, blood and sandalwood on the nose of this wine from a vineyard on the appellation’s eastern edge. There are herbs galore on the palate, particularly anise, as well as iron, dried raspberries and a distinctive savory fruit character."
93pts PinotFile: "Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Subdued, but pleasant aromas of crushed berries, pomegranate and a whisper of toasty oak. Intense, concentrated, yet vibrant, with flavors of sweet boysenberry, blueberry and pomegranate in a mid weight plus style. The oak is nicely integrated, the modest tannins are supportive, and the juicy finish is fueled by vibrant acidity typical of the Sta. Rita Hills. This vineyard impresses me of late in vineyard-designated wines made by several producers."
2013 Couloir Monument Tree, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
93pts, Editors' Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "This has a classic, lighter red color and equally classic aromas of red cherry, sour cherry, black tea, lightly toasted oak and a touch of forest floor. Generous cherry and plum flavors are perfectly balanced with crisp acidity and fine-grained tannins. It's not a big wine, but a vivid, polished and memorable one."
90pts Wine & Spirits Magazine: "Tight and lean, this comes from a cool site now owned by the Duncan family of Silver Oak and Twomey. Moving from burly tannis toward juicy cranberry and grapefruit flavors, it's laced together with mint, coastal redwood scents and tightwire acidity."
2012 Couloir Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir
94pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Couloir 2012 Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). The vineyard lies on the extreme Sonoma Coast, near the settlement of Annapolis, north of Fort Ross-Seaview. The wine shows the crisp acidity and delicacy of the best of these coastal Pinot Noirs, as well as the exotic spices and notes of balsam, chamomile tea and wild mushrooms that accompany the raspberries and cherries. It's gorgeous to drink now and capable of aging until at least 2022." S.H.
2012 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir
90-94pts Exceptional The Prince of Pinot: "Relatively light in color, but packs a wallop of well-spiced red fruits. A very generous wine that ranks among the best I have ever tasted from this small appellation. Love this!"
89pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "This is a big, tough, tight and somewhat puzzling Pinot Noir. It's bone dry, moderate in alcohol and tart in acidity, with sour red cherry, cranberry, Dr. Pepper cola and new French oak flavors..." CELLAR SELECTION. S.H.
2012 Couloir John Sebastiano, Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
92pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Couloir 2012 John Sebastiano Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills). Young and vigorous in acids and tannins, this Pinot needs time in the cellar. It's enormous in cherries, raspberries and cola, with a liqueurish richness and an opulent coating of exotic sandalwood. A real beauty..." CELLAR SELECTION. S.H.
2012 Couloir Monument Tree Pinot Noir
93pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Another lovely Monument Tree Pinot from Couloir, this vintage is stemmy and earthy, yet soft, silky and voluptuous in all the right ways. It's pleasantly refined and ethereal, with whispers of cherry and rasberry fruitiness alongside equal parts gravitas and substance." - V.B.
91pts Wine Spectator Magazine: "Couloir is a relatively new label from winemaker-owner Jon Grant. An avid skier, Grant segued into wine while employed at the wine shop at the Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah. After a stint managing the wine program at the resort’s restaurants, he moved to California and worked at Turley and Plumpjack. He now makes vineyard-designated Pinots from Anderson Valley and Marin County.Exhibits a dense, rich, firmly tannic mix of blackberry and wild berry flavors, with intense floral scents and touches of pomegranate and boysenberry. An expressive, focused Pinot Noir. Drink now through 2022. 197 cases made." —J.L.
2011 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir
93pts Purely Domestic: "…an attractive nose of herb and flowers...The palate holds a lean, tea-like impression with razor-sharp acid delineation...wild and beautiful.”~Doug Wilder
90pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "A cool vintage from a cool site. Couloir's Chileno Valley Vineyard Pinot will please those who prefer their wines light and subtle, the wine's character playfully soft, silky and round. Intermixed with its high tones of red fruit is a substantial herbal quality, somewhere between menthol and cedar." ~V.B.
88pts Wine & Spirits Magazine: “An earthy pinot noir with scents of clove and Indian spice, this is lean, cool and funky.”
2011 Couloir Roma’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
92pts Purely Domestic: “…has a nose painted with bright, savory cherry and vanilla spice notes. The palate is delicate and understated ...with well-defined sweet/ sour cherry, pomegranate, graphite and crème Brule. It is a wine I would enjoy lingering over because there is so much going on."~Doug Wilder
90pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "This light Pinot has a nice balance of red cherry fruit and herbal earthiness that tastes substantial despite its 12.7% alcohol level. Complex, it has more to share over the next 3-5 years."~V.B.
"This was my favorite. The spice and flint traits are paramount, but it’s nothing like a spicy/flinty Burgundy that you can’t cozy up to for 15 years. At 12.7% alcohol, it’s supremely unhurried and loose-limbed, and its journey from first tongue contact until a good while later as it departs is one steady dissolve...It would be a fascinating six-bottle buy, for you to dip into semiannually for three years."~Joe Appel, Portland Press Herald
"Brilliant slightly pinkish red; overwhelmingly floral aromas featuring roses and lilac; taut and lean on the palate, even a bit grippy on the finish; more impression of flowers, herbs and some very fine-grained tannin than of fruit; a stealth wine that reveals itself slowly in layers and captivates with time. Bright, elegant, built to age."~Dr. John Hæger, historian, educator, administrator and wine writer
2011 Couloir Monument Tree Pinot Noir
Year's Best Pinot Noirs - 93pts Wine & Spirits Magazine: “...transparent red berries and strawberries... whole-cluster fermentation adds dimension and brightness. Rich and full-bodied, this sustains an open, coastal freshness, allowing the site to speak through the wine’s silken polish.”
93pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: “This compelling Monument Tree Pinot Offers a sauvage earthiness, layers of red cherry and blueberry fruit and a depth of character packaged deftly around its silky smooth texture. This is a knockout wine, a testament to the power of great farming and winemaking in a cool year." ~V.B.
90pts Purely Domestic: “... Luscious, perfectly ripened boysenberry, plum and black cherry fruits caressed by modest tannins, finishing with impressive aromatic intensity. One of the best wines I tasted from the Anderson Valley in this vintage.”~Doug Wilder
"Bright, luminous cherry red; aromas of bramble and cherry blossoms; herbal, fruit and mineral notes on the palate; lean, elegant, silky, intense and complete; more ample than the Roma's, friendlier too perhaps; very, very good."~Dr. John Haeger, historian, educator, administrator and wine writer
2011 Couloir Londer Vineyard Pinot Noir
92pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: “A brooding, textured Pinot Noir with some weight to it, deep in dark cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors, with a finish of roses and spice. This wine is aching to be paired with savory mushrooms." ~V.B.
90pts Connoisseurs' Guide: “There have been more than a few good Pinots made from this fine Anderson Valley site, and this one stands as Couloir’s best. It is a touch richer and a bit more complete than its mates, and its ample, ripe-cherry fruit sports a nice sense of brightness... full-bodied without being heavy...”
90pts Purely Domestic: “…shows deep shadings of blue plum and cherry with whiffs of clove and cinnamon... Subtle fruit adds to the structure bringing a savory influence of baked fruit to the finish. Displays fine balance throughout.”~Doug Wilder
STRAIGHT LINE WINE
2013 Straight Line Pinot Noir
91pts Wine & Spirits Magazine: "...It's a serious pinot noir, with a sappy red cherry tone that gains complexity from umami notes of smoke and autumn leaves. Point up its savory qualities with sauteed black trumpet mushrooms."
91pts, Editors' Choice Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "This has a warm and inviting cherry compote aroma. Broad, ripe and complex flavors resemble black cherry, cinnamon and wood smoke, with a full body and a velvety texture.The wine falls on the rich, plush side of the fence, simply gorgeous in flavor profile, full bodied and long on the finish."
2013 Straight Line Tempranillo
91pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "This wine has rich blueberry aromas, a softly tannic texture and and black currant flavors that open more with each sip. Concentrated and full in body, it’s a luxurious-feeling and abundantly flavored wine that lingers long on the palate."
2013 Straight Line Zinfandel
95pts Decanter Magazine
90pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Attractive and easy-drinking, this smells like pomegranate juice and vanilla, and tastes like raspberry jam but without the sweetness. Soft and soothing on the palate, it finishes with a dash of spicy-sweet oak flavor that lingers."
2012 Straight Line Pinot Noir
90pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "The lightly delicate mouthfeel and brisk acidity testify to the wineís origins in cool-climate
Marin, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Intense flavors of strawberries and raspberries are uplifted by the toastiness of new French oak. This is a promising Pinot Noir for drinking now through 2018." S.H.
2012 Straight Line Tempranillo
Wine Spectator Magazine: "Distinctive and tightly focused, with dried cherry and wild berry aromas and complex flavors of Asian spice, tobacco and lead pencil. The tannins are tight but ripe. Drink now through 2020." 748 cases made. –TF
90pts Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "A generous, well-balanced and wonderfully layered wine, this smells deep and plummy, and has a bit of black pepper in the otherwise abundant blackberry flavors. The especially attractive texture is at once dense and velvety. It’s full bodied but very well behaved and easy to enjoy."
2011 Straight Line Pinot Noir
"Pinot Noir should be either incredibly complex or Zen-level spare; at any price point, it’s usually somewhere in the muddled middle. The Straight Line is so as-it-should-be, so Saint-Exupéry, I shed almost-real tears of appreciation."~Joe Appel, Portland Press Herald
2011 Straight Line Sauvignon Blanc
Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "The honey, orange, pineapple-jam and vanilla flavors are extremely rich, but balanced and brightened by brilliant acidity. It’s elegant, clean and delicious.”
Wine Spectator: "Light-bodied and refreshing, with crisp lemon, lime and apple flavors, showing distinctive notes of fresh herb and green tea.”
2011 Straight Line Tempranillo
90pts Wine & Spirits Magazine: "...This spicy red ...is richer and softer than most Rioja, but tastes distinctly varietal, bright and generous, gaining clarity with air.”
89pts Wine Enthusiast: "…This is one of the better California Tempranillos out there. It’s delicate and silky on the palate, and earthy despite rich raspberry and cherry fruit. Balanced with crisp acidity and a scour of dusty tannins... A consistent follow up to the winery’s 2010.”
2011 Straight Line Syrah
89pts Wine Enthusiast: "…A very good Syrah that’s even better than the 2010 because it’s drier and has better structure. It’s rich in blackberry jam, dark chocolate, bacon and black pepper flavors, wrapped up in smooth, creamy tannins.”
89pts Wine Spectator: "...Well-built, with ripe dark berry, fresh herb, earth and subtle floral scents balanced by rich, chewy tannins. Solid length. Drink now through 2019”
"Most Saint Joseph-like California Syrah I've had in a long time. No kidding. I cut my wine-teeth on alluring, perfume-y Northern Rhone reds. This reminds me of the spicy, gamy, wild Rhone Valley Syrahs I still love. Napa vintner Jon Grant buys Santa Barbara County fruit to make this delicious Syrah. Partial whole cluster ferment with about 5% Viognier. Neutral oak aged. Black pepper, blueberries, smoky olive, pipe tobacco, violets, plum sauce. Have with duck leg, duck confit, roast quail, calves liver with onions, mushroom, garlicy, rosemary and thyme."~Daniel Dawson, Backroom Wines Napa
2010 Straight Line Pinot Noir
93pts Pinot Report: "… bright, rich, cherry flavors with spicy notes; vibrant texture and mouthfeel…good structure and balance; long finish.”