appeal to establish AVA status for the subregion within the enormous Sonoma Coast AVA.
Pfendler’s late husband Peter planted the family’s first vineyard in 1992 - he opted for Bordeaux varieties at that time. Although the grapes struggled to ripen, he was inspired by the Petaluma Gap’s potential, and over the next 15 years, he experimented in planting various Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones As it turns out, they thrived in the cool-climate, maritime-influenced area.
Sonoma Pinot Noir guru Greg Bjornstad (right) is Pfendler’s winemaker. “I’ve always been a fan of Greg’s wines,” Pfendler adds, “and I am most impressed by his talent for making wines that express a sense of place.” Bjornstad takes a hands-on approach in the four estate vineyards and adopts a minimalistic approach in the winery.
Fairly darkly tinted, this Pinot looks like it means business, and it does. Aromas of black cherry and coffee grounds dominate the nose and continue building on the dark theme. The flavor is dark, too, with black raspberry, black tea and black cherry providing plenty of power. Speaking of power, the business end of the tannins are not shy. It's pretty enough for pork, brawny enough for beef.