APR 2024 Pinot Selections


  1. Ernest Vineyards Pinot Noir “The Settler”, Cleary Ranch Vyrd (CA) $54
  2. De Martino 2020 “Legado” Pinot Noir (Chile) $31
  3. Tessier Filigreen Farm Pinot Noir (CA) $60

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1. Ernest Vineyards Pinot Noir “The Settler”, Cleary Ranch Vyrd (CA) $54

The talented Erin Brooks is the mind behind this brand, crafting small quantities of superb wines such as this: 550 cases, 12.7% ABV, classic West Sonoma. In partnership with her husband, Todd, Ernest Vineyards remains only as large as two people can manage on their own.

The Labels:

Todd’s grandmother was a professional artist and is the source of the original “Ernest” portrait that currently hangs in Todd and Erin’s house. We drew inspiration from her work and have crafted the following portraits of our own, which is the best way to experience the people and places behind our wines.

The Vineyards

Todd & Erin

Erin produces her “Ernest Vineyard” wines from single vineyards. In this case, the fruit is from Cleary Ranch. Just down the hill from the Cleary family’s famous Freestone Hill Vineyard. In this plot, John Cleary farms this unique 6-acre plot of cool-climate Pinot Noir.

In what can only be described as a foible of agriculture, this vineyard requires longer hang times and produces lower brix than the Freestone vineyard just 100 yards up the hill. The result? An elegant wine offering complex flavors and low alcohol – all the markers that make Freestone and West Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir so desirable.

Tasting Notes

Sour cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate layered with earthy shiitake and floral undertones. Lush and juicy on the palate, with elegant, round tannins, assertive acidity and generosity of fruit forming a texture that is at once elegant and decadent.


2. De Martino 2020 “Legado” Pinot Noir (Chile) $31

The Wine

Legado brings together wines of great intensity and complexity from exceptional vineyards. This 100% Pinot Noir was grown in soils rich in sea shells and clay – known for producing elegant, aromatic wines – then aged in neutral oak to soften the tannins without adding notable wood notes. The wine features red fruits and elegance. Limited edition.

The Winery

Chile is an interesting country. Only a few hundred miles wide, but with a coastline as long as the US is wide! The De Martino winery settled in the Itata area of Chile’s Limari wine region.

Four generations of De Martino’s have run the family winery since Pietro first came to Chile from Italy in 1934.  Ninety years after that fateful year, 4th generation Marco Antonio and Sebastián De Martino, together with oenologist Nicolás Pérez, are plotting the winery into the future. In that time, the winery has become a regular darling of wine critic, Robert Parker.


3. Tessier Filigreen Farm Pinot Noir (CA) $60

Kristie Tacey, winemaker and founder of Tessier Winery is a scientist turned winemaker (she went from protein pathways to Pinot!). Kristie initially pursued a career that included working on the Human Genome Project, rewarding work, but she came to realize winemaking was her true calling. After paying her dues with other wineries, she started Tessier in 2009.

She began handcrafting small lots of Pinot Noir before adding other wines based on her appreciation of French wines — especially those from Burgundy and the Loire and Rhone valleys. Kristie sources high-quality fruit from a strong network of growers in the Anderson Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, Arroyo Seco, and El Dorado foothills.

By practicing minimal-intervention winemaking, Kristie showcases the unique characteristics of the grapes and vineyards she works with. We’ve said it a million times before in this space, but it can never be said often enough – great wine begins and ends with the fruit, the winemaker is simply the midwife that brings the wine to life.

For Kristie, sustainability is a priority — not only with the vineyards’ farming practices, but also by having long-term relationships with her growers and customers. Her tiny annual production (just around 1,400 cases) gets outsized levels of attention. Taste this wine and you’ll see why!

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