Pinot Noir – Gravenstein Highway – Sonoma Coast
100% Pinot Noir. Sourcing grapes from several fine sites, including the Frere vineyard in Russian River and the famed Terra de Promissio in the Petaluma Gap, this bottling was the culmination of painstaking barrel selection over many months during which Peter Paul sought to achieve a balance between aromatic purity, medium-bodied complexity, and a refreshing bright style of Pinot Noir. Minimal racking during the 14-month maturation in 20% New French Oak; bottled unfined in December 2019. 542 cases produced.
Vintage notes: “After the heat-spiked 2017 vintage, 2018 was like a calm stroll through the Muir Woods; Effortless with consistent, moderate weather for what turned out to be the longest harvest in years. In fact, I remember how few vintners and winemakers came to my taco truck party in late October because they were still picking fruit. The good news: both phenolic maturity and sugar-levels were in pristine balance at harvest. Thankfully, we wrapped up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay well before the rains of early October. The resulting wines have a lovely density of fruit and phenolics without tasting overripe, especially from Terra de Promissio and Bacigalupi vineyards. Speaking of… this is our third vintage with the TDP site, which has established itself as the magnificent backbone of our Pinot Noir program – forming the core of our flagship Mille Frères and dramatically upgrading the complexity of Gravenstein Highway. ” Martin Reyes
“The heart of this Pinot Noir remains in the Russian River, albeit on the cooler side of the appellation, which shows a gracefulness and pristine red fruits. The Terra de Promissio component shows up with its hallmark chiseled, savory features. Those aromas however… goodness, it’s like “strawberries gone wild” at the time of this writing (1st half of 2020), along with crushed rose petals and cinnamon. There’s a gentle freshness on the palate, with more earthiness than the nose suggests; the red fruits here being framed by sous bois, mineral, and an underlying fabric of powdery tannins. This vintage is quite similar to 2017, but with even more striking aromatics and brightness in its step.” Martin Reyes
Side note: Peter Paul has moved to lighter, thinner glass to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the movement and transport of their wines.
About the Producer
Peter Paul Wines seeks to showcase the sunny, easygoing temperament of fruit grown in California without losing the more refined elements of the grape’s DNA and European heritage. Each of their wines presents the hallmark characteristics of the terroir, while hitting that sweet spot of ripe but not overblown, elegant but not anemic, with everything in proper proportion.
When Peter was a just a teenager in the early 1960s, his father purchased a case of Château d’Yquem on sale at $10 a bottle and he became hooked on wine before being old enough to buy it. Meanwhile a job in the financial services industry brought him to Southern California in 1975. Two years later, Peter “escaped” to northern California where wine country beckoned as it always does. Today, Peter is the CEO of Headlands Asset Management LLC, an investment management company he founded in 2008. But for Peter, becoming a vintner was clearly something that was going to happen sooner or later. In 2002, the first vintage of Peter Paul Wines was bottled. Over a decade and numerous critical scores and awards later, Peter Paul Wines is a well-respected yet small virtual California winery. With barely 2,000 cases produced annually, Peter Paul sources grapes from select vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma counties.
Martin Reyes is the GM and winemaker at Peter Paul Wines. A first-generation American, Martin is the first Master of Wine of Mexican descent. With a 16-year career as a respected buyer, importer, and educator, he has held influential roles in many sectors of the industry. Martin’s wine story began with an over-indulgent dinner while studying in Paris as a Stanford undergrad and, by 2003, he was stocking shelves at his local wine shop. After working the retail side for several years, Martin became the principal buyer for an importer operating prominent wine club programs for partners like The New York Times and Williams-Sonoma. In 2015, he was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Forty under Forty Tastemakers. In his free time, Martin teaches WSET courses, attempts to become fluent in a fifth language, and raises his daughter trilingually, together with his wife in Vallejo, CA.
Trevor Smith acts as vineyard and winemaking consultant. Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, he attended Texas A&M University and received a BA in History. After three years in the service, he began working in wine retail in Dallas, Texas before returning to Oregon and working on the production side. After winemaking stints in the Willamette Valley, Barossa Valley and Napa Valley he has settled in Sonoma County and joined the Peter Paul team in 2020.