Pinot Noir – Mille Frere – Sonoma Coast
100% Pinot Noir, clones: 115, 667, 777. After an inspiring vintage series from their two best Pinot Noirs (Mill Station and Frere) ended in 2015, Peter Paul decided to continue in the spirit of what made those wines special by introducing a new flagship – Mille Frere 2016. They also explored a new vineyard source in the Petaluma Gap corridor, resulting in a bodacious Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
“Weather-wise, the 2016 vintage was nearly perfect, with a long growing season extended in part by a cooled-down August that brought out unreal color and phenolic development. The harvest lent itself well to a few days of cold soak, followed by a long fermentation to extract a seductive, layered Pinot Noir (and here we thought the 2015 Frere was big!). By spring 2017, we knew this was a rockstar and simply got out of the way: minimal racking with extended 14-month maturation in 100% French Oak, 40% new; bottled unfined and lightly filtered in February 2018.”
The wine offers the graceful texture of moderate-climate Pinot Noir with the chiseled features derived from the windy Petaluma Gap, and a little Russian River spice thrown in for good measure. The 2016 vintage, while notably the ripest vintage produced, remains true to the savory-sweet essence of the variety. A surprisingly dark-ruby hue and soaring aromas of red plum, rosehip, and orange zest are followed by flavors of red berry preserve, exotic spice, and a pleasing layer of density and complexity, leading up to a satisfying finish. 282 cases and 60 magnums produced.
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.