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Wine of the Week: Sangiacomo, 2016 Roberts Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Peg Melnik, The Press Democrat, July 31, 2018

Serendipity is mysterious; it makes you wonder if vines have a plan of their own and set everything in motion, calling forth the fate of growers and winemakers.

The Sangiacomo Family, a dynasty of growers dating back four generations, decided to create an inaugural label with the 2016 vintage. Meanwhile, James MacPhail ended his five-year commitment as winemaker of his namesake winery in 2016.

The fate of the winemaker and the growers met at the crossroads of the vines that groomed this wine-of-the-winner — the Sangiacomo, 2016 Roberts Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

The $70 pinot is a wild child with a stampede of red fruit running through it — tangy strawberry, cranberry and pomegranate. It has some subtle savory flavors, with a note of black pepper in the mix. It’s gorgeous.

MacPhail, 52, credits the “trailblazing vineyard” of Roberts Road, which is only 100 yards away from the famed Gap’s Crown Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap appellation. This new American Viticultural Area is known for its “wind tunnel” effect and how it plays out in the bottle. The wind flows off the ocean between Tomales Bay and Bodega Bay, funnels through the gap, then empties into the San Francisco Bay. The wind chills the vines, allowing the late ripening grapes time to develop potent flavors.

“Our family is coming out with a label now because it’s the perfect time,” said Steve Sangiacomo, co-vintner of Sangiacomo Family Wines. “Our vineyards are producing the best wine they ever have, and we are naturally evolving from grape growing to winemaking. We will always be grape growers, and we are excited to let consumers taste the artistic expression of our fruit.”

MacPhail said he knows that artistic expression well. He has deep roots in the vineyard, producing a Roberts Road Vineyard Pinot Noir for MacPhail since 2003.

“I see wine as such a generational product,” MacPhail said. “We get to make it once a year, and so it’s important to really figure out a site — when to farm it and when to pick. It takes so long, and I’ve been in the site for 15 years. It really helps.”

MacPhail said the Sangiacomo tribe surprised him when they all showed up on bottling day.

“The whole family came out,” MacPhail said, even Angelo Sangiacomo at 87. “They stayed for four or five hours. It really sums up how special the family is.”

Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at 707-521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.

 

 

 

Robert Parker The Wine Advocate Heading

 

Issue 237  //  June 29, 2018

2016 Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

92 points “The 2016 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast offers an enticing nose of pink grapefruit, guava, nectarines and pineapple with touches of cashews, brioche and creme brulee.  Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with satiny-textured tropical fruits, with a racy line to deliver plenty of freshness through the long, toasty finish.”  – Lisa Perroti-Brown

 

2016 Sangiacomo Green Acres Vineyard Chardonnay

95 plus points “The 2016 Chardonnay Green Acres Vineyard opens with beguiling scents of pineapple, green mango, white peaches and lemon curd with hints of orange blossoms, almond croissant and honeycomb. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals an incredible intensity of tropical and citrus layers, with a seamless line of freshness and silken texture, finishing very long and savory.” – Lisa Perroti-Brown

 

2016 Sangiacomo Home Ranch Chardonnay

93 plus points “The 2016 Chardonnay Home Ranch has a wonderfully spicy nose of allspice, ginger and coriander seed over a core of honeydew melon, apricots and grapefruit with a hint of marzipan. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with spiced stone fruit flavors, followed up by plenty of freshness and finishing long and creamy.” – Lisa Perroti-Brown

 

2016 Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

94 points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast absolutely sings of kirsch, violets, fresh raspberries, rose hips and anise with touches of lavender, forest floor and ceps. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with perfumed red fruits, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and layered.” – Lisa Perroti-Brown

 

2016 Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard Pinot Noir

94 plus points “Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2016 Pinot Noir Roberts Road Vineyard is a little reticent to begin, opening out to reveal incredible redcurrant, Bing cherries and lilacs scents with nuances of cinnamon stick, orange peel and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has an almost electric intensity of vibrant fruit, with a fine-grained frame and fantastic tension, finishing on a lingering mineral note.”- Lisa Perroti-Brown

 

2016 Sangiacomo ViMaria Pinot Noir

94 plus points “Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir ViMaria offers a stunning perfume of lavender, red roses and fresh raspberries with hints of cranberries, rhubarb, black pepper, mossy bark and fertile loam. Medium to full-bodied, the palate features loads of tightly wound red berry and floral layers, framed by firm, fine-grained tannins and lovely freshness, finishing very long and fragrant.” – Lisa Perroti-Brown

 

 

California Grapevine

Nick Ponomareff, Editor & Publisher

 

2016 Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard Pinot Noir

2016 Roberts Road Pinot Noir Label Medium-light ruby; attractive, red cherry and strawberry fruit aroma with herbal and spicy notes; medium body; elegant, red cherry fruit flavors with earthy and mineral notes, well integrated oak, good acid balance, and a silky mouthfeel; medium tannin; lingering aftertaste. Initially a bit reticent, but developed depth and personality as it aired in the glass making it very enjoyable to drink now, though best to bottle age for a few more years. Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; only 64 cases; 100% PN; released May 2018. (Group Score: 16.5, 0/2/1; My Score: 17 [92/100], fifth place)  Volume 44, June 2018

 

2016 Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Label Medium-light brickish ruby; attractive, red cherry, strawberry, and cranberry fruit aroma with hints of dried herbs, forest floor, jasmine, and sandalwood; medium to medium-full body; moderately intense, silky, red and dark fruit flavors with bright acidity, light oaky undertones, and hints of Asian spices; medium tannin; lingering aftertaste. Nicely balanced and somewhat elegant in the mouthfeel making the wine very enjoyable to drink now or over the next two to four years. Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; 215 cases; 100% PN; released May 2018. (Group Score: 16.4, 1/2/2; My Score:17 [92/100], sixth place)  Volume 44, June 2018

 

2016 Sangiacomo ViMaria Pinot Noir

2016 Sangiacomo viMaria Pinot Noir Label Medium-light to medium ruby; attractive, deep, intense, dark cherry, plum, and dark berry fruit aroma with a light peppery note, and hints of cinnamon, jasmine, forest floor, and brioche; medium to medium-full body; nicely balanced, elegantly styled, red and dark berry fruit flavors with bright acidity, hints of Asian spices and cocoa, and a silky mouthfeel; medium tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very appeal- ing to drink now, though best to bottle age for several more years. Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; only 81 cases; 100% PN; to be released August 2018. (Group Score: 16.6, 0/2/2; My Score: 17 [92/100], second place)         Volume 44, July 2018

 

2016 Sangiacomo Green Acres Vineyard Chardonnay

2016 Sangiacomo Green Acres Vineyard Chardonnay Label Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, intense, fragrant, apple, pear, and white peach aroma with tropical notes and hints of honeysuckle and butterscotch that devel- oped with airing; medium-full body; pear, apple, mango, and stone fruit flavors with bright acidity, hints of brioche, and some richness and creaminess in the silky mouthfeel; lingering aftertaste. Elegant, nicely balanced, and shows good bottle aging potential. Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; only 79 cases; 100% Chardonnay; 100% BF; 100% ML; to be released August 2018. (Group Score: 16.6, 2/0/3; My Score: 17 [92/100], first place) Volume 44, July 2018

 

2016 Sangiacomo Home Ranch Chardonnay

2016 Sangiacomo home Ranch Chardonnay Label Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, assertive, green apple aroma with tropical notes and hints of rose petal and lemon curd; medium to medium-full body; citrus, pear, and green apple flavors with bright acidity, spicy notes, and some richness in the slightly creamy mouthfeel; lingering aftertaste. Showed some elegance and complexity as it developed with airing in the glass. Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; only 79 cases; 100% Chardonnay; 100% BF; 100% ML; released May 2018. (Group Score: 16.6, 2/1/2; My Score: 17 [91/100], third place)  Volume 44, July 2018

 

2016 Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

2016 Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Label Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, assertive, green apple and stone fruit aroma with hints of honeysuckle and lemon curd; medium-full body; supple, fleshy, lemon and apple flavors with a mineral note, and a rich, slightly creamy mouthfeel; lingering after- taste. Nicely balanced and enjoyable to drink now and over the next year or two. Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; only 87 cases; 100% Chardonnay; 100% BF; 100% ML; released May 2018. (Group Score: 16.4, 2/2/0; My Score: 17 [91/100], fourth place) Volume 44, July 2018