People-Pleasing Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir That May Need Time

Today’s Story: Auteur Wines

Auteur Wines, established in 2003, is a relatively small producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California’s Sonoma Coast. A family venture, Auteur is owned and operated by husband and wife Kenneth and Laura Juhasz. Kenneth found his passion for wine during college while working at restaurants and wine shops, ultimately falling in love with Pinot Noir and the endless possibilities of the variety. He worked harvests in the Willamette Valley, Napa, and New Zealand before starting Auteur with Laura. Laura, on the other hand, grew up in rural Wisconsin and worked in pharma when she met Kenneth in Oregon. Ultimately the two moved to Sonoma to start their passion project of making wine.

Auteur works closely with vineyard partners, sourcing from some of the greatest sites throughout the Sonoma Coast. While Gaps Crown, Ferrington, and Savoy may sound familiar for their Pinot Noir and Hyde for their Chardonnay, Auteur sources from other sites as well of equally incredible pedigree. I previously reviewed their 2012 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay.

Today’s Wine: 2019 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir; 14.5% ABV

The 2019 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is medium ruby in color. Given about 45 minutes to open up in the glass, this really starts to blossom. The aromas are of medium intensity, with the nose offering up notes of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, smoked meat, lilac, cocoa powder, cola, and a hint of oak. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium intensity and the palate displays notes of cherry cola, pomegranate, blueberry, purple florals, charred green herbs, chocolate, and baking spice. This dry red is medium- to full-bodied with medium acidity, medium (-) tannins, high alcohol, and a medium length finish. 482 cases produced.

Price: $50. Though this wine has many good qualities going for it and I believe consumers would enjoy it, I struggle to call it a good value at this price-point. At this stage it’s still out of balance a bit and, while fairly complex, the profile leans bigger and more fruit-driven than I tend to go for. I would also like to see a longer finish, though it is possible the wine as a whole just needs time.

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