The 2020 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a deep, dark, and structured wine from a strong, well-rounded vintage. The wine displays an almost completely opaque dark purple hue in the glass. Exotic aromas of bay leaf, macerated bramble fruit, blood orange and cedar bough emerge from the glass in concert. The palate is defined by mouth-watering freshness from front to back, marked by notes of fresh earth, cherry reduction, crushed rock and primrose. There is so much generosity and complexity to this wine, only time will tell what great notions will come to light in the bottle.
In 2001 after finding a very intriguing 40 acre parcel in a remote part of the northern Sonoma Coast, I established Aston Estate with partners Fred Schrader (Schrader Cellars, Boars’ View) and Charles Sweeney (Vine Cliff). After planting 14 acres later that summer, we vinifed our first vintage in 2004 under the Aston Experimental label. As the years passed and the partnership evolved, the one thing that never changed was my commitment to the Aston Estate project. In the beginning, the style was a bit bigger reflecting what was currently happening on the coast, the unpredictability of the weather, younger vine characteristics and the logistics of hauling the fruit out of this remote site. With better access to the site, more vineyard activity in the area and older vines, it has become easier to take the quality of the fruit to exactly where we want it out at the Estate. There have been a few turning points out here in terms of wine quality. After tasting every single wine we’ve made from the estate a couple months ago, it was clear 2009 and 2015 ushered in new eras of quality. We think we may see the same thing with 2017 which will be offered later this summer.
Earlier this year, I was offered the chance to own Aston outright. I knew immediately there was no way I could let this get away. After investing 20 years of effort into this now mature 14 acre plot of Pinot Noir, I’m proud to announce this will be part of the growing winemaking family for years to come.
This wine has really settled into its own since bottling in August of 2021. We watched all lots associated with Aston in barrel for months before deciding these 28 barrels had made it unharmed through the 2020 growing season. Every time we try this, we like it a little more. This is definitely a testament to what could have been in 2020.
100% Pinot Noir aged in 100% French Oak, 10% new (Ermitage, Francois Freres, Remond).