The 2008 Sonoma Coast harvest began with very ripe fruit in early September, but when cool weather arrived, picking slowed down a bit. Yields were down overall in Pinot Noir, but the quality of the vintage was quite good. The fruit showed good concentration and intensity.
The Thornton Vineyard is planted on a shelf that splays out from the large mass that is Sonoma Mountain. Being the highest point north of San Pablo Bay and just barely protected by Sonoma Mountain to the north and west, this vineyard has been referred to for some time as “Alaska, cause it’s always cold and windy up there”. That being said, the cold and wind, combined with the beautiful sunshine that this vineyard sees make for an incredibly intense and concentrated Pinot Noir. The vineyard produces fairly low yields for Pinot Noir, but the plants seem to compensate by increasing the intensity of the existing fruit, resulting in one of the darkest and “biggest” Pinot Noirs DeLoach makes.
Deep garnet in color with notes of cranberries, black currants, and sweet tobacco, followed by flavors of dark, ripe fruits, brambleberry tea, and holiday spices of mulberry, cinnamon and nutmeg. At the back of the palate, sweet cherry is intertwined with the earthiness of the forest floor. Well-integrated tannins make for a delightfully smooth finish. The richness of this Pinot Noir makes heartier dishes such as rack of lamb with potatoes au gratin a wonderful pairing.