This wine explores the earthy intensity, providing volumes of flavor without weight. Delicate in fact, with the scent of coastal forests, tree bark and roots to ground its untamed beauty. Brian Maloney blends this wine with fruit from four vineyards in western Sonoma County, a selection that captures a clear impression of the coastal hills. -J.G.
Ida’s Selection Pinot Noir Reviews
The lightest colored Pinot Noir in the lineup, the 2017 Pinot Noir Ida's Selection comes all from the Sonoma Coast (the Swicegood and Azaya Vineyard) and spent 10 months in 25% new French oak. It offers a translucent ruby hue as well as cool-climate notes of wild strawberries, rose petals, spice, and dried flowers. Ethereal, elegant, and seamless on the palate, it has a wonderful sense of purity and balance that keeps you coming back to the glass. It's not the richest wine in the lineup, yet the balance is brilliant. I'd happily drink bottles any time over the coming decade or more.
Earthy with a persistence of cola and clove, this wine has a delicate structure that’s soft and rounded within a context of ripe power. Strawberry and orange compote give it a fruity underbelly beneath the savory ripeness.
Leading off two Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Ida's comes from the Sonoma Coast and spent 11 months in 24% new French oak. It has a sappy, resinous, pine forest style as well as attractive black cherry fruits, spice, and a kiss of cola. Medium to full-bodied, nicely balanced, with both high-quality tannins and acidity, it’s a beautiful, complex, layered Pinot Noir that should easily keep for 7-8 years.
The 2015 Pinot Noir Ida's Selection is pale ruby-purple colored with wild strawberries, Bing cherries and raspberry leaves on the nose with hints of rose hips, lavender and dried herbs plus a waft of mossy bark. Medium to full-bodied with perfumed red berry flavors and soft, velvety tannins, it finishes with plenty of freshness.
Brian Maloney makes this wine from a vineyard in Green Valley, with contributions from Sebastopol, Occidental and Freestone. It’s a bright cherry red, with detail in the tannins, rocky and black, glinting with freshness. There’s a layering of sunny warmth in the fruit along with the cool fragrance of a forest after a rain. In combination, the wine feels saturated, gentle and fine.
Earthy cherry and cardamom instantly attract the nose and palate of this wine, flirty and floral in classically varietal aromas of forest floor and wild truffle. Juicy acidity keeps it alive and vibrant as it opens and develops, offering a welcome twist of tangerine in the background. —V.B.
Drawn from two ridgeline vineyards in western Green Valley, as well as a cool valley-floor site near Freestone, this trades the foggy, wind-swept intensity of far-coast fruit for a more supple, gentle, inland expression that still feels cool. Its silky red-cherry flavor carries an appetizing herbal edge in texture that feels satiny and effortless. It’s delicious and ready to drink.
This is a thick, rich and very ripe wine, with a charred back note making its way against higher-toned tastes of red raspberry and blackberry. The oak is integrated and the wine softly varietal, but it packs a punch on the palate. —V.B
Brian Maloney, who also makes plenty of pinot noir for DeLoach, crafted this from the cold, late-ripening Bohemian Vineyard near Freestone and the somewhat warmer Swicegood Vineyard west of Sebastopol. There's a savory richness here that's satisfyingly complete, the windswept energy of the fruit cradled and softened by 14 months spent resting in French oak (35 percent new). Aromas of tarragon, cedar bark, smoke and dark plum harmonize in a structure that's lush and energetic, saturated with flavor but not heavy. Send it toward duck confit, either now or in another three or four years.
Here too there is a trace of herbal tea but it’s definitely less prominent than the Geza’s with fresh, cool and pure pinot and plum aromas. There is a lovely sense of tension and punch to the well-detailed and delicious middle weight flavors that terminate in lingering finish that possesses a more complete sense of balance though not necessarily any better depth.
This is an Old World-style Pinot Noir many a Francophile will love. It's adorned in spice, earth and herbs, and is light in color and texture, with a deft approach to oak. Dark Cherry fruit abounds around a silky, sublime mouthfeel. This is a beautiful wine for the table.