One of the my favorite Sonoma producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is Landmark. Landmark was founded in 1974 by a group including Damaris Deere Ford, great-great-granddaughter of John Deere, inventor of the first steel plow. Landmark sources their wines from some of the best vineyards in Sonoma County. Landmark isn’t one of those wineries that does everything. Instead, they know what they do best.
A visit to their tasting room will not disappoint, as their friendly and knowledgeable tasting staff pour some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot in the valley for the price. One of the best priced and most consistent Sonoma County Chardonnays in the past decade has been the Landmark Overlook Chardonnay. The wine is typically rich and buttery but balanced. It is consistently rated over 90 points from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Their 2012 effort was a rich and classic Sonoma style Chard.
Landmark’s Grand Detour Pinot Noir has also been a consistent performer each year. In fact, from 2005-07 the Grand Detour Pinot was rated 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. Landmark's 2010 Grand Detour was fantastic and rich, needing a few years of cellaring to be fully expressive. If you like a rich and full-bodied but balanced California Pinot, this is the one for you. You can find these wines at high end Northwest wine shops, or online through the winery or retailers like Total Wines or JJ Buckley Wine. Here are some of the great wines that I have sampled from Landmark Vineyards. #landmarkvineyards
2012 Landmark ‘Overlook’ Chardonnay- Pear and mushroom on the nose with oak. Palate has lemon zest, minerals and pear. Delicious. Drink now.-91
2011 Landmark ‘Overlook’ Chardonnay- Oak, brioche and pineapple on the nose. Palate has butter, vanilla, minerals, pear and golden delicious apple. Delicious. Classic Sonoma style. Drink now. -92
2012 Landmark ‘Damaris Reserve’ Chardonnay- Lemon zest, pear and oak on the nose. Palate has lemon zest, banana and golden delicious. Very impressive. Drink now. -93
2012 Landmark ‘Overlook’ Pinot Noir- Ripe raspberry and cherry on the nose. Palate has cherry pie, raspberry and light cranberry flavors. Maybe some citrus as well. Drink now. -91
2012 Landmark ‘Grand Detour’ Pinot Noir- Really rich nose with dried herbs, cherry, raspberry and oak on the nose. Palate has nice depth with raspberry, black cherry, and cherry pie. Needs 2 or more years of cellaring. -92
2012 Landmark ‘Rogers Creek’ Pinot Noir- Ripe raspberry, and oak on the nose. Palate has nice depth with ripe cherry, raspberry and oak. Needs 2 years of cellaring. -92
2012 Landmark ‘Solomon Hills’ Pinot Noir- Santa Maria fruit. Earthy nose with mushroom and raspberry. Palate has mushroom, forest floor, raspberry, and cranberry. Needs 1-2 years of cellaring. -92