One of the fantastic producers of Sonoma Pinot Noir, Sojourn Cellars was founded in 2001 as a partnership between two tennis buddies who discovered a mutual passion for great wine. Craig and Ellen Haserot work together with winemaker Erich Bradley, the former winemaker at Arrowood Winery in Sonoma. A native of Palo Alto, California, Erich learned about wine while helping his family develop their vineyard on a small ranch in Sonoma Valley. Erich has an intriguing background with a degree in Bio-chemistry from the esteemed University of Chicago and a degree in Philosophy and Modern European Intellectual History from the University of California at Irvine. Erich spent time as high school teacher and tennis coach prior to studying winemaking at the University of California at Davis and viticulture at Santa Rosa College. He had the great fortune to be mentored by eminent winemakers Richard Arrowood and David Ramey. In 1999, Erich worked as a harvest lab technician at Arrowood Vineyards and Winery, a position that extended into Assistant Enologist through 2002. Erich left Arrowood in January of 2003 and makes some beautiful wines for Sojourn.
Sojourn sources from some of the area’s finest vineyards, including Gap’s Crown Vineyard and the Durell Vineyard. I was seriously impressed with Erich’s new wines that really capture the region beautifully. The wines are rich but refined and show wonderful terroir in the glass. Simply delicious, the 2016 Sojourn Cellars ‘Gap’s Crown Vineyard’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) evokes wonderful cola and red fruit tones that delights. Even better was their red blend, sourced from Napa, the 2015 Sojourn Cellars ‘Proprietary Cuvee’ Red Wine (WWB, 94) which is a dense and layered effort that will cellar marvelously for more than a decade. Learn more about this fantastic Sonoma winery at http://www.sojourncellars.com Here are the great new wines by Sojourn Cellars.
2016 Sojourn Cellars ‘Gap’s Crown Vineyard’ Chardonnay- This deep hued wine begins with aromatics of butterscotch, brioche and lemon zest, showing nice range. The palate has a wonderful astringency as lemon meriange, Challah bread and banana flavors connect with a long, lemon cream driven finish. The wine beautifully showcases this fantastic, historic vineyard. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2016 Sojourn Cellars ‘Gap’s Crown Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This ruby colored Pinot starts with cherry cola and raspberry cordial aromatics that mingle with wild thyme and wet stone. The palate is silky smooth, showing ripe red cherry, guava purée and blood orange flavors. The freshness, weight and intensity of this wine is gorgeous. Enjoy this over the next decade or so. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2016 Sojourn Cellars ‘Sangiacomo Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from the famed vineyard in the Petaluma Gap this opens with a bouquet of dill, red cherry preserves and tea berry. Lithe and rich, the wine yields downright delicious red fruit flavors with good tension. This is a delight to savor right now. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Sojourn Cellars ‘Proprietary Cuvee’ Red Wine- Sourced from Napa (Oakville Ranch Vineyard and Vineyard Georges III Vineyard), this is an outstanding new release from a very hot vintage in the valley. This gorgeous, deep colored wine starts off with aromas of mocha, crushed mint and eucalyptus. The palate is lithe and downright gorgeous with intense graphite, creme de cassis, mocha and red bell pepper flavors. The weight is downright massive her. Memorable and highly approachable in its youth, this is a stunning wine by Sojourn. Drink 2018-2030- 94
2016 Sojourn ‘Reuling Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is sourced from a vineyard located in Forestville. Vines for this wine were first planted in 2000. This has very pretty aromatics up front with rose water, cherry cola, and smoke. Seriously tasty, with nice weight and acidity, the wine shows off sexy red fruits with cola flavors. This is an outstanding effort by Sojourn. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2016 Sojourn ‘Riddle Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Located on the Sonoma Coast and and set on well-draining Goldridge soils, this starts with prune, red cherry preserves and baking spices. This has excellent dark fruit flavors with good tension, salinity and viscosity on the mid-palate. Enjoy this fantastic bottling over the next decade. Drink 2018-2028- 93