One of the outstanding Sonoma producers of Pinot Noir, Goldeneye is a Duckhorn venture located in Philo, California in the heart of the Anderson Valley. Goldeneye has previously had top winemakers like current Domaine Serene winemaker Michael Fay. They currently rely on the talented Katey Larwood for winemaking, as I interviewed her earlier this year. Katey has experience working harvests across the globe and began studying wine while attending school in Santa Barbara.
Her wines show really good marine influence with the combination of salinity and richness imparted by vineyard sites that are relatively close to the Pacific Ocean. Goldeneye has three estate vineyards (Confluence, Gowan Creek and The Narrows) in the Anderson Valley encompassing 200 vine acres and more than 20 Pinot Noir clones. I have been very impressed with the quality of fruit coming off of these vineyards regardless of vintage. While Goldeneye uses typically a fair amount of new French oak, I have found the oak influence in the wine to add to the textural elements and really not overshadow this delicate grape.
The new wines by Goldeneye were a resounding success across the board. The 2016 Goldeneye Pinot Noir (WWB, 92) is simply outstanding in its youth, particularly after a one hour decant. The best wine I tried was the simply magical 2016 Goldeneye ‘Ten Degrees’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 95) which is a barrel-selection wine that has simply scintillating balance and precision. This beautiful wine will have an exceedingly long life in the cellar. Learn more about these outstanding Pinot Noirs at https://www.goldeneyewinery.com Here are the great new releases by Goldeneye.
2016 Goldeneye Pinot Noir- The 2016 Goldeneye Pinot Noir was aged for 16 months in largely new oak (60%) prior to bottling. The wine opens with a wonderful bouquet of bright red raspberry and cherry aromas that combine with shades of damp earth and cola that all collect momentum in the glass. The palate is both plush and lithe, showing copious red and dark fruits with minerals. While enticing in its youth, this great new Pinot Noir will develop well for a decade or more. Try to give this an hour decant prior to enjoying. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2016 Goldeneye ‘Gowan Creek Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 ‘Gowan Creek Vineyard’ Pinot Noir is another gorgeous bottling from this storied estate in the Anderson Valley. This Anderson Valley Vineyard is known for its steady coastal fog and is planted to eight different clones of Pinot Noir. The wine opens with good range on the nose with milk chocolate and sassafras to wild blackberry cobbler and red currant with earthy undertones that all connect in the glass. The soft mouthfeel entices here as orange rind melds with red and dark berry flavors alongside shades of peat moss and exotic spices. This is seriously good now but will only build as it ages over the next ten to fifteen years. Give this a long decant prior to enjoying. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2016 Goldeneye ‘Split Rail Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Split Rail Vineyard’ is planted to nine different clones of Pinot Noir in 16 separate blocks. This Pinot Noir has an advanced bouquet of potpourri with red cherry preserves and shades of guava with peat moss. The palate is generous and concentrated with a beam of salinity that runs though the intense red fruit and cola profile. This is seriously delicious now following a long decant, and will evolve well over the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2016 Goldeneye ‘Confluence Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Confluence Vineyard’ is located in the center of the Anderson Valley and is set on a varietal of soil types. The aromas are quite pretty with red rose petals and bright red fruits with earthy undertones that meld together once in the glass. Balanced and showing a good combination of weight and freshness, the wine unveils red and dark fruit flavors with cola and hades of white mushroom that collide on the palate. While delicious now in its youth, this will continue to develop well over the next fifteen years. This drinks even better following a two hour decant. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2016 Goldeneye ‘The Narrows Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Narrows Vineyard’ is located roughly ten miles from the Mendicino Coast and is known for the coastal fog and strong marine influence in the vineyard. This Pinot Noir opens with aromatics reminiscent of saline filled red cherry, cran-pomegrante and forest floor that all mingle together nicely in the glass. Polished once on the attack, the wine shows a gorgeous mouthfeel and texture that entices. Black and red fruits flirt with cola and earthy undertones on the palate. This is seriously good now after a long decant and will only improve with some time. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2016 Goldeneye ‘Ten Degrees’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 ‘Ten Degrees’ Pinot Noir is a dazzling new barrel selection wine from the talented winemaking team at Goldeneye. Aged for sixteen months in 60% new French oak, this shows some seriously good aromatic range from blood orange to peat moss and white truffle shavings alongside red and dark berry aromatics. The palate has remarkable depth, complexity and precision. Wild blackberry, guava puree, pipe tobacco, leather and kirsch cordial with cola flavors all mingle brilliantly together. While a downright stunner in its youth, this will evolve well for the next fifteen to twenty years. Drink 2020-2035- 95