One of the up and coming California producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, WALT was named after Kathryn’s parents, Bob and Dolores Walt who were originally vintners and were a source of daily inspiration for her. WALT Wines sources from some Pacific Coast's most distinctive vineyards from Sonoma to Oregon. I have been blown away with the increase in quality int the wines over the past several years. In particular, I am continually impressed with the wines that are sourced from their estate vineyard, Bob’s Ranch, which is located in the Petaluma Wind Gap near Sebastapol. This site was purchased by the HALLs and has been producing some absolutely epic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that rivals anything out of Sonoma. What is so great about their wine program is the variety of vineyard sites and terroir that they are able to impart in the glass. Few wineries can craft wines that are so different in their portfolio and the range of flavors and terroir is massive from the wines out of the Shea Vineyard in the Willamette Valley to the aforementioned Bob’s Ranch in Sonoma. Not only is this a very fun concept for those visiting the tasting room but it is highly education for those who are learning about how terroir affects Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The new wines were sensational across the board. I absolutely loved their new 2018 WALT Rose (WWB, 91) which is very pretty, high toned and has lovely texture. The 2017 WALT ‘Bob’s Ranch’ Chardonnay (WWB, 94) is dense, layered and has gobs of minerality. This is a stunning effort from this vineyard. Even better was the 2017 WALT ‘Bob’s Ranch’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 95) which is a massive wine that is only starting to develop in the bottle. Chewy, with intense red and dark fruit flavors, this is one for any serious collector of California Pinot Noir. Learn more about these beautiful wines at https://www.waltwines.com Here are the beautiful new wines by WALT.
2018 WALT Rose- Very pretty aromatics mark this wine with shades of nectarine and red rose petals. The freshness and tension is wonderful as delicate red fruits mingle with shades of mandarin orange zest. Drink 2019-2023- 91
2017 WALT ‘Sangiacomo Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Sourced from the Carneros AVA this wine was aged in 40% French oak prior to bottling. Butterscotch and toasted hazelnut aromas with lemon curd mark the nose. The sense of balance is gorgeous as a beam of salinity races through the bright orchard fruits with lemon cream. The texture imparted is outstanding. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2017 WALT Bob’s Ranch Chardonnay- The Bob’s Ranch Vineyard was purchased by the Halls in 2014 and located in the heart of the Petaluma Wind Gap on highway 116 just south of Sebastapol. The Chardonnay is primarily Wente clone which produces mostly small berries. There are thirty different blocks there, with roughly a third planted to Chardonnay. This limited production wine opens with bright aromas of ripe pear and shades of peat moss and nutmeg infused Challah Brad that all mingle on the nose. The palate is plush, showing a gorgeous texture. Deep lemon cream and sourdough bread with shades of clove all mingle brightly on the palate. Drink 2019-2029- 94
2016 WALT ‘Shea Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from this famed Oregon site, the 2016 ‘Shea Vineyard’ Pinot Noir shows classic Oregon Pinot Noir notes on the nose with high toned red fruits, blood orange and peat moss tones on the nose. The palate has incredible texture and a seamless quality with bright red cherry pie and forest floor flavors that collide with minerals. Fantastic now this will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2029- 94
2017 WALT ‘The Corners’ Pinot Noir- Sourced entirely from the 35 acre ‘The Corners’Vineyard’ this wine is from the rocky hillsides at the vineyard. This is showing nicely now and has al long way to go. The 2017 ‘The Corners’ Pinot Noir shows a wonderful saline streak which connects with the bright red fruits and citrus rind accents on the nose. The palate is plush delivering ripe red fruits that connect with minerals and cola flavors. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2017 WALT ‘Blue Jay’ Pinot Noir- his is sourced from the WALT estate vineyards, the Anderson Creek Vineyard and the Donnely Creek Vineyards right outside of the town of Booneville. The vineyards are known for huge diurnal shifts with morning fog. This Anderson Valley Pinot Noir opens with ripe strawberry, guava and shades of blood orange set on the nose. The palate is plush and decadent with ripe red fruits with shades of peat moss and guava purée dominating. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2017 WALT ‘Bob’s Ranch’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Bob’s Ranch’ Pinot Noir is a stunning new wine by WALT, and shining brightly amongst the best wines that I have tasted from this great producer. The cherry cola and black tea elements are powerful with shades of life err on the nose. The wine is incredible dense with a massive core. Dark fruits mingle with cherry cola and cinnamon flavors with peat moss undertones. The seriously good mouthfeel entices, as does the vibrant minerality. While exciting and highly satisfying in its youth, this outstanding wine will evolve well for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2033- 95
2017 WALT ‘Santa Rita Hills’ Pinot Noir- The 2017 WALT ‘Santa Rita Hills’ is sourced from multiple vineyards within this AVA. A brilliant whiff of salinity greets you aromatically as the wine shows bright red fruits that mingle with shades of kumquat rind and earthy undertones that build in the glass. The palate shows off a silky texture and wonderfully soft mouthfeel. Black tea, exotic spices and shades of cran-raspberry puree all mingle together nicely on the palate. A delight to enjoy in its youth, the wine will show well for another decade. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2017 WALT ‘Rita’s Crown Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Rita’s Crown Vineyard’ was sold three years ago from William Hill to Sea Smoke and is located adjacent to the Mount Carmel Vineyard and is a steep hillside with silty ocean floor soils with diatomaceous earth. The brightness and salinity on the nose entices as the wine engages with black and red fruits that mingle with spice box undertones. The palate shows good freshness and a wonderfully soft texture. Black tea, exotic spices, blackberry and shades of cran-pomegranate combine with the diatomaceous earth undertones. While this is drinking beautifully now, this complex and delicious Pinot Noir will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2017 WALT ‘Clos Pepe Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Clos Pepe Vineyard’ is a small site located near the town of Lompoc, as this highly windy terrain is largely planted to Pinot Noir. The bouquet is simply gorgeous with deep dark and red fruits that mingle with shades of cinnamon, clove and blood orange zest that all build on the nose. The wonderful salinity of the wine is incredible, accompanying deep dark and red fruits that mingle with underbrush and citrus rind accents. This is sensational stuff. Drink 2019-2032- 94