We wrote a brief review of Gregory James Wines in Part 2 of our Garagiste Northern Exposure preview. We liked their wine so much we ordered half a case. We’ve now tasted each of the three wines. We were not disappointed. And, as an added bonus, their 2014 Patchy Fog Vineyard is a major bargain at $31.
The 2013 Hawk Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($48) opens with aromas of earth and leather. The palate is bright bing cherries and notes of spice with a hint of cranberry. The finish is long and complex with lingering spice. This wine will improve even more with another year or two in the cellar. (We also have several bottles of the 2014 but two seemed like enough for last night. We’ll add to this review in the coming days.)
The 2014 Hawk Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($48) carries a lesson in how the California wine industry has evolved. If you have any friends who still believe vintage doesn’t matter in California wines, have them taste this side by side with the 2013. The two could not be more different. This one starts with aromas of bing cherries and raspberries leading to bright cherries on the palate. The characteristic long finish with a terrific acid – tannin balance rounds out a great experience.
The 2014 Patchy Fog Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($31, major bargain!) begins with lush, ripe aromas of black cherries and chocolate. The palate is more black cherries, a bit of licorice, and a hint of spice. Another long, complex finish makes this a terrific experience.
About Gregory James
The winery name is a combination of the first names of the two owners. Greg Adams is the winemaker and viticulturist. Jim Demuth is the president and handles the business side of the operation. They share a mutual love of the land and grapegrowing — in fact, they met while digging around in a vineyard.
From their website:
Site matters to Gregory James.
We grow and source our grapes from vineyards located within the maritime reach of the Pacific Ocean. Here, the cool foggy nights and mornings dramatically shroud the varied terrain producing grapes of remarkable intensity and character.
Our vineyard sites are tucked away among rolling hills, bucolic valleys and dramatic ridge tops of the West Sonoma Coast where each location tells its own story.
We invite you to share in the hard won results of farming in the extreme coastal environment of the Pacific Ocean.
Greg and Jim actually have help from a third partner.
Charley joined the family in 2009 thanks to a gift from cherished friends Paul & Jamie. He has been an integral part of the wine team specializing in moral support and gopher scenting. He leads a charmed life in the hills and vineyards of the Sonoma Coast.