Ceritas, Hellenthal Vineyard, Old Shop Block, Sonoma Coast, California, USA 2013
Outstanding: rated in top Pinot Noirs outside Burgundy in April 2016 issue.
Quite dark, brooding aromas with a raspberry coulis twist. Fresh and appetising in the mouth, certainly quite dry and lean, but nicely balanced in its own right with cherry, redcurrant fruit and bold, ripe tannins.
*US stockist information from Wine-Searcher.com
John Raytek learned his winemaking skills in Australia and New Zealand before arriving in the Sonoma Coast to work at Flowers winery. In 2005 he teamed up with Phoebe Bass, now his wife, to create the Ceritas label. She looks after the farming, while he is more focused on cellar work. Her parents own the Porter-Bass vineyards in Sonoma Coast. Planted in 1980, the dry-farmed Hellenthal vineyard is located in the high coastal ridges of the Sonoma Coast, close to the better-known Hirsch and Marcassin vineyards. The grapes are fermented with natural yeasts and a varying proportion of whole clusters, ranging from none to around 60%. New oak rarely exceeds 25%. The wines, including Ceritas, Hellenthal Vineyard, Old Shop Block 2013, are much sought-after and are sold swiftly to favoured restaurants and to the winery’s mailing list.