A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2011 Avion Pinot Noir

The 2011 Avion is again sourced from the same tiny vineyard at 1200 feet elevation in the gorgeous hills between Sonoma and Petaluma. The plantings here are in deep, rocky volcanic soils and are mainly clone 667, with a bit of 115. The long, cool growing season allowed for gentle ripening and many mornings and afternoons, the vines were bathed in the whispery fog that often dominates the area. Aromas of cool raspberry, white pepper, violet and clove jump from the glass. The palate is full of boisterous fruit yet retains the sublime nuance and delineation of 2011, no doubt helped by the utilization of native yeast. Yields were miniscule this year, and we ended up with less than six barrels.

  • 100% Pinot Noir
  • <1 acre vineyard perched at 1200 ft elevation
  • fermented with native yeast
  • aged on the lees until bottling
  • 66% new French Oak for 11 months
  • unfined and unfiltered
  • 142 cases made
Good full red. Deep, scented aromas of crushed cherry, strawberry, briary raspberry and wild herbs. A creamy, spicy fruit bomb on the palate, with lovely depth and energy to its sappy red berry and sour cherry flavors. Hints of licorice and white pepper and some high-pitched spiciness give lift to this enticing wine. Finishes with firm but edge-free tannins and lingering notes of spice and wintergreen. From 100% destemmed fruit.
Stephen Tanzer
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
May/June 2013