After experiencing the sophistication of Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, I had nothing but high expectations for Tony Lombardi’s Pinot Noir. Rightly so since the Lombardi family has called Petaluma — host to the cool climate Petaluma Gap district of the Sonoma Coast — home since 1947. And since 2012, when Tony first started his label, he and his team have been sourcing small lot Pinot Noir grapes from the prestigious Griffins Lair, Sonoma Stage, Spring Hill, and Terra de Promisso Vineyards.

Spoiler alert: I was not disappointed.

About the Wine: For more information about Lombardi Wines, please see my article about the Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

The Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from the Sonoma Stage, Spring Hill, and Terra de Promissio Vineyards. The grapes went through 100% barrel fermentation in neutral French oak, the wine aged for 16 months in Gamba and Francois Freres oak barrels.

14.3% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and understand the meaning of ripe, tight, small cluster fruits — that is what you’ll smell once the cork is popped. In the glass, the Pinot Noir is, what I’ve decided to call, serious business purple — as if purple kissed black and created this seemingly gothic color.

In the glass, those ripe, tight fruits develop into strong aromatics of strawberry compote with background scents of basil, young oak wood, and balsamic.

On the palate, Lombardi Wines Pinot Noir has an open mouthfeel, reminiscent of a cool glass of cranberry juice. Yet the flavors are quite full, more akin to a strawberry jam. A winemaker can achieve such a light texture and mouthfeel in conjunction with full, luscious flavors — to me — is the mark of a true craftsman, a chef who truly knows his ingredients and has mastered his techniques.

There tannins are small, like pointillism, lightly hugging the tastebuds at the very last moment. There’s a continuous clean and crisp acidity that provides just a bit of warmth around the gums and teeth at the finish, perfectly complimented by lingering background flavors of matchstick flint.

Food Pairing: I enjoyed Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir with crispy skin duck breast and quinoa tossed with sautéed squash and leeks, candied pecans and orange zest, and orange juice marinated dried cranberries. What I loved about this pairing was the ripe fruit and acidic components of the wine did well to cut through the meat and (crispy) fat of the duck breast. Meanwhile the earthiness of the quinoa along with the soft textures of the squash brought forward the latent oak essence in the wine. Together, the wine and meal provided the perfect balance of both flavors and textures.

More Info: If you haven’t yet read my review for Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, definitely do — it’s a wine worth drawing a picture about. (Must read article to get that inside joke.) I received Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir as a sample for review. (Cheers, Tony!) Retail: $40. For more information about Lombardi Wines and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Lombardi Wines website.

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