August 20, 2019
by Bruce Neyers
We were advised that the October issue of Wine Enthusiast will feature an enormously positive review of the 2017 Pinot Noir ‘Roberts Road’, a wine that winemaker Tadeo Borchardt produced in collaboration with our long-standing friends, the Sangiacomo Family and their team at Sangiacomo Vineyards.
The Roberts Road Vineyard was developed in 1999 and sits at the northern edge of what is locally known as The Petaluma Gap, an especially cold and rocky area of eastern Sonoma County soon to be recognized as an AVA. While the Pinot Noir blocks on this vineyard were planted to several different clones — principal among them Clone 777 which originated in Morey-St. Denis — a small, one-acre block was reserved for planting to a non-clonal ‘selection massale’ that came from Joe Swan’s vineyard in Forestville. This plant material originated in Vosne-Romanée and was brought to the US and planted by Joe in the early 1960’s. For the next decade or so, it served as the source of Pinot Noir for bottlings under the Joseph Swan label, many of which were regularly thought to be among the highest quality bottlings of Pinot Noir from California. The Roberts Road Pinot Noir from Neyers Vineyards comes exclusively from the fruit grown in this small parcel.
The wine has impressed us for its traditional Burgundian characteristics, including the lovely purple robe, and an aroma combining exotic elements of jam, coffee and chocolate, followed by flavors that convey finesse, opulence and complexity. It’s an extraordinary example of what we can achieve with Pinot Noir in California, and we’re delighted to see the wine recognized in this way.
The photo above was taken by Mike Pucci, and shows the vines running to the southwest. The block planted to the Swan selection is at the base of this hill.
Neyers 2017 Pinot Noir ‘Roberts Road’
92 pts Wine Enthusiast
(The finished review will be published in the October issue.)