Many wineries claim to be “on the coast” but disappointingly, for some, that means a short 20 or 30 minute drive down to the coast. Very few have the type of relationship with the coast as the legendary wine pioneers Walt & Joan Flowers and their immaculate estate.
For almost 30 years, Flowers Vineyards and Winery has grown some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the rugged coastal ridges of the extreme Sonoma Coast. Joan and Walt Flowers had a simple goal, to make exceptional wine that captures the wild beauty of the land and the spirit of the Sonoma Coast. They’ve been able to do that and a whole lot else crafting distinctive wines that capture the spirit of the Sonoma Coast and benefit from its elevated, rocky terrain.
Perched on top of soaring coastal ridges that border the nearby Pacific Ocean, the two estate vineyards are Camp Meeting Ridge and Sea View Ridge with elevations from 1,150 to 1,875 feet. Flowers resides in the Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticulture Area (AVA), which was established in 2012 and located on the extreme western edge of the Sonoma Coast Appellation.
Today’s beauty comes from the 2019 vintage, which may very well turn out to be historic. It’s the highest rated vintage from the always stingy Wine Spectator since they started giving separate ratings for Pinot Noir. They described it as:
A benchmark vintage for California Pinot, with wines showing power, finesse and the structure for cellaring; moderate temperatures and an even-keeled season led to a leisurely harvest, while crop size was on the lower side.
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95 Points (Editors’ Choice), Wine Enthusiast
From an extreme coastal site at 1,875-feet elevation, this wine offers substantial underlying power within a context of elegance and refinement. Tension and grip persist in its youth, allowing nuanced layers of ash, mountain berry and earthy forest tones to build over time.
95 Points, James Suckling
A layered nose of plums, nutmeg, and violets. Full-bodied with soft, velvety tannins. Refreshing and bright, but with excellent depth and steady intensity. Cloves and rose petals. Lovely. Drink now or hold.
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