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.
In what was an excellent bounce-back year in all of California, a hot, dry 2021 helped to create some deeply concentrated, tiny clusters on the vines that created a superb Pinot Noir. James Suckling is the first to get his hands on the new release and completely threw down the gauntlet with a 97-point score, one of his highest of the year for a wine he dubbed “superb.” No doubt there will be others for a wine this good.
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97 Points, James Suckling
What an amazing nose of grilled dried seaweed, oyster shell, dried strawberry and iron. Full to medium body with linear tannins that give it drive and length. Iron shavings. Tight at the end. Superb. Drink after 2025.
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