It doesn’t get any more in-the-family than brothers Nick and Andy Peay driving up and down the coast in a beat up jalopy looking for the perfect plot of land that they could buy to plant a vineyard. The small site they settled on had an excellent view when it wasn’t obstructed by the dense fog that rolled in daily. Nick called the site, “a refrigerator with a fan blowing on it.” It was from this fog-enshrouded hilltop above a river gorge, about four miles from the Pacific Ocean that has since become nothing short of Sonoma Coast legend.
The first few years they sold off their fruit to neighboring wineries, becoming the secret ingredient in more than a few top bottlings from the Sonoma Coast. That’s when Vanessa Wong, Winemaker for Peter Michael at the time (formerly: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Franciscan) first came across the luscious fruit from this special site. She was immediately blown away, but equally confused. “Why are you selling this?” she asked Andy when tasting the fruit off the vine. “This is the best fruit I’ve ever tasted.”
It didn’t take long, Vanessa left Peter Michael to join the Peay Vineyards team. A little while after that, she joined the family too when she married Nick. Together, husband and wife run the winemaking operation and Andy focuses on sales. What started as a little secret treasure chest of estate-grown fruit, has expanded in size but remained true to their family roots.
The family trio became a force to be reckoned with and a critical darling in no time. The accolades poured in. A full feature in the Wall Street Journal was followed by Eric Asimov of the New York Times proclamation that Peay is “making wines with rare intensity and precision”. The San Francisco Gate and Wine & Spirits Magazine awarded Peay Vineyards the coveted ‘Winery of the Year’ distinction within two years of one another. And that’s not even mentioning the dozens of high-flying scores Peay has received from the more traditional wine press.
The 2019 Pomarium Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir is a big, powerful dark-fruited gem. At this stage it’s a little bit of a sleeping giant. This one is built for the long haul, and will take a little time to open up, but in a few years, this will be one of your better Pinot Noirs in the cellar.
Out of stock
96 Points, James Suckling
Aromas of red fruit and berries, red apples and cinnamon. Medium-to full-bodied with fine, grippy tannins and good breadth on the palate. There is a degree of loftiness to the way this wine glides over the expansive and nuanced palate. Rather charming. Best after 2024.
94 Points, Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2019 Estate Pinot Noir Pomarium is pretty and transparent this year, with earthy red berry fruits and spicy accents on the nose. The palate is silky and super fresh, with an uplifted, spicy finish. Youthfully coiled at this moment, its graininess and freshness will allow it to age well in bottle.
Peay has quickly cemented itself in the top pantheon of Sonoma wineries.