2018 Bordes Wines, Pinot Noir, Reserve, Sonoma Coast.
I was turned on to this new small family winery by my friend and winemaker Dylan Sheldon, of Sheldon Wines, who is something of a talent spotter and who has turned me on to some fantastic finds and this Bordes Pinot Reserve looks like a very good discovery, and he should know as he watched first hand how this wine was made. The grapes comes from a small sustainable estate vineyard owned by the Bordes family, with Stephen and Carolyn along with children Stephen Jr., Megan and future winemaker Rachel Bordes, who’s is studying Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly, being the team, which includes Bowdoin Pfeifer, who is the consultant in charge of winemaking, as a friend of the family, as this label gets off the ground. Coming for a private vineyard site in a cool Sonoma County area on marine sedimentary soils, the upcoming 2018 Bordes Reserve Pinot Noir is a beauty with clear aromatics and sharp detailing with a lighter sense of being in the glass with a very refined 13.3% natural alcohol, but with a wonderful array of ripe fruit and vibrancy. Interesting, Bowdoin Pfeifer is better known for his digital expertise, being well known for his management of data centers through the Asia Pacific area including in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne, makes wine on the side! Just 200 cases were made of this 2018 vintage, which should be available to purchase soon, along with their Rosé and Chardonnay, following a debut limited release of Pinot from the 2017 vintage.

The 2018 Bordes Reserve Pinot was made with 100% Pommard clone and all de-stemmed grapes with about 20% new French oak being used in this vintage to allow the delicacy of the fruit to shine through, which is does very well, this is delightful stuff and it shows lots of purity and satiny layers. The medium bodied palate highlights the year’s beautiful long cool growing season and carries the brightness and energy really well with classic Sonoma Coast style character with black cherry, a hint of sweet toastiness, racy plum, tangy raspberry and a hint of cranberry as well as touches of rose petals, spice, mineral and Darjeeling notes all playing roles in this well crafted Pinot. There is an exciting freshness and subtle perfume that helps make this wine stand out and as it opens it gets more serious and unveils more textural nuances adding a depth of quality and the wine continues to please and linger in the aftertaste. The oak presence feels a bit overt at first, but folds nicely into the background as the wine has time in the glass allowing the fruit to take center stage and makes this Pinot delicious with a variety of foods and meals, it went very well with herb crusted roast chicken indeed. It will be interesting to follow this label and see how things go, as this wine shows lots of potential and promise, drinking well and with superb clarity with its pretty unfiltered/unfined ruby color and tasty flavors, it looks to be on a good journey, drink now through 2026.
($39 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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