2019 Bordes, Pinot Noir, Estate Reserve, Champlin Creek Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.
I first tried the Bordes Pinot Noir a few vintages ago and enjoyed what Stephen and Carolyn Bodes had created with the help of a few friends at the very beginning of the label, and now they have the full family on board to run this small family winery. This 2019 vintage, which was made with the help of Bowdoin Pfeifer, shows a richer and silkier palate than past efforts with a full array of Pinot character and an extra dimension clearly on display. The Bordes with their daughter’s Megan and Rachel taking on bigger roles now, with Rachel (now making wine at Ram’s Gate in Carneros and doing a small personal project) having a hand in the winemaking and Megan doing the marketing and branding for this 500 case a year winery now, looks to have taken a step up and I look forward to trying Rachel’s solo efforts in the future releases. The 2019 Bordes Reserve Pinot starts with toasty hints, red berries and dark florals leading to its satiny smooth medium bodied palate that shows black cherry, raspberry, plum and candied orange fruits, along with soft wood notes, dried herbs, fennel, delicate earthiness, bright spicy cinnamon and shaved vanilla. This vintage is plush and vinous, but lifted by fresh acidity and feels divinely weightless on the lingering finish. I think this 2019, with its freshness and moderate alcohol, 13.7%, is going to continue to improve in bottle for the next 3 to 5 years, plus it’s a nice value considering there was only 200 cases made.

The Bordes family, who specialize in small lot Pinot Nor have a 23 acre ranch at Champlin Creek, which sits between Carneros and the Sonoma Valley AVAs, mostly planted to Pinot Noir, with 10 acres planted to Pommard clone 5 and 1 acre planted to Dijon clone 115, along with a selection of Chardonnay, with clones 76 and 15. The soils here are complex too, with ranch seeing the full range of loams, sandstone, Sonoma volcanics and California shales, along with marine sedimentary and clay elements that allows a deeper ripe fruit character to shine through. This site is breezy and gets cooling influences from the Petaluma Gap and lower night time temperature that really helps with acidity and color development in these Pinots, which is lovely and inviting. The wine was handcrafted from the Bordes’ private sustainably farmed estate at Champlin Creek and was done with traditional low intervention methods and restraint. Their Pinots all are fermented in small half ton bins, with daily punch downs and these gentle macerations extract a superb structural quality and a (Pommard clone?) dark ruby color, then they are aged in French oak barrels, mostly a couple times used, for 8 months. There’s a lot of potential here and I look forward to following these wines as the vines mature in ground and also watch to see how Rachel grows as a winemaker, it’s exciting times for the Bordes, I highly recommend checking them out, in particular their Rosé, Chardonnay and this tasty Pinot Noir Reserve.
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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