2015 Poe Wines, Pinot Noir, Van der Kamp Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain.
The Pinot Noir vines in the Van Der Kamp Vineyard are sixty years-old, and Samantha Sheehan, one California’s rising (or risen) talents, at Poe Wines crafted a brilliant wine from this unique site set on a mix of soils that includes Speckles loam, sedimentary and volcanic influences. Sheehan, inspired by old world wines employs a gentile touch in the cellar, she allowed the fermentation to begin with native yeast, and with a light dance of foot treading to the fermentation two to three times per day. Sheehan used just 30% of the grapes whole cluster, which really gives this wine a lot of lift and spice, with the wine aging on it’s lees for 12 months in 30% new French oak and with the rest raised in neutral French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. The Van der Kamp Vineyard lies at the very top of Sonoma Mountain, at a 1,400 foot elevation looking down on the town of Glen Ellen to the east and Bennett Valley to the northwest, not far from the famous Hanzell Vineyards. It is quite possibly the oldest planting of Pinot Noir in the state, planted in the early 1950s. The 2015 vintage, according to Sheehan, was unseasonably cold in the early spring, too cold for normal flowering.The end result was that the vines were only able to set a tiny crop – yields were down by 75% at the vineyard, but the fruit they got was exceptional, with the tiny clusters were concentrated and flavorful with plenty of acidity and thick skins. All this allowed for a powerful mountain Pinot Noir with a deep sense of terroir and incredible length, Sheehan managed to achieve everything you could ask for in a serious wine, complexity, stylish flourishes and seamless layers all with her exceptional refinement and grace that make this one of her best efforts to date. Fresh detail highlights the spicy Van der Kamp Pinot, it flows across the palate with black cherry, raspberry, cranberry, strawberry and dark plum fruits along with a range of zesty pepper, Asian spice, dried herb, vanilla and very pretty rose floral tones, hints of mineral charm and a snappy bramble pop. This youthful and lively Pinot picks up quite an impact with time in the glass and is a wine to be reckoned with, gaining excitement with every sip and minute, I wish I had bought more of this stuff, because sadly it’s looking like it will be hard to find now, so be sure to get on Poe’s list asap and hope the 2016 isn’t too far behind! Drink this Poe Van der Camp 2015 over the next 5 to 7 years, I can only believe it will just get better in bottle, bravo to Samantha on this one. Also be sure to check out Poe’s Pinot Meunier, the Chardonnay(s) and the Sparklers as well, these are all wonderful wines.
($48 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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