During the 2007 vintage we were delighted to meet Art Ibleto, the gregarious Pasta King. He is well known for his generous donations of homemade pasta to needy charities throughout Sonoma County. Not so well known is his lovely Bella Sonoma Vineyard in the marine influenced Petaluma Gap region of Sonoma Coast. His property is planted to the Pommard and Dijon 777 selections of Pinot Noir from which we were able to make many small lots. This blend is primarily composed of grapes from his vineyard supplemented with fruit from two other cool locations – eleven lots in all.
The wine is a mirror, clearly reflecting a pure fruit focus, characteristic of this vintage. Luminescent ruby in color, its attractive aroma is perfumed with a mouthwatering medley of cola, red raspberries, plums and blueberries. Exotic Indian spices, a touch of earth and vanilla bean add complex accents. This elegant Pinot shows an invitingly rich entry. The refined mid-palate is soft, round and supple followed by a finish that offers balanced, restrained tannins. Appealing now, this wine will surprise you with its development – the cool area parentage ensures subtle integration of flavors with increased depth and body over time.
As a starter, we suggest our Sonoma Coast Pinot with an appetizer plate of fresh local cheeses, prosciutto and home dried figs. One might play off the exotic character of this lovely Pinot by serving it with Singapore Chicken Stew, flavored with Chinese five-spice and coconut milk. Emphasize the crushed fruit qualities of this wine by a pairing it with Canard aux Framboise – deglaze the pan with raspberry vinegar and garnish with fresh berries.
Deep ruby colour; intense, spicy plum, smoke and leather nose; sweet fruit, full on the palate with a lively spine of acidity, well-integrated oak and ripe tannins.
Tony Aspler, The Wine Guy, June 2, 2010
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