2016 Keller La Cruz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

2016 Keller La Cruz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

¥8,250 (incl. tax)

The wide-open landscape of southern Sonoma County is one of rolling hills, with pockets of live oak, eucalyptus, and the occasional barn dotting the cattle pastures and ever-expanding vineyards. Surprisingly, only in the last few decades did winegrowers catch on to how this region’s unique combination of sunshine, wind, and fog could produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In Keller’s La Cruz Vineyard, four clones of Pinot Noir (primarily Pommard) planted in the mineral-rich clay soils contribute to the complexity of this seductive wine. Each clone is harvested and fermented separately in order to compose a final blend that truly expresses the vintage. In 2016, ample winter rains were followed by a mild summer and a significantly later harvest. The wine starts with a lovely translucent ruby red, and follows with fragrances of dried cherry, cranberry, and notes of Asian spice and earth. It’s a pinot that sparks the senses and remains alive and delicious to the last drop. Having aged a few years, tertiary notes are beginning to develop, making the wine more complex than it was at first release.


Winery Description

Pinot Noir and Petaluma. 40 years ago, the received wisdom was that California Pinot Noir would never achieve the subtle brilliance of Burgundy and that Petaluma, home to dairy and chicken farmers, was far too cold for vineyards. Funny how things change. Indeed, California Pinots get better each year, and Petaluma may one day soon produce the very best. And that future may not be far off if the young Keller Estate continues down the path it is following.

 Keller Estate produces estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (as well as Syrah and Pinot Gris) on a 650-acre property located southeast of Petaluma – near the borderline of the Sonoma Coast and Carneros AVAs. In these rolling hills, cooled by the fog that blows in through the Petaluma Gap as well as from San Pablo Bay, early ripening, “cool climate” grapes are the obvious choice. In the early 1980s, Arturo Keller, an auto engineer from Mexico, and his family founded the estate. They planted vineyards but sold the first vintages of Chardonnay to other wineries. Impressed by the quality of their fruit, they began making wine under their own label from 2000. Today every detail in the vineyards and winery is overseen by Arturo’s daughter, Ana, a trained bio-chemist.

 Keller Estate’s vineyards are planted in soils that show all the complexity of being a former seabed. The complexity of the wines is enhanced further by the 9 different clones of Pinot Noir, 4 clones of Chardonnay, and 2 clones of Syrah planted in the vineyards. The wines are crafted carefully and naturally in a stunning gravity-flow winery. 

But the key to understanding Keller Estate’s wines is their extreme cool-climate location. Though many vineyard areas in Sonoma and Napa Counties are cooled by fog and ocean breezes, in the Petaluma Gap the fog rolls in a bit earlier and out later; the temperature drops so rapidly, the grapes retain much more crisp acidity even as they ripen and develop rich, fruit flavors. Currently, the Petaluma Gap is within the Sonoma Coast AVA. But if the Kellers and other winegrowers continue to demonstrate the uniqueness of the microclimate and soils, it may become one in the future.

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Sonoma Coast
Winery Keller
Vintage 2016
Color Red
Varietal(s) Pinot Noir
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 9.0 x 30.5
Case Size 37.5 x 28.5 x 31.5
Alcohol 14.1%
Product Code KE16LPN
UPC 662235201227

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

88 points – Wine Enthusiast.

Aromas of bright cherry and cranberry are brightened with hints of pomegranate, earthy notes, and rose petal. Red and dark notes continue to emerge on the palate, along with dense, mouth-watering mineraliy.



The fruit was fully de-stemmed and fermented on native yeasts. Following the maceration, only the free-run wine was included. The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels.

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