2021 PEAY Pinot Noir West Sonoma Coast

PEAY Pinot Noir West Sonoma Coast

¥12,100 (incl. tax)

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Generally, an appellation wine will draw heavily on vineyards beyond a producer’s estate. However, Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is sourced entirely from the estate, from the same vineyard blocks that produced the Scallop Shelf, Pomarium, and Ama cuvées. Because of the expectations for these wines, there will inevitably be some barrels that don’t make the cut. Nevertheless, the Peay West Sonoma Coast is 100% estate fruit and free run juice, with no press wine, made to the highest standards. The nose of the inaugural West Sonoma Coast Pinot noir is seductive with red fruit and floral aromas that swirl above an earthy note at the core. There is refinement and balance with loads of flavor and depth but the wine is not over-burdened and sluggish due to excessive ripeness or alcohol.


Winery Description

How far would you go in pursuit of a dream? To the ends of the Earth? Perhaps not. But pursuing a winemaking dream led the folks behind Peay Vineyards to plant a vineyard in the rugged, weatherbeaten, and remote northwest corner of Sonoma County, which, if not the end of the Earth, can certainly feel like it!

Peay Vineyards is a small family operation established by brothers Nick and Andy Peay, and Vanessa Wong (who is married to Nick), with the aim of creating Burgundian-styled “wines of place.” Comprising 52 acres of vines, the estate lies within Sonoma County’s newest AVA, the West Sonoma Coast, where the Pacific Ocean provides a constant source of cool marine air that helps to moderate temperatures throughout the growing season. This cool climate allows for a longer growing season and slower ripening of grapes, resulting in wines with more intense and complex flavors. The estate features steep hillsides and rocky soils that stress the vines and concentrate the flavors and aromas in the grapes. Compared with the nearby Fort-Ross Seaview AVA, which stipulates that vineyards must be planted at higher elevations above the fog line, Peay’s vineyards, at 600 ft (183 m) are often blanketed by fog. The challenging conditions mean that the harvest usually starts in late September (lasting into November) and yields tend to be low (around 1.7 tons per acre). They cultivate 34 acres of Pinot noir, 7 acres of Chardonnay, 1.8 acres of Viognier, 0.4 acres of Roussanne, and 0.2 acres of Marsanne. They also make a Pinot noir from the famed Savoy Vineyard in Anderson Valley.

Andy is responsible for sales and marketing, while Nick oversees wine-growing and Vanessa is the winemaker. Born and educated on the East Coast, the Peays had only a passing interest in wine. But one night, a mind-blowing cool-climate Syrah started a conversation, and the brothers, for good or ill, decided they would make wine together. Soon, Nick enrolled at UC Davis and began a series of stints at Schramsberg, La Jota, and Storrs Winery in Santa Cruz, while Andy pursued an MBA, and took jobs in wine retail as well as in wineries. In 1995, Nick and Andy traveled up and down the West Coast searching for the perfect location for a vineyard. After driving through Santa Barbara, Mendocino Ridges, Sonoma Coast, and Eastern Washington, they discovered a scenic viewpoint with vineyard potential in Gualala, Sonoma County. Just four miles from the Pacific Ocean, the location featured a cool, foggy climate and nutrient-poor soils that were perfect for the style of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir the Peay brothers had in mind. The only problem? Vines had never been planted there before, and it wasn’t clear that grapes would even ripen.

20+ years after the first harvest, Peay’s wines have proven the doubters wrong, vintage after vintage. About Peay Pinot Noir, Anne Krebhiel (MW) has written, “Whoever tastes Peay Pinot Noir blind would be hard pushed to associate it immediately with California; there is too much verve, too much brightness, too much slenderness for the usually more sun-warmed offering. Yet those who have explored California’s rugged and remote north Sonoma coast will find this landscape reflected in their glass.”

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) West Sonoma Coast
Winery Peay
Vintage 2021
Color Red
Varietal(s) Pinot Noir
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 29.5
Case Size 35.0 x 26.5 x 30.0
Alcohol 13.4%
Product Code PE21WSP

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

94 points — Antonio Galloni/Vinous

Aromas of ripe red berries, rose petals, lavender, and mint lead to a bright and complex palate of cherry and earthy notes and a round and juicy mouthfeel.



Hand-picked grapes were mostly destemmed (4% whole cluster) before maceration and fermentation in stainless steel. The wine aged in 24% new French oak. 

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