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Tasting Report: Recent Releases from Sojourn Cellars

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It was just about a year ago when I tasted the wines of Sojourn Cellars for the first time. Since then I've enjoyed their wines so much I feel almost remiss about not having written about their wines here previously.

Sojourn is a Sonoma-based producer of mostly Pinot Noir (~$39-$59) and also Cabernet Sauvignon (~$39-$95). The first time I tasted their wines was at an event in Cambridge a friend on their mailing list invited me to. Founder Craig Haserot was on hand pouring the wines as a chance for their fans in Massachusetts to try before they buy. Definitely a cool gesture. He's got a swagger about him for sure. Deep knowledge about Burgundy and a passion for Pinot - especially Sojourn Pinot!

I thought their wines -- 2009s at the time -- showed great potential. They were powerful and delicious but with some rough edges I hoped would soften with time.

As I've gone back and tasted some of those wines 6 to 12 months later they have indeed softened nicely and are showing fabulously. The style here, speaking about their Pinot Noirs, is more of a Cab-drinker's Pinot Noir. I find they hit the spot when I'm in the mood for a Pinot Noir with a little extra substance.

But that's not entirely the case as you can see in their bottlings from the Alder Springs and Rodgers Creek vineyards for example. These wines show restreaint and reveal earthy characteristics like mushrooms and wet red clay. It's a testament to winemaker Erich Bradley's ability to deliver flavorful, delicious wines regardless of the origin. Their wines may be considered by some to be ripe but I've not yet tasted one that crossed the line into the over-ripe territory marked by raisiny/pruney flavors.

Here are my notes on recent Sojourn releases:
  • 2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (6/8/2012)
    Classic Sojourn. Money. (92 points)
  • 2007 Sojourn Pinot Noir Alder Springs Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (3/16/2012)
    This is a great example of Sojourn's diverse style. Despite making some riper Pinot Noir, here they let the a more restrained site speak for itself. Silty raspberries, wet strawberry leaves, and wet clay on the nose. Ultra-silky tannins at this stage. Long finish but no harsh aftertaste. Pretty but not wimpy. I like it. (91 points)
  • 2009 Sojourn Pinot Noir Ridgetop Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (2/26/2012)
    Just a fantastic offering from Sojourn here. A fine example of their typical style, but this one steps up and takes it to the next level. Raspberries, strawberries, violets and perfume on the nose which transition seamlessly to the palate. There's a bit of a edge to their '09s which has softened already since tasting them last fall. However, this edge give their wines a substantive punch that hits the spot when I'm in the mood for something between a light bodied Pinot Noir and a Napa Cab. Quite an accomplishment. Outstanding. (94 points)
  • 2009 Sojourn Pinot Noir Russian River Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (11/11/2011)
    I was in the mood for a Cab tonight but I love domestic Pinot Noir so I thought this one would hit the spot. And it did. I've only had it about a month since it shipped cross-country. But immediately upon opening it was in good shape and ready to go. I'd tasted through their 09s previously and they struck me as a little rough around the edges. But this bottle was showing remarkably well. Red fruit, florals, perfume, and wet clay on the nose. On the palate it tastes like pure high quality CA Pinot Noir. Pure fruit, a little bramble, some acid. Love it. Really nice stuff. (93 points)
  • 2009 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (5/20/2011)
    So much good stuff going on here but a slightly herbal "off" note bit me on almost every sip. An otherwise pretty wine - would like to try other bottlings from this producer. (90 points)
Posted from CellarTracker

They've got a tasting salon in Sonoma if you happen to be planning a visit. And it's hard to think of a more consumer-friendly high quality producer. Free shipping on 6 or more bottles and 10% off 12 bottles or more.

Click here to visit the Sojourn Cellars website and sign up for their mailing list

Question of the Day: Have you tried Sojourn's wines? If so, what do you think?

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