Kanzler’s Russian River Pinot is flawlessly balanced and epitomizes cool-climate, domestic Pinot Noir at the highest level, making it the appropriate choice as my number 1 wine in 2020. Even after tasting around 5,000 wines this year, Kanzler is fresh on my mind. Their team utilizes top-level farming practices, skilled winemaking, and they source from some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in California. Beyond Top Charts, at $60, this is one of the finest domestic Pinot Noirs that I’ve tasted.

The winery’s Estate Vineyard in Sebastapol has well-drained Goldridge soils and a fog blanket from the Pacific that’s ideal for growing Pinot Noir. Their vineyard caught the eye of Kosta Browne, who’s made a single-vineyard Pinot from Kanzler for nearly 20 consecutive vintages. This 2018 is primarily Estate fruit and includes almost 25% fruit from Walker Station Vineyard, a source for Paul Hobbs for years.

Kanzler set out to make the best Pinot possible from their Estate. To meet their goal, they exercise everything from meticulous farming to double-hand sorting. They also utilize partial whole-cluster fermentation for added depth. Their winemaking is gentle, precise, and skilled, and the results are simply stunning. You really have to try it for yourself…

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Tasting Notes from Master Sommelier, “This gorgeous Pinot Noir begins with a deep, rich, concentrated nose including tart candied red fruits, opulent black fruits, fresh sage, delicate rose petals, and gunflint. On the palate, it combines compact, bright fruit featuring focused Burgundy plums, ripe Bing cherries, tart pomegranates, dried currants, and baking spices. Its finish is decadent, very alluring and complex with an incredible intensity that’s powerful, lush and long, along with an incredible balance that gives me goosebumps.” Kevin M. Vogt 96 POINTS

Vintage/Tasting Notes from Edward | CaliHiWines, “The 2018 Vintage is like a breath of Fresh Air my friends… In 2018 Mother Nature endowed us with one of her greatest abilities; extended hang-time and a pro-longed growing season. Larger yields were bountiful and beautiful. Winemakers and Winegrowers alike were able to “”drop fruit”” from vines, in other words cut out the mediocre fruit, therefore selecting only the most pristine bunches of grapes to focus pure energy, love and light. Hence, the 2018 Vintage is or was a Winemaker’s Delight: Each Winery, Producer, and Winemaker had plenty of time to Harvest their world-class fruit; (no rush, no worries, and no fires) and the wines are deliciously saturated with incredible flavors and density on the palate, we all desire. We taste a lot of wines, and absolutely Love this Juice. We have been enjoying about 3-4 bottles per week at our house, and you have to try it… I’m stocking-up with two more cases. Kevin absolutely nailed the palate sensory, and it’s our #1 Wine of 2020. What more can I say?” Too Good To Rate | Off-the-Charts

Tasting Notes from Winery, “The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir wine is opulent and rich while still displaying great freshness. The classic silky Pinot texture is more chocolate mousse than heavy whipping cream, and the tannins show enough grip to hold and frame the wine without being bitter or obtrusive. The high percentage of once-used barrels imparts a subtle oak characteristic that enhances and compliments the fruit and spice character. After opening for several hours, exotic sweet-spice notes reminiscent of liquors in the Vin Santo or Fernet range begin to appear, further enhancing the intrigue and complexity of this Pinot Noir.”

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