2013 Head High Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (1.5 L)

2013 Head High Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (1.5 L)

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A past Wine Access story about 2013 Head High Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (1.5 L)

Below the Radar and Above Expectations

As a valued buyer of Head High Pinot Noir, we are emailing you exclusively because we have a very special offer. Exquisite California Pinot Noir rarely sells for below $50, let alone $40 — that’s one reason today’s MAGNUMS of 2013 Head High Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast are so special. The 2013 also received high praise and a 91-point review from Wine Enthusiast, which called it “sizzling in Asian Spice,” with “well integrated oak,” and a “soft texture.” In making the 2013 Head high, winemaker Sam Spencer, who was hired by distinguished owner Bill Price, sourced grapes from two of the most coveted Pinot Noir vineyards on the Central Coast, Durell and Wildcat Canyon. The results were predictably extraordinary, more so when you consider the price: $39.99 while 350 magnums last.

Bill Price is one of the founding members of the private equity colossus, the publicly traded Texas Pacific Group. But in collector circles, it’s Price’s passion for fine wine — the vineyards from which they’re drawn, and the craftsmen who make them — that most distinguishes him.

Unlike so many of the uber-wealthy who drop fortunes on vineyard land in Northern California, Price likes to keep a low profile, letting his winemakers and their wines do all the talking. There is no William Price Winery. Nor is there a Bill Price Vineyard. Instead, quietly but persistently, Price has laid claim to some of the most extraordinary Pinot Noir Vineyards on the coast — Durell and Gap’s Crown — and has then formed partnerships with the likes of Kosta Browne, Gavin Chanin in Santa Barbara County, and recently, the brilliant Sam Spencer at one of the most ambitious new Pinot Noir projects on the Sonoma Coast, Head High.

When you sit with Sam and sip and swirl the 2013 Head High Pinot Noir, it’s easy to understand why the most celebrated vineyard developer in Sonoma Valley placed a large bet on Spencer. Like Price, Spencer plays his cards close to the vest, deflecting attention away from himself when explaining what went into the making of his critically acclaimed inaugural release.

“Everyone likes to sing the winemaker’s praises. But anyone who’s spent a couple decades tinkering with Pinot Noir will tell you all the great Pinot Noirs — Roumier, Méo-Camuzet, DRC, Kistler, and Kosta Browne — are grown, not made.”

The humble winemaker added: “I was lucky in 2013. First, it was a spectacular growing season, one of the most extraordinary of the last 20 years. Second, I focused my purchases on the Pommard Clone. Last, of course, when it came to hand-selecting the rows at Durell Vineyard for Head High, I had an ace up my sleeve.”

While the more widely planted Dijon Clones are known for their dark color and floral aromatics, the Pommard Clone gives birth to highly structured Pinot Noirs of great density, chewy texture, and aromatic intensity. Working with small-berry bunches off of Sangiacomo Family, Durell, and Wildcat Canyon vineyards, Spencer produced an incredible offering that in Magnum is showing beautifully now and should be enjoyed through 2021.

Jonathan Cristaldi

Editor-in-Chief, Wine Acces

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About Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir Facts

Flavor Profile

Bright red fruit flavors with substantial minerality and earthiness

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