Newsletter March 2011

Spring Release 2011

As I sit down to write our 2011 Spring Release Announcement, it is remarkable to think that it has been 23 years since James, Donald, Heather and I founded Patz & Hall. Somewhat surprisingly, the excitement and anticipation of announcing a new vintage of wines has never really worn off. Part of the reason is simple. We are huge fans of these wines, too. We make them because we love them—because something about each individual site spoke to us, and year after year we are fascinated by what these vineyards can achieve. That dance between a great vineyard and the nuances of a new vintage is something I never tire of. I won’t lie—it’s more fun when you are releasing wines from a great growing season. On that note, as I look back on almost a quarter century of making wine, I don’t think we have ever been blessed with a better run of superb vintages—a streak that continues with these 2009 releases:  

2009 Dutton Ranch – Russian River Valley Chardonnay
2009 Hudson Vineyard – Carneros Chardonnay
2009 Zio Tony Ranch – Russian River Valley Chardonnay
2009 Jenkins Ranch – Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2008 Pisoni Vineyard – Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

There is a bold, juicy ripeness to our 2009s. At the same time, they have lovely acidity that frames the fruit and underscores the sense of site we always strive for. You see that in the minerality and the tropical and floral notes of Dutton Ranch’s dry farmed, old vine heirloom clones. You also see it in our 2009 Hudson Vineyard – Carneros Chardonnay, where Hudson-Wente clone grapes create deep complex flavors, with Dijon clone 95 grapes adding a certain undeniable fruit sparkle. At Zio Tony Ranch, the work of a master winegrower (Lee Martinelli) has combined with an amazing site to create vibrant acidity, while still offering juicy white peach and green apple flavors. Our Pinots are equally compelling. From the supple tannins, elegant texture and showy raspberry and strawberry flavors of our 2009 Jenkins Ranch – Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir to the rich and voluptuous fresh-crushed blue and black fruit notes of the spectacular 2008 Pisoni Vineyard – Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, these are wines ready to savor, and worthy of cellaring. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to visit our Salon. Whether you are in the mood for a casual drop-in tasting at our Salon bar, or a more refined sit-down experience with gourmet, seasonally inspired food complements, there is no better place to explore our wines. If you haven’t been in the spring, it’s a wonderful time to visit—the wine country roads are less crowded, and there’s an intimacy to the tasting experiences. For reservations or inquiries, please phone 707.265.7700, or you may reach us by email at

Anne Moses