Kutch 'McDougall Ranch' Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2013

Kutch McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir.jpg
Kutch McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir.jpg

Kutch 'McDougall Ranch' Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2013


Decanter Regional Trophy Winner 2015!

"Distinct and forceful, with a whole bunch presence, plus spice, herbs and red berries, with dusky, forest accents to give depth to the gorgeous berry and pomegranate fruit. That earthiness is echoed again on the end. Deep, complex and built to last" - Decanter Magazine, World Wine Awards, Regional Trophy Winner 2015

"I don't doubt for a second that this wine will see its 30th birthday in a very healthy condition" - Jamie Kutch

Jamie Kutch proposed to his wife by sending a diamond ring along the sorting table while she was down the line sorting Pinot Noir berries. He hit the ‘stop’ button as it reached her and, to his relief, she said yes. Jamie is a man with a creative imagination, who gave up a high-paid job on Wall Street to pursue his dream of making world class Pinot Noirs from the cooler sites on the Sonoma Coast. Not many dreams come true as quickly and successfully as this one, but his wines have received rave reviews (see below) and are now in huge demand, so we have been lucky enough to get our hands on a small parcel of the McDougall Ranch 2013, our favourite from his range. Jamie says he wants to "express the vineyard's origin while being invisible with my own hands", so he uses very little new oak, avoids over-extraction, refrains from cold soaking the grapes, does a 100% whole cluster fermentation and keeps the alcohol level relatively light (12.3% abv).

The McDougall Ranch 2013 has a reassuringly healthy colour, glowing with glossy cherry limpidity, but it’s the aromas that Pinot Noir lovers crave and this has a box of delights, offering those ethereal, haunting swirls of eastern promise, like a magic carpet ride through a souk at dusk! There is kola, betel nut, dried roses, wild strawberry, mace, red plums… a beautiful mix of the ripe and the exotic. The palate is both delicate and intense, a seductive paradox of glorious flavour intensity and discreet structure, combined with relatively light alcohol (12.3%). If forced to place it in a Burgundian context,  you might drop the pin somewhere between Nuits-St-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny, in that it has the delicacy of the latter, but a little more of the structure of the former. It will age beautifully, but there’s no harm in enjoying while it is young, so we give it a drinking window of 2015-2030. 

Press Reviews

“Much darker ruby than Kutch's other 2013s. Produced from 114 clone planted in 1998 on a greywacke and sandstone site at 935 ft elevation only 3.5 miles from the ocean. Like all the Kutch 2013s, this was 100% whole bunch fermented with ambient yeast, punchdown twice a day by foot, natural malo in barrel and aged for 10 months on lees, but in this case 50% new oak was used. (Just 500 cases produced.)  You can smell a little bit of the oak at this point so I would wait awhile but it is certainly the most ambitious of this range, the densest and the sweetest, though compared to the California Pinot norm it is bone dry and tingly. Some candied violets notes and a bit of gaminess.  For food rather than sipping as an aperitif. The most Nuits and the most ambitious of the Kutch 2013s with excellent, confident persistence. Well done.” 17 points, Jancis Robinson

“Dark red and purplish fruit emerge from the 2013 Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch. There is more than enough fruit to fill out the wine's frame quite nicely. This south-facing site yields fruit of notable depth and richness, while the whole clusters add a gorgeous sense of lift.” 94 Points, Antonio Galloni

“Vineyard planted in 1998 in Graywacke and Sandstone soils. Dijon clone 114. VSP trellising, spur pruned, 935 feet elevation, 3.4 miles inland from the coast. Aged in 50% new and 50% used French oak barrels. Moderately dark reddish purple colour in the glass. Lovely scent of black cherry, blackberry jam, wilted rose and underbrush. Delicious mid weight plus flavours of black cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry supported by firm but balanced tannins and the slightest hint of oak. The tremendously flavourful attack of sappy fruit leads to an extraordinarily long and juicy finish. Enjoyable now, this wine will benefit from more tannin integration over time. This is a wine that brings you to your knees, makes you turn your eyes to the heavens and give thanks." 95-96 points, ‘The Pinot File’

“Jamie Kutch is clearly besotted by Burgundy and sometimes travels to the region with “an arsenal of questions” for luminaries such as Jean-Marie Fourrier, Etienne de Montille, Jean-Marc Roulot and Christophe Roumier.” The Financial Times
“Some of the top Pinot Noirs in California are being crafted in the Sonoma Coast. And among the highest echelon of those are the Pinots of Jamie Kutch.” Drink Me Magazine

“Kutch 2013 Pinots are hugely distinctive – both from each other and from California Pinot Noir norm” Jancis Robinson

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