2012 THE FORAGER Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

The FORAGER Pinot Noir

• THE FORAGER Pinot Noir illustrates that careful, experienced selection and blending of Pinot Noir lots grown in diverse coastal locations can deliver delicious flavors and interest without the luxury “single-vineyard” price tag.
• Excellent low yielding sites, our experience living, studying & working in Burgundy brings classic winemaking techniques and careful maturation in top new French oak capture the typicity of these sites - and the purity of this noble red grape variety. 

Price: $27 per bottle

Shipping and handling included at no charge on 6+ bottles!


"Excellent Pinot Noir, in a complex style. It is full bodied, supple in texture, moderately intense in flavor (cherry, toast, plum, cocoa, herbs), and smooth and long on finish. Excellent value! 4+ Stars!"
Restaurant Wine, Ronn Weigand, Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, August 2014

"Bright red. Aromas of black raspberry and dried rose, with a touch of earthiness coming up with air. Tightly wound red berry and bitter cherry flavors slowly unfold and show a bit of pepper. Aeration brings out sweetness and depth, along with a note of cola. Closes with good spicy cut and slightly firm tannins that give grip. Excellent!"
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July 2014

"A beautifully cherry-ish Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir."
- San Francisco Examiner, November 2013

- The Pinot Report, September 2013

"Splendid Pinot Noir at the price: supple and
aromatic, with full body, excellent flavor and balance, and a persistent finish, tasting of cherry, rose petal, tobacco, red currant, white pepper, and tobacco. A great ‘little’ wine." 
- Restaurant Wine, Issue #147-149, 2013

"Deep red. Seductively perfumed aromas of red berry preserves, beetroot and rose oil, with a subtle spicy quality emerging with air. Sappy and precise, offering bitter cherry and raspberry flavors and a hint of cracked pepper.  Finishes with gently gripping tannins and good length."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2013

"Medium-deep ruby color; deep herbal and earthy aromas with berry notes; deep berry flavors with earthy notes; some oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep and earthy Pinot with a lot to offer."
- Pinot Report, June 2012

"Worthy Pinot on a budget is tough. But there remain a few brave folks willing to play in that sandbox. To get a peek at the light touch of last years vintage, there's the 2010 The Forager Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, made by Jonathan & Susan Pey, the Marin team behind Pey-Marin and several other labels. With a dusty earth edge to dusky plum and roast strawberry, it's got bulk but ample subtlety and proper oak. To use the name of another of the Pey's labels, it's textbook."
- Jon Bonné, "2011 Gift Guide: A wine for everyone on your list", San Francisco Chronicle, November 27, 2011
Click here to view article


After 3 challenging vintages, we vintners breathed a sigh of relief when in 2012 Mother Nature brought us beautiful sunny skies and clear, cool nights throughout the entire season. Vintage 2012 will likely down in the Pinot Noir books as “exceptional”. It allowed us to tinker along the seams, to refine the minutiae, rather than make broad strokes to save a crop - or glean the best from not-so-great lots and cull out the ones to sell off. We are thus very pleased to present our 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. 


The complexity of our 2012 Pinot Noir comes from seven clonal selections grown in three locales on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Pinot Noir. These sites were hand-pruned and picked. The soils in these low yielding, wind-swept sites range from the famed “Goldridge” to shallow gravelly loams. Each site and clone provided different aromas, flavors and structure and we developed the blend from these diverse components. The first site, representing 50% of the vintage, is less than seven miles from the coast at an elevation of almost 1,000 feet with 15-30 degree slopes. It was densely planted a decade ago and features Guyot training with 16-18 clusters per vine of 115, 828, 777 and “heritage” selections. The second site (30% of the vintage) is situated in the western section of the AVA (due south of Kistler and Klopp Ranch), offers clones 777 and 828 and contributes richness and depth. The 3rd site is near the intersection Gravenstein Highway & Graton Road and is shallow gravelly loam.    


Hand-harvested between September 22 and October 1, these compact Pinot Noir bunches were chilled to 50F, hand-sorted, mostly destemmed, crushed and cold soaked for 2-3 days in five-ton open-top fermenters. The smallest (and latest) lot went whole cluster for added texture. Fermentation began naturally and was completed with cultured Burgundian yeast. Moderate fermentation temperatures (87°F) and 2 pigeage (punch-downs) per day helped build structure, color and texture. ML took place in barrel followed by eleven months maturation (no racking) contributing nuanced spiciness and a velvety mouth-feel.  We call our wine THE FORAGER to illustrate how growing, gathering & judiciously blending small lots of delicious Pinot Noir can deliver serious flavor and interest.


Regional Composition: Sonoma Coast AVA 100%
Varietal Composition: Clone/Selections: 115, 777, 828, Swan & Pommard
Maturation: 30% New French Barrels for 11 months
pH: 3.59
TA: 0.64 g/100mL
Alcohol: 14%
Total Production: 64 barrels 

Download Tasting Notes