Peay Vineyards Spring 2010 Releases

Peay Vineyards
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Peay Vineyards, a first-class boutique winery located on the Northern Sonoma Coast, once again offers outstanding hand crafted, state-of-the-art Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah in its New Spring 2010 releases.

Established in 1996 Peay Vineyards is jointly operated by brothers Nick and Andy Peay and Nick’s wife, the talented winemaker, Vanessa Wong. Their vineyard, established in 1996, sits on an isolated mountain ridge along the “true” Northern Sonoma Coast (near the town of Annapolis) within the reaches of the coastal fog some five miles from the Pacific.

The International Wine Review visited Peay Vineyards in 2009. A full report on our visit and tasting appears here. Tasting Peay Vineyard’s new vintages again this year convinces us that this small winery is among the leaders of a new wave of California producers crafting high quality wines of elegance, intensity and focus. Because these wines are produced in very small quantities (maximum 500 cases) readers will have to move quickly to get hold of them before they are sold out. Our tastings notes and ratings are amazingly similar to last year’s. For sales and marketing questions, contact Andy Peay at

Peay Vineyards 2008 Estate Chardonnay Sonoma Coast ($50) 91

Estate ChardonnayThe Estate Chardonnay exhibits a medium straw hue with fragrant floral aromas of pear and a touch of mint and lime. The palate is refined and nicely focused, with a velvet texture and beautifully integrated ripe fruit and toasted oak. The oak treatment shows the deft hand of winemaker,Vanessa Wong, who has produced an elegant bottling in perfect harmony and balance with an impressive finish. Whole cluster pressed and fermented with 100% natural yeast and aged sur lie in 50% new French barriques for 11 months.

Peay Vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast ($42) 90+

The Estate Pinot Noir offers a medium ruby hue and aromas of high toned cherry and raspberry fruit that are mirrored on the palate along with white pepper and toasted oak. It has a silky smooth texture with moderate fruit intensity, medium plus acidity, good balance, and a lingering finish. Destemmed and fermented whole berry in small open top fermenters and aged in French barriques 23% new for 11 months.

Peay Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir Pomarium Estate Sonoma Coast ($52) 92

Pinot Noir Pomarium EstateThis Pinot Noir exhibits a lovely dark ruby hue with rich cherry fruit aromas and nuances of loam. On the palate it displays beautifully delineated cherry and raspberry fruit flavors with toasty oak and spice. Long lasting on the palate with firm round tannins, this is undoubtedly the finest Pinot Noir produced by this estate in 2008.  

Peay Vineyards 2007 Syrah Les Titians Estate Sonoma Coast ($45) 93

Syrah Les TitianThe Les Titians Estate Syrah reveals an attractive opaque ruby color and boasts earth and fruit aromas of blueberry, plum and blackberry. On the palate, it displays a soft and silky texture with ripe round concentrated fruit and acidity with a touch of minerals. With decanting the wine reveals more aromas and flavors of earth, pepper, and minerals. This is a powerful wine in a silk glove. Processed like a Pinot Noir with whole berry fermentation in small open top fermenters.

Peay Vineyards 2007 Syrah La Bruma Estate Sonoma Coast ($45) 92+

The La Bruma Estate Syrah displays an opaque ruby color with attractive aromas of violets, blueberry and plum. It has a refined and elegant palate with ripe fruit, a silky texture, and firm round tannins. It is beautifully balanced with medium plus acidity and red berry and black fruit flavors. Long lasting on the palate with good concentration, it shows increased elegance and flavor after one-two hours of decanting.

Cep Vineyards

Cep is the second label for Peay Vineyards. The Cep Pinot Noir and Syrah are produced from the barrels of the estate vineyard that do not go into a Peay wine. The wines are well crafted and offered at attractive prices. The Nobles Ranch Rosé is our favorite of the trio reviewed here.

Cep Vineyards 2009 Nobles Ranch Rosé Sonoma Coast ($19) 89

The salmon-pink colored Nobles Ranch Rosé offers fragrant red cherry and strawberry fruit aromas and fresh fruit flavors on a dry palate with good acidity and minerality. It shows excellent intensity of flavor and a crisp finish. Delicious.

Cep Vineyards 2009
Sauvignon Blanc Hopkins Ranch Russian River Valley ($20) 88

This pale straw Sauvignon Blanc offers fragrant lime citrus and melon aromas and flavors reminiscent of the Sauvignons of the Touraine. It shows a chalk and steel character with high acidity and a crisp finish.

Cep Vineyards 2009 Syrah Sonoma Coast ($22) 88

This Syrah boasts a dark ruby color and aromas of earth, plum and blackberry fruit with notes of clove. It is straight forward and easy drinking with a firm finish.

Written by Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler, May 2010