Soliste: Claude Koeberle’s Wines from Sonoma County

IMG_3728Soliste is the start-up  project of Claude Koeberle, a former three-star Michelin  chef turned winemaker.  Claude was born and raised in Burgundy and spent his early years in France where he learned wine making from the famed winemaker Henri Jayer.   Since 1979 Claude has been on this side of the Atlantic engaged in food and wine projects.  Claude launched Soliste in 2005 with the aim of producing  Burgundian-style wines.  He sources his grapes from different vineyards, mainly on the Sonoma Coast, and makes the wines at a crush facility in Santa Rosa.  The wines are made by the talented winemaker, Ryan Zepaltas of Zepaltas wines and Siduri Wines. The Soliste wines are flavorful and vibrant, combining California fruit with the sensitivity and finesse of Burgundian winemaking.

Claude was in the Washington, DC area recently, and we invited him and  his distributor, Al McGosh of Nice Legs,  to present the wines.  Well, one thing led to another and before we were finished with our tasting for the afternoon we were sharing magnificent truffles and eggs cooked by Claude.  The Soliste 2012 Pinot Noir “L ‘Esperance”  was especially delicious with our lunch.

The following reviews will be included in the I-WineReview’s  Double Report #44  The Wines of Sonoma County  which is being published later in October.

Soliste 2011 Sauvignon Blanc St Andelain Lake County ($40) 91    This Sauvignon Blanc is one of two Sauvignon Blanc cuvées made by Soliste. The “St Andelain” is a Sancerre-like wine named after the village where Didier Dageneau was born. (Dageneau was a talented young wine maker in the Loire who died prematurely in a plane crash) The wine is steely with notes of lemon oil and minerals on the nose with high acidity and excellent length. A lovely wine to honor Dageneau.

Soliste 2011 Chardonnay L’Age d’Or  Russian River Valley ($40) 93  This Chardonnay boasts a rich and flavorful palate of yellow fruit and lightly toasted oak. Mersault-like in style, it is rich on the palate with dense fruit flavors, high acidity and loads of minerals. A leaner-styled California Chardonnay with loads of richness and beautifully focused.

Soliste 2013 Rose of Pinot Noir Soleil Rouge Sonoma Coast ($20) 90  The “Soleil Rouge” rosé displays a pale pink hue and aromas of bright red berries. Soft on the attack, it is full and lush on the palate with excellent acidity and freshness and a crisp finish. A lively and delicious wine.

Soliste 2012 Pinot Noir L ‘Esperance Sonoma Coast ($58) 93  The Pinot Noir “L’Esperance” displays lovely perfumed aromas, dark rose petal and hints of raspberry pomegranate. Crafted from 100% clone 115, it is pure, silky and elegant with excellent density of fruit and flavors not unlike an excellent Chambolle-Musigny. A very attractive Pinot Noir that will grab your attention.

Soliste 2012 Pinot Noir Narcisse Sonoma Coast ($30) 90+  This Pinot Noir shows a pure bright medium red hue followed by a spicy effusive fresh red cherry nose. It has lovely depth of fruit without a lot of complexity, good length with some tartness, and firm tannins on the finish.                                                                                                                   

Soliste 2009 Pinot Noir Sonatera Vineyard T Block Sonoma Coast ($47) 92  The Pinot Noir Sonatera Vineyard is 100% Dijon clone 777 sourced from the low-yielding Sonatera Vineyard near Sebastapol. It is a dark and richly flavored Pinot Noir made with whole clusters, and boasting lovely purity of pomegranate-like aromas. Aged in French oak, 28% new, it shows high acidity on the attack with prominent earth notes and assertive flavors to the finish.

Soliste 2009 Out of the Shadows Bennett Valley ($46) 93  The Syrah “Out of the Shadow” displays a dark ruby hue and aromas of black cherry, smoke and forest floor. It is silky on the attack and has superb palate feel and purity of flavor. Black olive, black raspberry, and minerals are both prominent on the palate and the finish. A super concentrated wine yet elegant and flavorful.

Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler                                                                                                  October 2014

This entry was posted in California, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, White Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Soliste: Claude Koeberle’s Wines from Sonoma County

  1. Pingback: Soliste |

Comments are closed.