Vanessa Wong combines the best of new- and old-world winemaking. She followed up her 1992 U.C. Davis degree in viticulture and enology with studies at Bordeaux’s Institut d’Oenologie and stints at Château Lafite Rothschild and Burgundy’s small Domaine Jean Gros. At Peay Vineyard on the Sonoma coast, Wong, 41, makes technically precise yet personal wines with the artisan sensibility she acquired in France. “The whole family is involved,” she says of Jean Gros. “They eat and breathe this existence.”
From Green Apple Books to Great California Pinot Noir at Savoy Vineyard
Mendocino County’s Savoy Vineyard has been one of California’s premier’s sites for Pinot Noir since the 1990s and remains so today under the supervision of Ryan Hodgins.
Why This Bottle, Really?
The 2015 Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir, named for a cuvée coming from certain parcels with ancient maritime soils and sea-bed fossils, is an exceptional wine. To me, it is reminiscent of Chambolle-Musigny, showing a balance of earth and small red fruits, judicious and elegant seasoning with French oak, and a tension from acidity that makes the wine vibrant and deeply delicious. It is a supremely fine Pinot Noir; it excites me when I taste a California wine of such quality, complexity, and finesse.