Reviewing the 2017 Vintage by
The Wine Advocate

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We are honored to present Pisoni Family Vineyards reviews by The Wine Advocate. Erin Brooks is the esteemed wine professional and critic for The Wine Advocate; her coverage spans the entire west coast of the United States.

The 2017 Vintage is one that started slow in the spring, and finished quickly in the fall—when a heat wave enveloped all of California during September. The key to a successful vintage, according to brothers Mark and Jeff Pisoni, was the race to harvest the beautiful fruit while the temperatures were still cool.  For several days in a row, the Pisoni family tasted and decided for each block, then harvested every night until nearly all fruit was off the vine—and resting in fermentation tanks. The resulting wines retain their fresh acidity, depth of flavor and vibrant aromatics.

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Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2017 Pinot Noir Estate has a youthfully shy nose, opening to crushed blueberries, black fruits, perfumed earth, smoke and cola with dried violets and red fruit sparks. Medium-bodied, silky and serious in the mouth, it has tons of energetic fruit and spicy accents, with firm, wonderfully grainy tannins and great freshness on the long, layered, energetic finish.

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The 2017 Chardonnay SLH has a gregarious nose of baked red and Golden delicious apples, banana peel, quince and peach with notes of toast, smoke, hay, honey and lemon cream. Medium-bodied with intense tropical and stone fruit layers with honey-nut accents, it’s creamy and rounded, refreshed by mouthwatering acidity and finishing long and energetic with pleasant texture. Lovely!

The 2017 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard was aged for a year in barrel (about 40% new oak), then rested with the lees in stainless before bottling. Youthfully shy on the nose, it slowly gives up crushed stone, lime peel and white blossom scents with a core of kiwi and peachy fruit and toasty/popcorn notes in the background. Medium to full-bodied, it offers wonderfully intense, ripe, savory fruits in the mouth with honey, nutty and toasty accents, a strong mineral streak, lovely lip-smacking acidity and a long, energetic finish.

Pinot Noir

Medium ruby-purple, the nose of the 2017 Pinot Noir SLH opens to cola, woodsmoke, potpourri and earth with perfectly ripe, spicy red and black fruits at the core. Medium-bodied with intense spicy fruits in the mouth, it’s knit by fine grainy tannins and juicy acidity to lift the long, layered finish.

The 2017 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard is light to medium ruby-purple in the glass and smells of crushed blueberries, ripe black cherries and black berries with accents of violet, lilac, forest floor, woodsmoke and cola—a very pretty, elegant nose. Light to medium-bodied and silky textured, it offers concentrated layers of fruit and spice lightly framed by soft, silken tannins and wonderful juicy freshness, finishing very long and energetic.

This vineyard was planted in 1995 by Gary Franscioni and Gary Pisoni. Medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard is shy on the nose at first, opening slowly to red fruit sparks over a core of dense black fruit with classic notes of tobacco leaf, cola, woodsmoke and violet hints. Medium to fullbodied, it’s dense and concentrated in the mouth with tons of dark, savory fruits and floral notions. It has ripe, tight-grained tannins and wonderful freshness to energize the dense, layered finish.


The 2017 Syrah Soberanes Vineyard was made using 100% whole cluster and about 30% new oak. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose opens to aromas of violets, crushed granite, menthol, cassis, smoked meat touches and an impenetrable core of blue and black fruits. Full-bodied, dense and intense in the mouth with tons of juicy, spicy, savory and blue fruits, it has firm, chewy tannins and just enough freshness to lift the dense finish.

The 2017 Syrah Garys’ Vineyard is very deep, opaque purple-black in color. It has a nose of smoked meats, violets, lilacs and menthol with very ripe, dense black and blue fruit preserves plus chocolaty hints. Full-bodied and dense, it packs in the dark fruits with lovely floral and chocolate accents, framed by firm, grainy, ripe tannins and wonderful freshness on the finish.

A barrel sample from one foudre, the 2017 Syrah Susan’s Hill is very deep, opaque purple-black in color with a pretty nose of violet and blueberry candy with cassis, baked blackberries, bitter chocolate, pepper and charcuterie. Fullbodied, it offers vibrant, perfumed fruit in the mouth with firm, chewy tannins and just enough freshness on the finish.

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