Sequana 2008 Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir Green Valley, CA
Although it is considered a boutique producer, Sequana is actually a part of Hess
Family Estates. Hess is an international, family-owned wine company now in its fourth
generation. They established Sequana as their very first venture into Pinot Noir with a
focus on New World-style wines from California's Russian River Valley (Sonoma County) and
Santa Lucia Highlands (Monterey County). The 2008 Sundawg Ridge is surprisingly big
for a Russian River Pinot at 14.5 per cent alcohol. Its ripeness is due in part to the vineyard's
elevation, high above much of the region's famous fog bank. The wine's nose is full of
fruit aromas, including ripe cherry, prune and cooked raspberries with an underlying
earthy note of sandalwood. A voluptuous wine, it offers tasty strawberry and raspberry
pie flavors along with bright acidity and an attractive floral note on the lingering finish.
Although it is by no means a traditional Pinot Noir (not even close), the wine makes for
a complex and compelling drink. Rather than serve it with classic Pinot pairings, try the
wine with bolder dishes like slow-cooked short ribs, grilled tri-tip or herb-crusted,
grilled tuna steaks. For vegetarians, the wine would be a nice match for herb-marinated or
goat cheese-stuffed, grilled Portabella mushrooms.