Get in the Gap: 2011 Bruliam Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

I'm fortunate to work at one of San Diego's very best and newest wine shops, located what I like to say is a "stones-throw-away" from the beach in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla, the shop is called Bird Rock Fine Wine. If you've not been there and you consider yourself a keen vino-sapien, than you owe it to yourself to stop by for visit.

I say fortunate because I've been able to give up writing about or have the need to accept samples for my blog. I get to taste so many different wines week to week, that I honestly have enough material for hundreds of reviews. To be quite honest it's greatly liberating to say the least; I write about the wines that come into the shop [or the wines I buy] as I see fit, without a need to worry about agendas.

But as quickly as that was said, in the course of #WineStudio and/or #WineChat activities wine samples will be accepted via Protocol Wine Studio for the purpose of exploring the wines provided by guests appearing in either of those venues. I hope folks will continue to join us via twitter on either of those nights for our fun, fasinating and to me very informative conversations.

Now about the wine in today's spotlight from a producer I've long admired and one I think everyone in the wine-community should know about and support via wine purchases. They're a relatively new producer known as Bruliam Wines, where indeed as their motto indicates "Wine is Elemential" an idea tasted in each new release. You may also be surprised to find out that 100% of their profits goes to charity, if you'd like to know more than I'd encourage to find out more here.

Having spoken with many winemakers this year and last up and down the west coast, I've come away with one conclusion that 2011 is going to be tough vintage for many producers. If you recall here in San Diego, 2011 was the year we really did not have a summer. For the most part it was cloudy and gray for nearly the entire year. As the 2011 vintage starts to make its way to the shelves of your favorite wine store, this will mean that the average vino-sapien should be paying closer attention to the critics to find the diamonds in the rough.
Which is why I wanted to highlight this bottle for you, because this folks is one of the gems from 2011 that should score for your own cellar. The Gap’s Crown, a Sonoma Coast vineyard which also supplies Pinot Noir to top producers like Kosta Browne and others.

In fact winemaker Michael Browne [of Kosta Browne] stated that the fruit from this vineyard  [Gap's Crown] site is "the backbone" of their Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. A vineyard easily located in the "Petaluma Gap" of Sonoma County; which in fact was reported to have sold earlier this year. It sold for an aveage of 100K an acre, an incredible threshold to have reached in so short of time and, key indicator of just how valuable this vineyard is now and will continue to be in the future.

So even in tough vintages like 2011, it's still entirely possible to make fantastic wines, but with an entirely different expression than what you may be use to in the warmer years. A "different-expression" is what you'll find in this Bruliam 2011 Gap's Crown Pinot Noir, an elegant, but at the same time powerful expression of Pinot Noir. I'm giving this wine 93 points, it's an outstanding representation of the quality this vineyard has to offer.

Lovely floral aromas stream easily from the glass, this is a richly textured wine, beaming with bright red-berry fruit, a hint of tea leaves and well rounded tannins. It's a wine I'd lay down for bit, as you wittle away some the 09's you may have socked away already.

Kerith Overstreet [winemaker], did a masterful job in this effort and, it was great seeing her again at Bird Rock Fine Wine the other day. Presently there are two of her other wines on the shelves, one is amazing Rock Pile Zin, and from what I hear, that is the last of the lot to be found anywhere.

If you live in San Diego and you'd like to taste some of wines dicussed in this article, than you my friends are luck. They're having a Spring Release party, so if you're interested there's still time to register for this fun event coming up next month.

The price of wine will depend how many cases of it's purchased and/or deals that may have been struck, but remember no matter the price you pay, 100% of the proceeds go to charity. Until next time folks remember sip long and prosper cheers!

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