Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir

Set above the town of Occidental, Yu-ki Estate is located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,000 feet. We purchased this remarkable site in 2007 and named it for Akiko’s nephew in Japan. One translation of Yu-ki is “big tree,” which is a fitting name for a property surrounded by old-growth redwoods. We planted the estate with our favorite heritage and Dijon Pinot Noir clones, and to preserve the property’s majestic redwoods, we donated 22 acres to the Bodega Land Trust.

Yu-ki came into its own in 2018 and provided us with more fruit than ever before—more than double the tonnage of previous years. All of the clones ripened perfectly in this incredible vintage, and the generous size of the crop put the capacity of the winery to the test. Many of the 2018 Yu-ki barrels found their way into the Akiko’s Cuvée, and a vast majority of the Sonoma Coast blend is made up of Yu-ki fruit. We selected our 25 favorite barrels for the Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir.

This wine is a gorgeous example of what the Sonoma Coast can produce in a perfect vintage. The deep, dark color of the 2018 Yu-ki Pinot Noir shows a youthfulness that is reflected in the wine’s character. Its intriguing nose displays a combination of bright plums, strawberries, fresh herbs and toasty French oak. On the palate, the wine is quite a bit bolder than we’ve seen in Yu-ki’s first four vintages. Complex flavors of ripe Pinot Noir, earth and morel mushrooms are framed by moderate acidity and firm tannins. Expect the 2018 wine to be at its best from late 2020 through 2029.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% Yu-ki Estate, Sonoma Coast
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 17% new
  • 25% one-year-old
  • 12% two-year-old
  • 29% neutral
Bottling
July 2019
Fermentation
Five-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, hand-punched down one to three times per day, free-run sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately
Production
  • 750 ml: 440 cases
  • 1.5 L: 50 cases

Scores

92
95 points/Cellar Selection