Sonoma, California

  Winemaker: Kent Humphrey When Kent Humphrey decided that he had to leave the advertising world, his friends and family told him he should work in wine. So, he rolled up his sleeves and went to work at two different winery and custom-crush facilities, starting at the very bottom with a novice’s enthusiasm and surely driving those who hired him crazy with all of his silly questions and smiles. A couple of years later in 2003, fortune smiled on him. He was offered the chance to obtain some really good fruit from outstanding vineyards. He couldn’t pass up the opportunity and so Eric Kent Wine Cellars was born. Kent chose to make Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah because drinking these varietals gave him the most personal pleasure. He produced 375 cases that first vintage. Given his run-in with big business, it should come as no surprise that his goal is to stay a very small business. Kent does all of the winemaking and his wife, Colleen, a respected artist herself, seeks out the artists they put on their labels. Shelftalkers  Winery Website 
ek-crenee-sblancSauvignon Blanc, Cuvee Renee, Sonoma County
Each year, we continue to dial in the farming and clonal mix at both of our Sauvignon Blanc sites and the results are impressive. For our third bottling of Cuvée Renee, we could not be happier with the results.

From the very first vintage, we set out to make an SB that had all the wonderful freshness and vitality the varietal is celebrated for, yet shied away from the traditional grassiness in favor of exotic floral notes, citrus and tropical fruit. About 90% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel, while roughly 10% finds its way to barrel (5% new, 5% neutral) to add layering and enhance structure.

2013 - 91 points Wine Spectator.
ek-gah-chard-13Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Can a wine be wonderfully recognizable and delightfully unexpected at the same time? We think so! One of our great pleasures is helping people rediscover the many facets of the Chardonnay grape. While celebrating the essence of the Russian River Valley, this Chard nonetheless prides itself on standing out from the crowd.

The Rued clone from Stiling Vineyard gives the blend its exotic signature each year, bringing delicate notes of jasmine and almond supported by lavish flavors of baked pear, quince and tropical fruits on the textured yet energetic palate. Offering stylistic counterpoints, Clone 4 from just a mile down Vine Hill Road provides vibrant green apple and a mineral note, while the Robert Young clone from the Petaluma Gap completes the ensemble with rich baked apple and extra body on the gently creamy finish.

ek-sonoma-chard-12Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

The Old Wente and Dijon 95 clones from Yellow Rock Vineyard form the backbone of the blend, offering concentrated lemon curd and lime rind flavors as well as a rich and marvelous mouthfeel. Stiling Vineyard lends delicate floral notes and Black Emerald Vineyard provides great mid-palate and crisp green apple notes to complete the wine.

This selection is raised in primarily used (“neutral”) oak and allowed only partial malolactic fermentation to preserve clarity, freshness and racy acidity to balance the impressive richness.
ek-gah-chard-13Chardonnay, Green Acres Hill, Sonoma Coast
Golden-green in hue, the 2012 Green Acres Hill offers a gorgeous, smoky nose highlighted by scents of toast, quince, hazelnut and nectarine. Complex and powerful, the wine speaks almost entirely for itself (only 20% new French oak). Delightfully intense, with a broad core of flavors including lemon curd, baked apple and citrus oil that lead to a chiseled, stony finish highlighting a vitality and tension between the fruit and mineral components.
ek-sonoma-roseRose, Sonoma Coast
Our Rosé is a unique blend of diverse lots of Pinot Noir and Syrah (often with the tiniest splashes of Grenache and Petite Sirah) showcasing the delightful qualities and contrasts of these varieties, producing a wine that is most definitely greater than the sum of its parts. We ferment roughly half in stainless steel at very low temperatures and the remainder in neutral barrels, offering the best of both techniques to the finished wine.

And look at that color! It’s decidedly darker than the pale salmon hue so often associated with Rosé. But after three incredibly popular vintages and some great press, the secret is getting out. This is more than a simple, crisp sipper. It’s a complete wine on all levels, dry and serious, offering layers of nuance, complexity, body and great structure. A little extra skin contact, especially on the heavy red varietals, produces this deeper color and all the rich wonderful qualities that come along with it.
ek-smalltown-12Pinot Noir, Small Town, Sonoma Coast
Although its one of the richer renditions of our Small Town bottling, the wine remains precise and poised, with a structure that will offer many years of happy returns down the road. Providing immense pleasure early, we believe (as usual) that proper cellaring and some patience will be rewarded with even further refinement and a silky texture that can only come with a few years in bottle.
ek-saschaPinot Noir, Sascha Marie, Sonoma Coast
A fuller-bodied, “swing for the fences” style of Pinot. This year’s blend is composed from a selection of our more dramatically flavored Sonoma Coast barrels – 92% hailing from two strikingly different sites in the Petaluma Gap.

Fine, ripe tannins frame dense flavors of dusty black cherry, clove and cola, all providing a generous mouthful of rich, dark-fruited Pinot. This wine has some serious stuffing to it! And yet… as always, we work toward balance with great acidity and natural lift inherent in these cooler climate sites.

Historically, the Sascha Marie is tight as a drum upon release (our 2009 is only really beginning to shine right now!), but the 2013 may surprise us all by opening up a bit earlier than its predecessors. Given a year or two in bottle, it should really start to sing and then go perhaps another 5-6 years beyond if properly stored.
ek-kalens-12Syrah, Kalen's Big Boy Blend, Sonoma County
Kalen’s Blend continues its evolution with the addition of Steiner Vineyard in Bennett Valley as its new starting point. This distinctive appellation has been close to our heart since the early Dry Stack days and we’re thrilled to have another source for Syrah. Augmented and made complete with select barrels of Atoosa’s and Las Madres Syrah, we continue to chart an exciting course as Kalen’s explores Sonoma County.

Dark and robust, Kalen’s once again emphasizes the deep, brooding, structured, yet fruit-driven side of the Syrah grape. Plenty of dark fruits (black cherry and currant) with complex background notes of Asian spice and smoke. This is a knife and fork style wine, mouth-filling and concentrated with a chewy (but fine) structure and a long, dry, resonant finish. If there ever was a wine that deserved a steak dinner, well…

You know we’re going to say it, right? This one will cellar like a champ.
ek-madres-syrahSyrah, The Barrel Climber, Russian River Valley
Tasting our way through each barrel of newly fermented Syrah, it was clear that 2012 was going to be a tremendous year for this variety. Atoosa’s Vineyard caught our attention early and we felt it was time to let this one shine almost on its own since it fits so perfectly between the boisterous Kalen’s Big Boy blend and the darkly serious Las Madres Vineyard designate. That is a long way of saying we love it and want to share a few cases with you… hence our 2012 Barrel Climber Syrah!

Gorgeously aromatic with suggestions of framboise, black fruit, pepper and blue flowers, the nearly impenetrable electric purple color may lead you to believe it is a monster, but not so! Alcohol levels are firmly in check and the balance and structure suggest this wine has a long life ahead. If you choose to pop one open sooner rather than later, decant for an hour or two, or drink over several days for maximum enjoyment. We can't seem to help ourselves and are reaching for the bottles already!