Camp Meeting Ridge was the first vineyard Walt and June Flowers planted on the far Sonoma coast, on a ridge southwest of Hirsch. In the early 1990s, the area was still largely unexplored by vines, and Camp Meeting Ridge became an experimental station for any number of winemakers who are now important players in Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Between the extreme nature of the site, the diversity of the blocks and the shifting perspective of the winemakers, Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot occasionally hit some highs, but never with the consistency of the Flowers’s later plantings. But in years when the site hit, the wine’s beauty has been immediately apparent. Dave Keatley was the winemaker in 2015, working with Matt Osgood, the viticulturist on site, and the Huneeus family, who partnered with the Flowers in 2009. The team produced a fresh, lively vintage, the fruit fully ripe, even as it maintains the foresty cool of the surrounding hills. Notes of oregano and sassafras add another layer to the scents of roses and orange spice. It’s clean, sustaining its brightness and building flavor complexity over the course of several days, continuously calling for roast duck. And it has the stamina to age well.
Pale ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Camp Meeting Ridge gives up lovely lavender, powdered cinnamon, cloves and menthol notes over a core of kirsch and black cherries with a waft of garrigue. Medium-bodied and with a solid foundation of chewy tannins and just enough freshness, it has great red fruit and spice box intensity with excellent persistence. (LPB) 93+
The 2015 Pinot Noir Camp Meeting Ridge is quite a bit deeper and more resonant than the Sea View Ridge. Exotic spice notes give the wine much of its distinctive personality. Succulent red cherry, and raspberry fruit flesh out in this pliant, wonderfully complex Pinot. The 20% whole clusters add aromatic intrigue without overpowering the wine's balance. I would give the 2015 a few years in bottle for the tannins to soften. This is a terrific showing from Flowers. (AG) 92+
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