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La Pitchoune round 2: 2019 Van Der Kamp Pinot

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La Pitchoune
2019 Van der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir

Sheeeesh! You cleared out the 2018 in record time. Fingers crossed this equally small cache of the 2019 vintage lasts more than one hour…

With a flash of clairvoyance, we scooped another vintage of La Pitchoune up because we knew there wouldn’t be enough of the first one. It’s always a bright, sunshiny day when La Pitchoune shows up on the tasting table. Today, thanks to a small miracle, we snagged a few of these tiny 48-case-production Van der Kamp Pinot for you.

Same deal here, and very little to share.

The Nielsen’s aim is to make wine in a Burgundian fashion. Working with small farmers, producing just a few barrels at a time, and striving for the highest quality. The name “La Pitchoune” or “little one” even comes from a small vineyard in Burgundy. They’re tapped into some prime vineyard sites - Chenoweth, Devoto, English Hill, Pratt, and Van der Kamp to name a few, many of which supply fruit to cream-of-the-crop Pinot makers like Dehlinger or Kistler.

Van der Kamp is a special site sitting high at 1,500 feet elevation on Sonoma Mountain. Flowers, Siduri, Landmark, Dutton-Goldfield, or La Follette are just some of the labels that have showcased this spectacular vineyard in the past or continue to do.

This bridges the gap between California and Burgundy with terrific ripe fruit, loads of savory character, and ample acidity. Exactly like the 2018 but with even more oomph and depth, it flexes a pulsating core of pure red fruit - cherry and rhubarb and pomegranate with a bay leaf, spice cabinet, blood orange, raspberry tea, and worn leather joining along for the ride. Complex and intellectually stimulating, make no mistake - this beauty is NOT for the cafeteria amoebae wine drinkers who want some syrupy Meomi type concoction.

No reviews on this newer vintage, but with a track record of many high scores, La Pitchoune’s Van der Kamp according to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate remains the highest-rated Pinot ever from this vineyard as it “possesses great polish and harmony finishing long and perfumed…”

Winemaker Andrew Berge led the way for years, until his untimely passing in 2021. Yet wines built like this will carry on his legacy for many years, decades to come. Just a couple of barrels bottled to begin with.

Totally SOLD OUT on their website, not available anywhere, we have some of the last remaining bottles of this fabulous 2019 vintage, described as “a benchmark vintage for California Pinot, with wines showing power, finesse and the structure” by Wine Spectator.

A Pinot so real - under $30 - is a steal. Will go fast!

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