Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
One of the most consistently beautiful zinfandels in Sonoma County, distinctive for its far-coast site, every release we’ve tasted of this wine since Sussman purchased Lemorel has proved exceptional. In 2018, his two parcels of old vines produced a brisk, blueberry-scented wine with high-toned scents of summer blooms. Its cool tannins feel like chipped stone. If you collect California reds, Lemorel should be among them.
Eric Sussman first heard the expression radio coteau from a friend while living and working in Burgundy. More than a preference for how you discover these wines, the name reflects a commitment to capturing reflections of soil, seasons, people and place. In 2002, Eric established Radio-Coteau, focusing on the north coast vineyards of western Sonoma County and Anderson Valley. With their benchland locations, well-drained soils, exposure by capricious marine air and fog, these sites host grapes naturally suited to their surrounding elements. This natural selection afforded Eric an opportunity to refine his Old World experiences while working with New World grapes. For more than a decade, he has strived to balance nature’s expression with a delicate, but disciplined human touch in these handcrafted wines.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured it’s title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the states’ diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, which sourced a journey to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.