Get in the Gap: 2011 Bruliam Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

The wine in today's spotlight from a producer I've long admired and one I think everyone in the wine-community should know about and support via wine purchases. They're a relatively new producer known as Bruliam Wines, where indeed as their motto indicates "Wine is Elemental" an idea tasted in each new release. You may also be surprised to find out that 100% of their profits will go to charity. If you'd like to know more than I'd encourage to find out more here.

Having spoken with many winemakers this year and last up and down the west coast, I've come away with one conclusion that 2011 is going to be tough vintage for many producers. If you recall here in San Diego, 2011 was the year we really did not have a summer. For the most part, it was cloudy and gray for nearly the entire year. As the 2011 vintage starts to make its way to the shelves of your favorite wine store, this will mean that the average vino-sapiens should be paying closer attention to the critics to find the diamonds in the rough.

Which is why I wanted to highlight this bottle for you today, because this Pinot Noir from the Gap's Crown folks is one of the true gems from 2011 that should score for your own cellar. The Gap’s Crown, a Sonoma Coast vineyard which also supplies Pinot Noir to top producers like Kosta Browne and others.

In fact, winemaker Michael Browne [of Kosta Browne] stated that the fruit from this vineyard [Gap's Crown] site is "the backbone" of their Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. A vineyard easily located in the "Petaluma Gap" of Sonoma County; which in fact was reported to have sold earlier this year. It sold for an average of 100K an acre, an incredible threshold to have reached in so short of time and, a key indicator of just how valuable this vineyard is now and will continue to be in the future.

So even in tough vintages like 2011, it's still entirely possible to make fantastic wines, but with an entirely different expression than what you may be used to in the warmer years. A "different-expression" is what you'll find in this Bruliam 2011 Gap's Crown Pinot Noir, an elegant, but at the same time a powerful expression of Pinot Noir. I'm giving this wine 93 points, it's an outstanding representation of the quality this vineyard has to offer.

Lovely floral aromas stream easily from the glass, this is a richly textured wine, beaming with bright red-berry fruit, a hint of tea leaves and well-rounded tannins. It's a wine I'd lay down for a bit, as you whittle away some the 09's you may have socked away already.

Kerith Overstreet [winemaker], did a masterful job in this effort and, it was great seeing her again at Bird Rock Fine Wine the other day. Presently there are two of her other wines on the shelves, one is amazing Rock Pile Zin, and from what I hear, that is the last of the lot to be found anywhere.


Michael Meisner said…
Love Gap's Crown pinots! Anything from that part of SOnoma - Sangiacamo, Rodgers Creek, good. Have you tried the Garnet Rodgers Creek or Carneros Pinot? Insanely good for the price - truly the best QPR wine I've found. Garnet website
Bill Eyer said…
Hi Michael,

Gap's Crown is a hot ticket for NW Pinot Noir.

I have tried a few of the wines from Garnet and recommend them quite often myself and, you're right crazy good qpr. I even wrote a review about their wines a few months back here>

Thanks for leaving a comment!



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