The 2016 Kukeri Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is coming from Lakeville vineyard, located of the Lakeville Highway in the heart of the Petaluma Gap, carved by winds, with over 500 feet elevation, which creates a unique micro-climate. The wine is crafted 100% from the famed Martini clone of Pinot Noir, which creates a wine with a dense and elegant backbone, vivid fruit and floral aromatics.
A boutique and elegant wine, our 2016 Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir is silky in texture and complex in flavor, with black cherry and rose petal, fusing perfectly with an exotic undertone of licorice and vanilla oak. In the glass, bright light red hues, darker to the edge, medium weight on the palate balanced with bright acidity. Long and luscious finish.
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir, Martini Clone
Appellation: Petaluma Gap, Sonoma County
Vineyard: Lakeville Vineyard
Gold Medal, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
2016 Kukeri Pinot Noir, Cornerstone Vineyard, Los Carneros, Sonoma County
Due to its southern location, Los Carneros is Napa and Sonoma County’s coolest appellation with summer temperatures normally below 80 degrees. Similar to the cool climate Mount Veeder region immediately to the north, it is one of the few appellations that excels with both red and white grapes. The fruit for our 2016 Carneros Pinot Noir is sourced from Cornerstone Vineyard located in Los Carneros in Sonoma County. The Pinot Noir is crafted from the famed Dijon clones 115, 667, 777, which creates a wine with a dense and elegant backbone, vivid fruit and floral aromatics.
A boutique and elegant wine, our 2016 Kukeri Los Carneros Pinot Noir is silky in texture and complex in flavor, with dark fruit, boysenberry, plum compote, and strawberry, fusing perfectly with an exotic undertone of anise and vanilla oak. In the glass, bright light red hues, darker to the edge, and a silky-smooth tannin create a soft and luxurious mouthfeel from start to finish, balanced well with a bright acidity.
Kukeri Wines source grapes from some of the most unusual vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. “We treat that fruit as gently as possible, producing small lots of quality wines that display the complexity, power, finesse, and specific terroir of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Mount Veeder, and Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Los Carneros, and Russian River Valley.”
Kukeri refers to a pagan Bulgarian ritual that may date back as far as 8,000 years to the ancient Thracians – and to Dionysus, the god associated with wine, fertility, and rebirth. The festival is replete with mystical symbolism, steeped as it is in a tradition representing the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
Petar Kirilov, founder and winemaker of Kukeri Wines, grew up in Bulgaria, and graduated in 2002 from the prestigious University of Food Technologies with a master’s degree in winemaking. The following year, Petar wanted to learn more about winemaking and decided to leave for California, where he secured an internship with the award-winning Los Carneros winery Truchard Vineyards in Napa Valley. In 2005, he joined the high-tech wine company Vinovation, where he has been involved in numerous research and development projects. In 2008, Petar joined Meadowcroft Wines and Foyt Wines as a winemaker to oversee the production of high-quality wines. He also is a founder of the wine industry website VinoEnology.com.
In 2013, Petar decided to create his own brand, Kukeri Wines, to focus on the production of small-lot quality wines from single vineyards.
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FedEx Ground: Monday, October 15th - Wednesday, October 17th
Never heard of Wine Slash but looks interesting if legit. If so these wines are $19.00 and $19.50 on their site free ship over $99. However I put an order in shopping cart for 4 bottles at $78 and ship was still free. fwiw
First time Lab Rat here. I got this bottle in, my wife stashed it in the wine fridge, as I was on the road.
We opened it Friday, and I had an initial drink without any food as I wrapped up my workday. Bright, acidic, not really fruit forward, but smooth.
As we got ready for dinner (mexican) my wife tried a glass, and she didn’t dislike, but since she’s more open to jammy reds, it wasn’t her favorite. I liked it better with dinner than I did earlier, though I think that was more just having something else on my palate vs. the wine opening up.
For me, it’s definitely smooth and easy to drink (and to share), and the QPR is there for it to be an easy buy.
2016 Kukeri Pinot Noir; Petaluma Gap; Lakeville Vineyard
Overall this is a very nice bottle of wine. It has a pure fruit expression, good balance, and a long finish. The acid backbone makes this a solid food wine, but can still be enjoyed on it’s own. It is a fruit driven pinot with mild tannin and consistent aroma/palate profile. We liked this wine even though it wouldn’t be our typical style of pinot. Well made, and a solid deal at the price point here.
Bottle arrived for rattage last week, allowing for a little over 48 hours resting upright in the cellar at 59F.
PnP into Riedel Burg fishbowls. Natural cork closure, in good shape.
Color is nice deep ruby and after a few swirls we are picking up lean strawberry, dark cherry, and some earthy notes. After another five minutes of breathing, it is showing aromas of dense high toned red fruit with underlying minor earth and cedar/pine notes. Very intriguing and definitely not on the mushroom/funky side that many Sonoma Coast pinots have. SWMBO is leaning more toward a cran/craisin description and is picking up some minor alc. Palate is medium weight with medium plus acid. Flavors of red fruit/craisin/strawberry on the front. A bit of tannin and a long smooth finish with a bit of earthy spice (beet?). Not much minerality or salinity often present in Sonoma Coast pinots we are familiar with.
Allowed the shouldered bottle to breath for 1 hour before coming back and then allowed another 5 minutes in the glass. Nose is now leaning definitely to the cran/craisin and the palate has smoothed out and is very soft and delicate showing mostly strawberry and cherry tones with some hints of cedar/earth. Finish is very long (20+ seconds) with mild tannic grip.
Last round of this was with a simple dinner of grass fed burgers on homemade buns with maitake mushrooms and onions. This wine goes quite well with food, with a great acid backbone. It brought out the umami notes in the beef quite well. It didn’t go very well with the blue cheese, but did with the white cheddar. At this stage the palate has deepened and transitioned to darker tones, getting more dark cherry and possibility a hint of blackberry here. The acid/tannin levels remain unchanged and the finish is still quite long with the same spice on the finish.
This is my first lab report, but I was a long time wooter. I recommend ordering a case of this for thanksgiving. It holds it own and would pair with turkey. It doesn’t fall off the palate as other Pinot Noirs do so also the Cab fans will enjoy this wine, but it’s still light enough for the casual wine drinker. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this wine with pizza and pasta. It neither overpowered nor disappeared with our meals. Overall, this is extremely accessible. I fear that it would be lost with beef or a heavy meal, but with lighter fare or on its own, it’ll be a crowd pleaser.
First want to thank you to Casemates and all their members to let me introduce myself, my wines, and story of Kukeri Wines. So, I was born and raised in Bulgaria and I fell in love with wine at very early age when I was 12 years old, I start helping my Father make our home wine and grappa. After getting a master’s degree in winemaking, in 2005 have the chance to come to US and work with one of the wine gurus in the industry Clark Smith. In 2008 took a winemaking position at Meadowcroft Wines and I am still there as full-time winemaker oversee the productions off all the wines including Foyt Wines as well. The 1st wine and introduction of Kukeri happen in 2013 with 50 cases of Mt.Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and from this point I have been focusing on producing small lots of wines mainly Pinot noir from Sonoma County and Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. We are still very small brand under 1000cases total production with no distribution.
So, as you all know now is harvest season here in Sonoma County and we are very busy at our winery in Sebastopol. But let me tell you little bit more about the two great wines that we are offering today at Casemates.
Both are single vineyard wines and at Kukeri we are trying to focus on the fruit and region from where they come. Both wines have been fermented in small bins, with the Cornerstone Pinot Noir we pick up the fruit at 24 brix and let it cold soak for 3 days and after that we decide to go with natural fermentation and result was great.
On the Lakeville Vineyard Pinot noir, we pick up the fruit at 25 brix, again cold soak for few days. Here I decide to use the sparkling yeast to finish the fermentation, and the results is bigger and bolder Pinot noir, but at the same time very pleasant to drink now and age as well.
We don’t use any fining agents on our wines. So, I hope you all enjoy our wines.
@KukeriWines Curious whey you picked Lakeville at 25 Brix rather than closer to 24… Curious exactly where those vineyards are… where along the Lakeville Highway heading South towards Stage Gulch Road? or further South between Stage Gulch and Sears Point?
@rpm Lakeville Vineyard sits on a mountian top just north of the Sonoma Raceway and is accessed from the Petaluma Valley side of the mountian, just a bit south of Keller Estate near the Rockin H Ranch on Lakeville Hwy. The vineyard itself is about a 15 minute drive up the mountian from Lakeville Hwy. As for our picking desicion, the vineyard site is one of the coolest in the area, combining the winds of the Petaluma Gap with the cool marine climate of the San Pablo Bay that chills the Napa and Somoma Carneros regions, though the sugar seems high the grapes still carry lots of acid and tannin so we felt good about the all around physiological ripeness at harvest. Thank you for your interest in Kukeri Wines and we hope you enjoy!!
The Kukeri 2016 Pinot Noir first struck me as light, bright and young without fruitiness. It’s mild enough to likely not overpower or clash with most foods. Flavor is acidic with a mild sharpness that lingers in the back of the pallate at the second glass.
Half way through my second glass, I paired it with smokehouse gouda and the flavor profile evened out pleasantly.
I’d consider this a reasonable choice for people wanting an acidic young flavor and a pass for those seeking a darker depth.
I am so pleased to see Petar joining the Casemates family. He and I worked together for many years at Vinovation and as my assistant winemaker for WineSmith before moving up as winemaker for Meadowcroft and launching his own Kukeri brand. Like many Bulgarians I have worked with, he is incredibly industrious and hard-working. He’s also a very gifted winemaker whose aesthetic is very much aligned with my own - he treasures grace, balance, proper structure and longevity potential and always puts the terroir first, so the use of oak is seamlessly invisible.
These are definitely feminine wines of great elegance and integrity - not powerhouse impact wines – with silky, well-structured tannins. The Lakeville, though a bit more dense, is showing best right now, delivering lovely floral notes like roses and lavendar as well as a deep earthy truffle character one sees in the best Burgundies.
The Cornerstone is, to me, a more subtle and complex wine, no doubt owing to both its provenance and the indigenous yeast fermentation. Definitely taste one bottle now, but prepare to lay the rest down for at least 3 years. Although it’s a bit closed and awkward at this moment, I suspect it may outshine the Lakeville, but needs time.
Let’s welcome Petar to our midst with some satisfying sales numbers so he will come back and offer us screaming deal on his wonderful Mt. Veeder Cab Sauv.