In the early 1990s, Sonoma-Cutrer's chardonnay helped establish it as a solid, reputable winery among the wine-drinking public. I find most California chards to be much too strangled in oak and much too "buttery" (as they say) for my tastes, but even I liked SC's chard.
Until last night, however, I had never drunk any SC wines other than their chardonnay. The Washington, D.C. restaurant Fahrenheit had a bottle of SC's Pinot Noir on its list.
I was skeptical. I am generally a big fan of pinot noirs, but too many of 'em from the U.S. (especially Oregon) seem so frail, have no backbone at all and lame color. Our server told us we'd be pleasantly surprised. And we were.
Resting in the wine glass, the color of SC's pinot noir was so deep and rich that it could have been mistaken for a cabernet. This wine has backbone without being brutally tannic. It worked both with lamb and chicken entrees.
Anyway, I was very pleased with SC's pinot noir. Judging from the wine-list price, I am hoping that it won't be too pricey at a wine shop.