2017 Blue Farm Pinot Noir – Anne Katherina Vineyard Estate, Carneros, Sonoma

2017 Blue Farm Pinot Noir – Anne Katherina Vineyard Estate, Carneros, Sonoma



The Moller-Racke family purchased Buena Vista, California’s first winery in 1979. A native of Oberwesel, Germany, Anne Moller-Racke followed in 1981, developing 1,000 estate acres and leading the viticulture efforts for Buena Vista Carneros Winery.  In 1983 she become the vineyard manager for Buena Vista Carneros Winery. By 1997 she was promoted to Vice President of Vineyard Operations. She helped establish what is now the Carneros Wine Alliance and brought recognition to Carneros as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).  During her time as vice president of vineyard operations, Anne worked intensively with some of the industry’s foremost authorities, including Andre Tchelistcheff, Dr. Phil Freese and Dr. Paul Skinner.

In 1999, Anne purchased a farmhouse property in southwest Sonoma that included a historical Victorian house, now her home, and a 10 acre parcel.  When the Buena Vista Winery was sold in 2001 to Allied Domecq, Anne founded the Carneros region’s Donum Estate 2001 (including the former Tula Vista vineyard) and built the reputation of being one of California’s leading Pinot Noir producers.  Racke sold Donum Estate in 2011 to a group of Danish investors – Winside.  In 2001 Anne also established Blue Farm when she planted seven acres of pinot noir divided into three blocks dedicated to the Swan clone and two Dijon clones. The Dijon 115 contributes perfume and power; the Swan fills the wine’s middle, adding body and textural layers, and the Dijon 667 lends structure. Together they produce one complete wine from the Anne Katherina Vineyard.

In 2013 Anne Moller-Racke decided to completely focus her attention on Blue Farm and partnered with the owner of  1861 vineyard.  The 2017 vintage produced a mere 366 cases.

“Blue Farm 2017 Anne Katherina Vineyard Estate Farmed Pinot Noir (Carneros).  Tangy berry fruit is laced in black tea, earth and lifted acidity in this stellar wine, the personal project of Anne Moller-Racke, who long ran Donum Estate. It is intensely full in feel and youthfully tannic, offering a wall of defined structure. This will do well over time, so enjoy from 2025–2030. Cellar Selection. —V.B. – 95 points, Wine Enthusiast

A fuller expression of Pinot Noir, as all three clones are complementary and doing their best job here.  This wine is already firing on all cylinders, and it’s going to get even better with a cold cellar.  14.3 % alcohol.  Supple, but with underlying tannin.  Not overly ripe in the slightest, but a gentle warmth makes one want to save this for a winter night, and will be better suited for a blanquet du veau or a fillet mignon roast with wild mushrooms.  Dried scarlet rose petal spice, dark  berries, earthy forest floor, but so much more complexity is hiding to emerge if patient.


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