Radio-Coteau Wine Westbrook ME
South Portland, ME
Radio Coteau: New Spring Releases 2009
Last December, Publisher Mike Potashnik visited Radio-Coteau winegrower Eric Sussman at his Russian River Valley winery. After tasting his 2009 Spring releases, all terrific tasting but still in barrel, Mike invited Eric to send the i-WineReview his bottled wines upon release so we could review them for our readers.
Eric Sussman is a talented winemaker who makes high quality, handcrafted wines in small quantities. Born and raised in New York, Eric studied agriculture at Cornell University in the late 1980s. He first learned winemaking in Washington’s Yakima Valley and spent time in Bordeaux at Chateaux Baron Philippe de Rothschild and at Domaine Jacque Prieur in Meursault (Burgundy) in the mid-1990s. Returning to California, Eric first worked at Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz and later became associate winemaker at Dehlinger in Russian River Valley in the late 1990s. Beginning in 2002 Eric launched Radio-Coteau and has gained well-deserved recognition for the quality of his wines.
Eric sources his grapes from low-yielding organic and/or biodynamic vineyards in Western Sonoma County and Anderson Valley. His winemaking is heavily influenced by Burgundian winemaking techniques which involve the use of native yeasts, whole clusters (if ripe), fermentation sur lie, light pressing with a basket press, aging in French oak (up to 50% new) and no fining or filtering. All this takes great patience and as Eric Sussaman says, “Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing at all.”
Our tasting of Radio-Coteau’s Spring new releases revealed fresh and elegant wines with purity of fruit and excellent balance. The success of these wines was somewhat unexpected, as the 2007 vintage looked to be problematic. There was cool weather in the spring and fall, warm and humid summer months, and threatening rain throughout the month of September. Fortunately, however, the good weather held until mid-October, allowing the fruit plenty of time to ripen, and the wines turned out beautifully, as the following notes show.
Radio Coteau 2007 Savoy Chardonnay Anderson Valley ($45) 92
This Anderson Valley Chardonnay from the Savoy Vineyard exhibits a medium yellow gold color and offers a lovely, rich leesy nose of honeyed almonds, Asian pear and white flowers. On the palate, it is elegant and creamy with flavors of tropical fruit and melon, light hazelnut, and a touch of butterscotch. It is exceptionally well-balanced with good acidity and boasts a long flavorful finish.
Radio Coteau 2007 La Neblina Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($42) 92
Dark ruby in color, the La Neblina Pinot Noir, sourced from several Sonoma Coast vineyards, reveals aromas of black cherry fruit with notes of herbs and wood spice. Aged for 16 months in 50% new French oak, the palate is very soft and ripe offering dark red cherry and mulberry fruit, herbal undergrowth, and earth. It is long, sweet and flavorful on the finish and, while drinkable now, will r...
Radio-Coteau: New Spring Releases 2010
During a recent visit to Russian River Valley we met up with Radio-Coteau winegrower, Eric Sussman to taste his new releases for Spring 2010. Our timing was perfect as Eric was about finished bottling his wines, and we were ready to enjoy them. Readers will recall that last year in January we reported enthusiastically on Radio Coteau’s 2009 Spring releases. This year we are no less enthusiastic.
Eric Sussman is a talented winemaker who makes high quality, handcrafted wines in small quantities. He sources his grapes from low-yielding organic and biodynamic vineyards such as Benziger’s Sonoma Coast vineyards and uses native yeasts in conducting his primary fermentation. Eric has made wine in Burgundy and in California with Bonny Doon and later at Dehlinger before launching his own winery in 2002.
The wines reviewed here are outstanding examples of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah winemaking. Most the wines are from the difficult 2008 vintage, which saw poor fruit set due to late frosts, resulting in 30-40% reductions in yields in some vineyards.
County Line Rosé
Wine 'Doggy Bag' Regulations in Maine
Title 28-A allows partially consumed bottles of wine to be removed provided the person is not visibly intoxicated and the wine is securely sealed and bagged.