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Croix Estate

Criox Estate Sun Chase Pinot Noir, Sun Chase Vineyard, Petaluma Gap, Sonoma County


The nose is fragrantly playful with candied Lifesavers, crushed cranberry skins, Blue Dream flower, rose water, charred orange cream and violets. The palate is unexpectedly massive, covering all sections of the tasting flow – savory, acid, sweet, bitter and salt – leading to mouthcoating deliciousness. Wonderful! Sundried tomatoes, sweet cherries, candied raspberries and fresh earth lead to mouthcoating deliciousness complemented by complex minerality, balanced acidity, and a lengthy finish.

WAYPOINT GRAPE VARIETY(S): 100% Pinot Noir Clone 626

The Vineyards | Sun Chase Vineyard, Petaluma Gap

Sun Chase Vineyard is among the most highly sought-after vineyards in the Petaluma Gap AVA - a coastal mountain opening that draws brisk winds and cooling fog from the coast toward the San Pablo Bay. Located on a southwest facing hillside that sits at 1,400 feet above the valley floor, the vineyard consists of 248 acres grown in perpetual sunshine just above a persistent fog line. The cool breezes well up from the gap floor, influencing daytime diurnal temperature fluctuations, allowing for slow and even maturation of the fruit. The rocky hillside soils are derived from volcanic parent material known as basalt which has a low concentration of magnesium but very rich in minerals which is ideal for cultivating premium, cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The appellation's name comes from a gap in the California Coast Range of mountains and hills: an area of low-lying hills and valleys, relative to the topography immediately to the south and north of this corridor, that allows cool wind and fog from the Pacific Ocean easy access to the interior of southern Sonoma County. All of Sonoma County's wine regions benefit from the influence of these ocean breezes and fog, to one degree or another. The difference with the Petaluma Gap is the lack of a bar to entry: even when the marine layer is relatively shallow, this region gets fog and stronger winds on days that others may not.The AVA's western boundary is the Pacific Ocean, but despite the fantastic view, very few grapes are grown within sight of it. It's just too cold. To the south, the Petaluma Gap crosses into Marin County. Here, the coastal hills start to climb again, peaking at 2,572-foot Mount Tamalpais.On the north end, the outlines of the AVA roughly follow another line of slightly higher hills that contain the marine layer's initial incursion, but stop short of the expanded Russian River Valley boundaries, although the southern Russian River Valley basically shares the same soil and climatic attributes. The eastern border of the Petaluma Gap is neatly defined by the ridgeline of the 2,463-foot Sonoma Mountain and associated hills.


Method | 80% Pellenc Destemmed, 20% Wholecluster, 5 Day Cold Soak, 100% Carbonic D254 Inoculation Open Top Fermentation With Hand Punch Down Cap Submersion

Utilizing Utilizing 100% Native Yeast Primary and Secondary Fermentations.

Aging Regimen | 50% New French Oak

Aging | 16 Months | 8 Barrels