2016 Pinot Noir Reserve - Russian River Valley
98 points (CA State Fair Wine Competition)
94 points (NorCal Wine)
"Absolutely lovely on the nose with perfectly ripe dark red cherry, pomegranate, ripe strawberry, tangerine peel, sassafras, baking spice, toasted oak, vanilla, and brown sugar—something new emerges with each sniff. In the mouth, it’s dry with medium body, lively acidity, very fine, well-integrated tannins, and an extremely long finish. The flavors are gracefully intense, complex but harmonious. Look for tangy red cherry and strawberry, spice, tangerine, cranberry sauce, and a hint of wood. Unlike many “reserve” wines, this one isn’t a study in oak. Comparing the two Pinot Noir reviewed here, this one’s Cate Blanchett, the Starkey is Charlize Theron." - Fred Swan
93 points (PinotFile)
"Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Loamy aromas join an array of dark fruits on the nose. The mid weight flavors of dark red and black cherry satisfy, yet the wine is a bit rustic and brooding initially. The alcohol is well integrated and the finest grain tannins provide textural interest as well as support for longevity. The finish is the longest of the three 2016 En Garde Pinots tasted. More giving with lively aromatics but with noticeable oak input when re-tasted two days after opening. This is a wine to put away in your cellar for a few years while you drink the more charming Pleasant Hill bottling." - Rusty Gaffney
93 points (SteveHeimoff.com)
"Only 121 cases were produced of this Pinot Noir, which is a selection of the winemaker’s best barrels (as a Reserve should be). The wine, in its youthful exuberance, is simply delicious. It is, as my friend, Allen D. Meadows (Burghound.com) describes certain Burgundies, “big and robust, though always with breed and class.” Opens with a blast of essence of ripe, succulent raspberries. Oak brings notable but subtle notes of smoky wood and vanilla. But it’s really the flamboyant fruit that’s the star of the show, with great supporting performances from acidity, soft tannins, a silky texture and a minor but scene-stealing bacon and rhubarb-infused wild mushrooms. It’s so delightful, you might want to drink the entire bottle, but it will hold for at least eight years. Alcohol 14.9%." - Steve Heimoff
92 points (JamesSuckling.com)
"A ripe, generous and rather concentrated pinot noir with quite intense herbal and red-berry aromas. Fine, moderately dry tannins support the medium to full body very nicely. Drink or hold." - James Suckling
2016 Pinot Noir Starkey Hill - Russian River Valley
99 points (CA State Fair Wine Competition)
94 points (JamesSuckling.com)
"I love the bright cherries and the succulence of this concentrated yet elegant Russian River Valley pinot noir. Long, intense and refined finish that’s fresh, which suggests this has great aging potential. Drink or hold." - James Suckling
94 points (PinotFile)
"Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with upbeat aromas of black cherry, baking spices and nutty oak. A deeply flavored black cherry core brings the taste buds to attention in this middleweight styled wine. A real cherry delight with impeccable oak integration, silky tannins and a wondrous finish. This wine took two days after opening to really reach its peak, when my notes say “great!" - Rusty Gaffney
93 points (SteveHeimoff.com)
"Wine purists will want to know that the vineyard is near Sebastopol, near but not in the Green Valley AVA, one of the cooler sections of the Russian River Valley. You can tell from the color—translucent ruby—that it’s from a chilly area. I reviewed the 2014 Starkey and called it “lighter in body and more delicate” than some of En Garde’s riper Pinots. It still is. This is a delicately structured wine, with plenty of acidity and a silky texture. But there’s nothing shy about the flavors: big, bold cherries, tobacco and herb tea, plenty of peppery spice, a rich, mushroomy earthiness, and smooth, refined tannins. There’s enough elegant complexity to warrant the price. The wine changes interestingly in the glass as it breathes. With alcohol of 14.5%, it’s bit hot, but should mellow with at least six years in the bottle." - Steve Heimoff
93 points (NorCal Wine)
"In the glass, ripe red and black cherry lead the aromas with lovely accents of sandalwood, spice, bergamot, dark flowers, charcoal, and vanilla adding interest. The palate is a generous medium body with very fine, soft, well-integrated tannins and a touch of glycerine which clings to the mouth and helps extend the finish. The intense flavors of tangy dark red cherry jam, black raspberry, toasted oak, spice, and orange are buoyed by acidity. This is richly elegant Pinot Noir, very drinkable now and not at all fatiguing. For those who like age on their Pinot Noir, this one should be go for at least a decade." - Fred Swan
2016 Pinot Noir Pleasant Hill - Russian River Valley
94 points (PinotFile)
"Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is spectacular, offering hi-tone aromas of dark cherry, dark red berry, spice and rose petal. Delicious black raspberry, black cherry, spice and cola flavors in a mid weight plus style. Impressive energy and juiciness with a light dash of oak and a profound finish. This ephemeral wine is more giving upon opening than the Starkey’s Hill." - Rusty Gaffney
94 points (SteveHeimoff.com)
"Delicate and silky. It’s quite translucent in color; you could read through it. But there’s nothing thin about the flavors. Opens with a blast of wild raspberries, pomegranates, cranberries and rosehip tea, with subtly pleasant notes from oak. There’s also a nice earthy component: dried mushrooms, spicy cloves, a touch of crushed white pepper and cinnamon. The finish is dry and intense. Makes me think of lamb chops or beef tacos or even paté or, if you’re vegan, a rich wild mushroom risotto. Very nice now, elegant and refined, if a little tannic and youthful. I expect it to continue on a good glide path for eight years, at least. I’d love to be around to try it in 2036, but I probably won’t. A mere 98 cases were produced, and the alcohol is 14.7%" - Steve Heimoff
91 points (JamesSuckling.com)
"More freshness here than the Reserve bottling. This offers an impressively juicy, fresh and attractive palate that carries alluringly smooth red cherries. Drink or hold." - James Suckling
2016 Pinot Noir - Sonoma Coast
96 points (SteveHeimoff.com)
"In many ways this is the best and most delicious of En Garde’s new Pinot Noirs. On entry the palate is just delighted with the array of ripe fruits: red raspberry mainly, also persimmon, pomegranate and plenty of spicy clove and orange zest, with a tannic, tea-like grip. There’s a sweetness throughout, yet the wine isn’t sweet at all, but finishes nice and dry, with good balancing acidity. The oak is modest, bringing subtle, inviting vanilla and smoke notes. This is the lowest in alcohol of the winery’s new releases, with only a modest 14.3%, and a mere 175 cases were produced. Absolutely addictive, a beautiful, lithe, supple, succulent Pinot Noir with such a silky texture. My favorite of the whole bunch!" - Steve Heimoff
91 points (JamesSuckling.com)
"Alongside the bright redcurrants, this has plenty of citrusy freshness and bright acidity, balancing the rich body rather nicely. Rich and silky finish. Drink or hold." - James Suckling
91 points (PinotFile)
"Light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of macerated black cherries. The mid weight core of juicy black cherry fruit is infused with spice and energy as well as a touch of friendly oak. This wine has a welcoming “warmth” about it." - Rusty Gaffney
2016 Manchester Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay - Mendocino Ridge
92 points (PinotFile)
"Light golden yellow color in the glass. A complex nose satisfies with aromas of lemon oil, brown butter, warm croissant and waffle cone. Soft, suave and velvety in the mouth, with enticing flavors of lemon, pear, creme caramel and vanilla. Nicely composed and highly enjoyable, but I should point out that it is not an aciddriven style." - Rusty Gaffney
tel: (707) 282-9216
We are located on the corner of Highway 12 and Shaw Avenue. Between Cafe Citti and VJB Cellars. Walk in visitors welcome.
9077 Sonoma Highway
Kenwood, California 95452
"This was a delightful surprise as it was an unscheduled stop on our Grapevine wine tour and turned out to be our favorite of the day! We are grateful that, Walter, our driver, was able to introduce us to En Garde and cannot wait to receive our wine club selections!"
"Best tasting we had of our week in Napa and Sonoma. Server was personable, professional, and very knowledgeable."
"We are grateful for Kenwood Winery to recommend our visit to En Garde. First class and excellent wine."
"Fabulous wine and tasting experience! One of our very favorites of the trip!"
"In my opinion, a flight of the best wines I have ever tasted."
"Great wine, great customer service, comfortable environment."
"Fantastic wines, beautiful tasting room, and of course, the amiable Csaba pouring the wines didn't hurt, either. A lovely experience! Thank you!"
"Great visit and opened our eyes to boutique wineries."
"Highly recommend - En Garde is receiving some fantastic coverage/ratings in wine press right now so visit while the wine is still readily available!"
"This is by far my favorite winery! I have been a club member for 5 or so years and can't say enough about this place! Csaba is a brilliant winemaker and everything he makes is A+. "
"The tasting room is elegant, and the staff was very knowledgeable and sincere."
"We really enjoyed our experience & time at the tasting room. Would not hesitate to recommend or purchase any of of the wines offered at En Garde. Csaba was the perfect host! Can't wait til we go back in September!?????"
"En Garde is my new "find" after coming to Napa/Sonoma for 20 years. Cheers!"