Chardonnay, Charles Heintz Vineyard

2018 – 91 points

The 2018 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard is a very pretty, understated wine. Next to most Heintz Chardonnays, the LaRue wine is decidedly lighter and more airy in feel despite a very late harvest in October. Lemon peel, mint and white flowers all grace this focused Chardonnay.

2017 – 94 points

“The 2017 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard is a gorgeous wine that captures the exotic beauty and salinity that are signatures of the best wines from this site. Apricot, passion fruit, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes all grace this exotic, distinctive Chardonnay from Katy Wilson. This is a decidedly oily, viscous style that is so typical of Heintz at its best.”   — Antonio Galloni

Chardonnay, H. Klopp Vineyard

2018 – 92 points

The 2018 Chardonnay H. Klopp Vineyard is another attractive wine in this range. Pear, white, flowers, mint and chalk give the Klopp notable aromatic presence. The mix of Wente and Mt. Eden clones works so well. Time in the glass is so beneficial in letting the wine’s open. There is plenty to look forward to.

Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

2018 – 91 points

The 2018 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is gorgeous. A whole range of floral, spice and savory accents all soar out of the glass. Intensely aromatic and gracious, the Sonoma Coast Pinot is so classy and elegant. It’s a great introduction to this range and a super-classic wine that shows Katy Wilson’s style so well.

2016 – 90 points

“The 2016 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is bold, racy and quite juicy, especially for Katy Wilson’s style. Dark cherry, plum, spice and rose petal are all pushed forward in this mid-weight, succulent appellation-level Pinot. The 2016 is very pretty, but also a bit riper than is the norm. It will be ready to drink upon release.”  — Antonio Galloni 

2015 – 93 points

“The 2015 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is gorgeous. In this freakish, early-ripening vintage, the Sonoma Coast Pinot is richer and more succulent than normal, and while that is a stylistic departure from the past, there is no denying the resulting wine is striking. Silky tannins and plush fruit add to the wine’s considerable appeal. This is a superb showing. Wow!” — Antonio Galloni 

2013 – 92 points

“Wilson’s 2013 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a gorgeous, deeply expressive wine loaded with class and personality. The flavors are dark, luscious and expressive, but in the classic LaRue style that favors mid-weight grace and finesse. Expressive savory notes add the closing shades of nuance. This is a serious appellation-level wine that overdelivers big time. Fruit sources are Rice-Spivak and Emmaline Ann.” — Antonio Galloni 

2012 – 92 points

“The 2012 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is gorgeous. Lifted and gracious, the 2012 is showing beautifully today. Sweet red berries, flowers and a hint of cinnamon are all delineated in the glass, with pretty saline notes that add brightness. All the elements fall into place nicely. When all is said and done, the Sonoma Coast Pinot makes a strong case for itself as the strongest wine in this range. The 2012 was done with mostly destemmed fruit.” — Antonio Galloni 

2010 – 92 points

“Good medium red. Captivating pungent lift to the aromas of raspberry, red cherry, cola, underbrush, rose petal and orange peel. Juicy, sappy and intense, with bracing but well integrated acidity adding punch to the urgent red fruit and soil flavors. Dense but light on its feet thanks to its piquant elements of rose petal and blood orange. Finishes with firm tannins and excellent rising length and spicy lift.” — Stephen Tanzer 

2009 – 91 points

“Bright red. Powerful aromas of cherry compote, blackberry, black cardamom and smoky minerals, with a suave floral quality and a hint of resinous herbs. Mouthfilling dark berry flavors are given bite by tangy acidity and pick up a candied violet nuance with air. Plenty rich in flavor but there’s a weightless quality to this wine. Finishes sappy, clinging and very long, leaving spice and floral notes behind. Has the heft to handle rich foods without coming across as heavy; pretty impressive for a freshman effort.” — Stephen Tanzer

Pinot Noir, Coastlands Vineyard

2017 – 93 points

“The 2017 Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard shows a distinctly rich, textured expression of this site. Rose petal, earthiness, leather, cedar and menthol open up with a bit of air, but the 2017 is a powerhouse that needs time to come together. Today, the 2017 feels a bit heavy. Let’s see what happens.” — Antonio Galloni 

2014 -94 points

“A wine of real distinction, the 2014 Pinot Noir Coastlands is fabulous. Enticing aromatics and translucent fruit give the Coastlands a sense of total allure that is hard to fully describe. All the elements simply fall into place in an effortless, pedigreed Pinot loaded with class. The 2014 needs time in bottle to develop its full range of aromatics, but it is striking, even at this early stage. Katy Wilson gave her 2014 Coastlands Pinot 32 months in barrel, which is quite long.” — Antonio Galloni 

2013 – 92 points

“The 2013 Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard is the most floral and savory of the wines in the range, partly because of the greater use of whole clusters. The Coastlands is medium in body and nicely lifted throughout, with good aromatic presence, but less overt fruit. This fruit feels like it might have been picked just a touch early, but this is nevertheless an attractive wine.” — Antonio Galloni 

2012 – 93 points

“The 2012 Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard is the darkest and sweetest of Katy Wilson’s 2012 Pinots. Black cherries, hard candy, plums, cloves, licorice and new leather blossom in the glass as this supple, generous Pinot shows off its striking inner sweetness and perfume. In 2012 Katy Wilson used 15% whole clusters here to give the wine more lift, an approach that works beautifully.” — Antonio Galloni

Pinot Noir, Emmaline Ann Vineyard

2018 – 92 points

The 2018 Pinot Noir Emmaline Ann Vineyard is a tiny cuvée of just three barrels. Cranberry, blood orange and a whole range of floral and savory notes give the Emmaline Ann captivating aromatic presence. This gracious, ethereal Pinot has enough energy to drink well for a number of years.

2017 – 93 points

“The 2017 Pinot Noir Emmaline Ann is very pretty and lifted in feel. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, white pepper and chalk all give the 2017 a super-attractive upper register that works well with its mid-weight structure. This is a very pretty and nuanced wine.” — Antonio Galloni

2013 – 92+ points

“The 2013 Pinot Noir Emmaline Ann is dark, powerful and mysterious. Intense mineral and savory notes are pushed into the foreground, while the fruit is reticent. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2013 is not completely expressive at this stage. The Emmaline Ann was done with fully destemmed fruit, yet the wine remains unusually closed at this stage.” — Antonio Galloni 

2012 – 91 points

“Smoke, dark cherries, menthol and tobacco meld together in the 2012 Pinot Noir Emmaline Ann. Pliant, soft and expressive, the Emmaline Ann captures the essence of this radiant vintage. Drink this supple, open Pinot over the next handful of years. This is the most overt and fruit driven of LaRue’s 2012 Pinots.” — Antonio Galloni 


2018 – 93 points

The 2018 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak Vineyard is laced with the essence of sweet red berry fruit, mint, rosewater, cedar and sweet pipe tobacco. A touch of whole clusters (15%) and the clonal mix of Swan, 115, 667 works so well here. The 2018 is focus and full of energy.

2017 – 94 points

“The 2017 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak offers a striking combination of fruit richness, aromatic depth and fine balance. Racy, perfumed and super-expressive, the Rice-Spivak is very showy today. I imagine it will drink beautifully for another decade or so. It is the most elegant, precise and nuanced of the wines in this range.” — Antonio Galloni 

2016 – 93 points

“The 2016 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak is a deeply intriguing wine from LaRue and proprietor Katy Wilson. A burst of sweet red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, sage, mint, violet and spice give the 2016 much of its distinctive personality. Dark, pliant and super-expressive, the wine pulses with energy and pure class. I loved it.” — Antonio Galloni 

2015 – 94+ points

“The 2015 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak is the most elegant and nuanced of the three 2015 Pinots I tasted. Finely sculpted in the glass, with terrific energy, the 2015 marries the natural richness of the year with the crispness and delineation that is such a signature of Katy Wilson’s best wines. Sweet red and purplish fruit, floral and mineral notes add nuance throughout. Above all else, though, the 2015 is all class.” — Antonio Galloni 

2014 – 90 points

“The 2014 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak is soft, succulent and vibrant. Red stone fruit, citrus peel, spice and rose petal add perfume and the aromatic sensuality that is so typical of the Swan Pinot clone. Understated and classy, the 2014 has just enough fruit to fill out its frame. Even so, my impression is that a bit more depth would not have been a bad thing. Crushed flowers and intensely floral notes round things out in style.” — Antonio Galloni 

2013 – 94 points

“One of the highlights in this range, the 2013 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak is superb. Deep, dark and pliant, the 2013 captures a striking middle ground, with expressive aromatics and giving fruit, all with support from beams of tannin and acidity that shape the wine and add focus. This is another fabulous Pinot from Katy Wilson, but readers will have to be patient. Blood orange, spice and rose petal add an exotic flair on the close.” — Antonio Galloni 

2012 – 92 points

“Savory herbs, smoke, tobacco and dark red stone fruits open up in the 2012 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak. Firm yet well-integrated tannins and less overt fruit give the 2012 much of its energy and more savory profile next to the Emmaline Ann. There is a sense of drive and energy to the Rice-Spivak that is compelling.” — Antonio Galloni 

2011 – 92 points

“Dark red cherries, rose petals, mint and sweet spices take shape in the 2011 Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak. The Rice-Spivak has a little more tannic spine, freshness and structure than the straight Pinot, all of which should give it a few more years of drinkability. The savory notes of the vintage are nicely balanced by the richness of the fruit.” — Antonio Galloni

Pinot Noir, Thorn Ridge Vineyard

2018 – 93 points

The 2018 Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard is wonderfully deep and fleshy. Rose petal, spice, sage and mint lead into a core of bright red/purplish berry fruit. The 25% new oak adds texture to the Pommard and 115 clone Pinot while leaving the wine translucent and wonderfully expressive. Whole clusters (20%) lend nuance but are not especially evident. This is very nicely done.

2017 – 94 points

“The 2017 Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge is a dark, beguiling wine loaded with complexity. The fruit profile leans toward the darker end of the spectrum, with hints of sage, lavender, mint and black pepper that add nuance. The salinity and tannins typical of this site are present but they are nicely complemented by the fruit. This is such an expressive and nuanced wine.” — Antonio Galloni 

2016 – 91 + points

“The 2016 Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge is a beautiful wine that melds the natural savoriness of this site with that extra bit of ripeness that runs through all of Katy Wilson’s wines in this vintage. Rose petal, mint, dried herbs, chalk, blood orange and crushed red berry notes add striking layers of nuance. Even so, the Thorn Ridge is a decidedly tense, nervous Pinot built on sizzling energy more than anything else.” — Antonio Galloni 

2015 – 93 points

“The 2015 Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge offers lovely density and mid-palate pliancy to play off the more energetic notes that are typical of this Sonoma Coast site. Sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint and star anise add an exotic flair to this very pretty, silky Pinot from Katy Wilson.” — Antonio Galloni 

2014 – 90 points

“Expressive aromatics and bright, chiseled fruit are both featured in LaRue’s 2014 Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge. Hints of dried flowers, earthiness, mint, anise and a host of soil-inflected nuances give the wine much of its distinctive personality. Here, too, my sense is that a little more palate weight might help the wine’s balance. Even so, the Thorn Ridge is distinctive and quite appealing.” — Antonio Galloni