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George Wine Company

Proprietor and winemaker George Levkoff is a disciple of Burt Williams. After a career in academia and bond trading, he had a wine epiphany with the 1991 and 1992 Williams Selyem Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir. Four years later, he left his bond trading job in Los Angeles and headed to Sonoma County. He interned at Williams Selyem from 1999 to 2002 while also working with Margi Williams at Brogan Cellars. With grapes from Hirsch Vineyard, he released 150 cases of his inaugural Pinot Noirs in 2003. The wines quickly caught the fancy of top sommeliers in Las Vegas and New York and George (or “george” since George has a thing for lower case) Pinot Noir became a cult wine showing up on the wine lists of this country’s most notable restaurants. I have tasted and reviewed practically every wine from George Wine Company going back to 2005. I was always captivated by the wines that replicated the Burt Williams’ years of Williams Selyem Pinot Noir.

George resides in Healdsburg and is a one-man operation, performing every step of winemaking from sorting, to vilification, to bottling, and even some delivering. The wines are allocated to a faithful mailing list at www.georgewine.com.

George has released Vintage XIV Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and there are less than 100 cases still available. Current offerings include Hansen Vineyard Pinot Noir, Leras Vineyard Pinot Noir, Martinelli Ceremonial Vineyard and Sonoma Coma (a blend of all three Russian River Valley vineyards). The wines are $60 a bottle with the Sonoma Coma priced at $50 a bottle. I did not get a chance to review these wines but I did taste a number of older vintages from my cellar recently.



2004 george Vintage II Hirsch Vineyards Block 3A Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 634 bottles. · Dark brown, root beer color in the glass. Aromas of worn leather, barnyard, black cherry, sweet smoke, geranium and oak spice. Still offers from fruit but it is dried out with added flavors of earth, orange pekoe tea, and wood. Juicy, with silky tannins. The fruit fades quickly over time in the glass. Drink up. Score: 85

2004 george Vintage II Hirsch Vineyards Block 4A Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 647 bottles. · Dark brown, root beer color in the glass. Aromas of grape must, Nutella, dark chocolate, pipe smoke and rose petal. Still enjoyable, with a mid weight core of dried cherry, nought, cola and fig flavors. Juicy with silky tannins, fading over time in the glass. Drink up. Score: 87

2005 george Vintage III Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 492 bottles. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Very engaging, fresh aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and mulch. Still delightful, with a mid weight charge of blackberry fruit engaged with a compliment of oak. Slightly viscous and polished in the mouth with immersed tannins and a long finish. Easy to mistake this wine for a more recent vintage. Drink now to 2025. Score: 92

2007 george Vintage V Sonoma Coma Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 1,111 bottles. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. The nose leads with deep aromas of Bing cherry. An easy quaff, with light to mid weight flavors of cherry, strawberry, baking spices and guaiacol. Still some freshness with refined tannins. Drink now to 2020. Score: 88

2007 george Vintage V Ceremonial Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 3,888 bottles. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry and pomegranate with a sniff of volatile acidity. Commendable attack and finish of tasty black cherry fruit accent with a touch of oak. Still some tannins evident and slight astringency on the finish. Quite satisfying and vibrant due to juicy acidity. Drink now to 2022. Score: 89

2007 george Vintage V Hansen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 959 bottles. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of sweet smoke, mulch and cow manure. Wines from this vineyard always show a fecal, guaiacol note making them very distinctive and terroir-driven. Mid weight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry framed by silky tannins and honed acidity. Still fresh, with a generous finish. Drink now to 2022. Score: 90

2008 george Vintage VI Sonoma Coma Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 2,499 bottles. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Really inviting aromas of black cherry, spice and sweet oak. Satiny in the mouth, with plenty of fresh black cherry fruit delivering an expansive experience that lasts through a noticeably persistent finish. Oak plays a supportive role. Drink now to 2025. Score: 90

2008 george Vintage VI Martaella Vineyard 50% King Family Vineyard 50% Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 1,555 bottles. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of very ripe purple and black fruits are echoed in the flavors of this mid weight plus styled wine. Sappy and extracted, even hedonistic. Unusual richness for a george Pinot Noir. Mild oak input, proportional tannins, and a hint of alcoholic warmth on the finish. Drink now to 2022. Score: 89

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