The Line Wines
Neil Koch began his winemaking career at Seavey Vineyards and Vineyard 29 in 2002 working with Anna
Montecelli and Philippe Melka. After finishing his degree at California State University at Fresno, he was hired
at Lewis Cellars, where he helped craft world class Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay for two
vintages. He was fully in-charge of the Chardonnay program at Lewis Cellars.
Despite working for top Cabernet Sauvignon producers in the Napa Valley, his passion grew for Burgundy
varieties after numerous trips to the Burgundy region of France. He decided to launch his own wines under
The Line Wines label. Along with this new project, Neil works as an enologist and cooperage consultant for
four coopers based in France. His other passion is motorcycle racing (above at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma)
and the name of his winery reflects this.
Neil’s latest Pinot Noir release from the Sonoma Coast is quite impressive. I am often asked, “What is a good
inexpensive Pinot Noir? The answer is always a challenge as they are far and few between, but Neil’s wine fits
2008 The Line Wines “The Racing Line” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.8% alc., 150 cases, $34. Sourced from primarily Gap’s
Crown Vineyard on the western side of Sonoma Mountain in the
Petaluma Gap. A blend of clones 115, 667 and Pommard.
Deep, dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Rich aromas of dark wild
berries including strawberries with a hint of juniper berry. Moderately
opulent featuring satisfying ripe purple fruits with a judicious touch of
oak and accents of coffee and evergreen. Almost viscous in texture,
with healthy tannins that will integrate over time. A man’s Pinot that is a dead
ringer for Kosta Browne’s bottling from this vineyard. Good.
The wine is available for purchase online at www.thelinewines.com. This is an opportunity to support a young
winemaker destined for success on his way up and drink some good Pinot at the same time.