|Owner(s)||Csaba Szakal, Sandy Szakal|
|Link to this site|
Winemaker and proprietor Csaba Szakal is a fourth generation winemaker from Hungary. He moved to California as a computer programmer in 1996 and soon became interested in California wines. He began making wine in his garage before his first commercial release in 2001 which earned a gold medal. He started En Garde Winery in 2007 and now crafts his wines at the Mayo Winery facility in Sonoma Valley.
Multiple varietals are offered from sourced grapes including Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs. Vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs appeared with the 2012 vintage.
The winery's stylish tasting room is open daily from 11:00 - 6:00 at 9077 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood.
2012 En Garde Olivet Court Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 100 cases, $48. Release spring 2015. Martini clone. 40-year-old vines planted in gravelly, clay loam soil located across from De Loach Winery. Aged 18 months in 50% new Francois Fréres oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of cherry and raspberry. Very tasty core of black cherry and black raspberry with a hint of dark chocolate and spice. Modest in weight with muscular tannins and a very lengthy finish. The least showy wine in the lineup, but should blossom with more time in bottle. Score: 90-91. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 En Garde Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 175 cases, $48. Released September 1, 2014. Martini and Pommard clones. Aged 10 months in 28% new French oak barrels. · Moderate cherry red color in the glass. Shy aromas of dark cherry with hints of nutty oak. Middleweight flavors of black cherry, dark raspberry, plum and cola with oak and dried herbs in the background. Very approachable and easy to drink, with supple tannins and a bright cut of acidity on the dry finish. Two bottles tasted. Score: 87-88. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 En Garde Starkey Hill Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 125 cases, $54. Release summer 2015. 25% “828,” 25% Pommard, 50% 23. 35-year-old vines planted in Goldridge soil and located just outside the Green Valley AVA. This vineyard is owned by Csaba’s spouse’s best friend. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens slowly in the glass to reveal scents of dusty cherry and strawberry. A plentiful black cherry attack is augmented with notes of spice, cola and tea. Nicely crafted with supple tannins, a good acid underbelly and a lip-smacking, cherry-driven finish. Score: 91-92. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 En Garde Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 150 cases, $60. Release summer 2015. Clones “828,” 23, Pommard and Martini. Aged 18 months in 80% new Francois Fréres oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Extroverted nose featuring scents of Bing cherry, spice, tea and sous-bois. Delicious flavors of fresh, perfectly ripened strawberry, cherry and cranberry with harmoniously integrated oak. Very juicy and charming with plenty of grace, tannins so fine as to be imperceptible, and a long, powerfully scented finish. Still hitting on all cylinders the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed January 22, 2015 ARTICLE »
2011 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $48. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, cut flowers and sandalwood. Mid weight flavors of strawberry, raspberry with a compliment of nutty oak. Noticeable tannin and zippy acidity producing a tangy finish of some length. Score: 89. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2011 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., 100 cases, $58. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very nice perfume of Bing cherry, raspberry, caramel and spice. Tasty essence of Bing cherries with a long cherry-driven finish. Seamless with balanced t n‘ a. Juicy and very satisfying. Highly accessible now, but has the balance to age effortlessly. Score: 91. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2010 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $48. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Initially, the aromas of red strawberry, red cherry, spice and sandalwood are quite charming, but oak dominates over time in the glass. Light weighted flavors of red berries, rhubarb and cherry with a tarry oak note that intrudes in the background. Supple tannins and some finishing intensity. Score: 87. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2010 EN GARDE Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $58. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Deep, glorious aromas of black cherry with a hint of spice and sandalwood. More structure and finish and a riper fruit profile than the regular bottling offering flavors of black cherry, plum reduction sauce, cola, dark chocolate and anise. The fruit pushes the ripeness envelope resulting in a cooked fruit tone and a little heat peaks out on the finish. Score: 87. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »