Senses Wines

Owner(s) Myles Lawrence-Briggs, Christopher Strieter, Max Thieriot
Web site www.senseswines.com
 
Link to this site
Senses Wines

Three childhood friends, Christopher Strieter (winemaking), Max Thieriot (a successful actor), and Myles Lawrence-Briggs (a writer) reunited after many years to produce small lots of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from West Sonoma Coast vineyards near their hometown of Occidental under the Senses label (the logo is SENS3S).

Noted winemaker Thomas Brown (Rivers-Marie) is the winemaking consultant who joined the Senses team in 2012. His work with the wines of Rivers-Marie combined with his love of Occidental's extreme Sonoma Coast growing region make him a natural fit for Senses.

Vineyard sources include B.A. Thieriot Vineyard, Hillcrest Estate Vineyard, Charles Heintz Vineyard and Tanuda Ridge Vineyard, all located in Occidental. Both estate vineyards, Hillcrest and B.A. Thieriot, are less than ten miles from the California Coast and are exposed to morning fog, coastal breezes and mild afternoon temperatures. The maritime influence creates complex wines that have low alcohol, bright acidity and depth on the palate.

The wines are sold through a mailing list. There is select restaurant placement primarily in Sonoma County.

Reviewed Wines

2016 Senses Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.4% alc., 275 cases, $65. Clone 4. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of lemon creme, yeast, wet parchment and nutty oak. Solid harmony and richly flavored in the mouth, with tastes of lemon, pineapple, mango and vanilla. Nicely composed, yet a bit reserved. Score: 91. Reviewed October 12, 2018 ARTICLE »

2016 Senses Terra De Promissio Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 300 cases, $72. Vineyard farmed by dedicated growers, Charles and Diana Karren. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose offers a combination of toasty oak and boysenberry and black cherry aromas. Good vibrancy, with lifted boysenberry and black raspberry fruit flavors that sail along through the spirited, quenching finish. Enjoyably round mouthfeel with complimentary oak in the background and plenty of vigor to encourage another sip. Score: 93. Reviewed October 12, 2018 ARTICLE »

2016 Senses Day One Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 280 cases, $75. Fruit sourced from Hillcrest Vineyard in Occidental where the winery started from Day One. This site neighbors Charles Heintz to the West. It was first planted in 1974 to Grey Riesling making it likely the first planted still-wine site along the Sonoma Coast. The vineyard was later replanted to Pinot Noir in 2005, including clones “828,” 115, and Calera and Swan selections. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of oak-infused black cherry and blackberry with an added note of grill smoke. An opulent charge of black raspberry and blackberry fruit on the attack with good length in the mouth. Silky textured with tame tannins, and a modest finish. There is a noticeable infusion of oak flavors that should ameliorate over time. Score: 90. Reviewed October 12, 2018 ARTICLE »

2016 Senses Tenth Step Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.7% alc., 200 cases, $75. This is a wine named as an homage to Occidental where the three winery founders grew up. Occidental served as the tenth stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad. A barrel selection of top sites, primarily Dutton Palms Vineyard (shared with Kistler and Dutton Estate). · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Very aromatic, showing aromas of apple pan dowdy, lemon, lime and pineapple. Apple flavor engages the palate with a touch of lemon and pineapple. Creamy in texture with spirited acidity and comforting balance. This wine exudes friendliness. Score: 93. Reviewed October 12, 2018 ARTICLE »

2016 Senses B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., 255 cases, $82. Vineyard owned by Cameron and Bridgit Thieriot that was first planted in 1988 by the late Warren Dutton. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Enticing aromas of lemon oil, grilled pineapple, dried seaweed and bark. Delicious blend of lemon, pineapple and caramel flavors. Sleek and silken with impressive character, palate presence and finish. Slightly oily in texture, with enough racy energy to satisfy. Score: 94. Reviewed October 12, 2018 ARTICLE »

2016 Senses MCM 88 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 315 cases, $85. Fruit was sourced from the famed vineyard formerly known as Keefer Ranch and now known as Perry Ranch, and the block originally farmed by Kosta Browne. MCM stands for Max, Chris and Myles and doubles for the Roman numerals of 1900, which when added to ’88 marks the founders birth year of 1988. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is oak-driven, with aromas of tobacco and toast, along with an added aroma of earthy flora. Robust in a mid weight plus style, featuring deep, dark and very ripe black fruits underlain with toasty oak. The fruit is stellar and holds onto the finish with intensity. The tannins are well integrated and the satiny texture pleases. Score: 90. Reviewed October 12, 2018 ARTICLE »

2014 Senses Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $45. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is filled with aromas of cherry, strawberry, blueberry and spice. Light to mid weight in a laid-back style, with flavors of plum and dark red strawberry with a subtle oak spice compliment. Very giving and elegantly composed, with a comforting texture and a carefree finish. Score: 90. Reviewed February 25, 2017 ARTICLE »

2014 Senses Hillcrest Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $65. Myles Lawrence-Briggs’ parents, Carl Biggs and Lisa Lawrence, bought this site in 1988, located just outside the town of Occidental. The vineyard neighbors the Charles Heintz Vineyard to the west and is home to the original Chardonnay planting in the West Sonoma Coast (since replanted to Pinot Noir. 2 acres of clones 115 and “828,” and Calera and Swan selections planted in 2005 in Goldridge sandy loam soils. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. Well-perfumed with aromas of red berries, spice and a hint of smoke. · Well-perfumed with aromas of red berries, spice and a hint of smoke. Delightful mid weight flavors of dark red cherry and black raspberry with a sprinkling of woodland spice and smoke. Nothing out of place, with a mellow texture and a finish that grabs the heart with a soaring black cherry note. Score: 92. Reviewed February 25, 2017 ARTICLE »

2013 Senses Hillcrest Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Vineyard is just outside town of Occidental adjacent Charles Heintz Vineyard. Home to the original Chardonnay plantings in the Sonoma Coast, it has been replanted to Pinot Noir in 2005 to Calera, Swan, “828,” and 115. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine was love at first sip, with a discreetly concentrated array of fresh fruit flavors accented with spice and oak seasoning. Silky in the mouth with suave tannins and a driving, uplifting finish flush with fruit. Score: 92-94. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Senses Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Sourced from the same vineyards as the 2012 vintage that was previously reviewed in this newsletter but 2013 was a slightly warmer year. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Strikingly soft in the mouth and very easy to like, with flavors of Bing cherries, raspberries and spice. Very forward and embracing. Score: 90-91. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Sense Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.63, $40 (sold out). Released spring 2015. Sourced from Hillcrest Estate Vineyard (less than 2 acres) and Tanuda Ridge Vineyard (less than 3 acres) which are close together. Aged 10 months in 100% French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. An array of aromas present, including red cherry, cranberry, earthy flora and toasty oak. Very suave and silky on the palate, with a middleweight charge of well-spiced cherry and black raspberry fruits with a compliment of dried herbs and anise-laced oak in the background. Well composed with balanced tannins and easy drink ability. Score: 90. Reviewed November 5, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Senses Hillcrest Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.82, TA 0.62, $55 (sold out). Released spring 2015. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 35% new. Vineyard is owned by one of the Senses winemakers. It sits on top of a hill and is rooted in shallow, rocky soil, a mere 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Similar to the Sonoma Coast bottling but more expression and sappy goodness. The nose leads with aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and spice, all of which show up on the palate in a mid weight style with impressive polish and vibrancy. There is a slight earthbound quality that I find appealing. The tannins are soft and integrated, and the oak sings backup. Thoroughly like able, with an aromatic finish that hangs on with tenacity. Score: 93. Reviewed November 5, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 SENS3S Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.54, $40. Sourced from Hillcrest Estate and Tanuda vineyards. Barrel aged 11 months in 25% new French oak. · Noticeably better than when previously tasted in July 2014. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Attractive aromas of black cherry, rose petal, spice and mulch. Very tasty core of fresh black cherry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits with some length and intensity on the finish which sports a good cut of acidity. There is better integration of tannins and oak since last tasted. Score: 90. Reviewed November 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Senses Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.54, $40. Released fall 2013. Sourced from Hillcrest Estate and Tanuda vineyards. BArrel aged for 11 months in 25% new French oak barres. Winemaker is Thomas Rivers Brown. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Soaring scents of oak-infused red and black cherries and redwood forest. Modest concentration of darker red cherry and berry fruits with a muscular backbone of firm tannins which show up on the finish. A solid wine with charming fruit that could use more time in bottle to soften and integrate the tannins. Score: 89. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »



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