Landmark Vineyards

Owner(s) Fiji Water
Web site www.landmarkvineyards.com
 
Link to this site
Landmark Vineyards

Landmark is better known for its excellent Chardonnays, but they have been making a fine Grand Detour Pinot Noir for several years that is sourced from several Sonoma Coast vineyards including Kanzler, Keller Estate, Gap’s Crown, Flocchini and Armagh. They also source Pinot Noir from several other California vineyards including Bien Nacido and Sangiacomo.

Eric Stern was the tenured winemaker since 1993 who was assisted early on by Helen Turley. He retired in 2011 leaving the reigns to Greg Stach.

Founded in 1974 by Bill Mabry and his family in Windsor, one of the original investors, Damaris Deere Ethridge, took control in 1989 and relocated the firm to Sonoma Valley at its present location at the base of Sugar Mountain in Sonoma Valley. Ethridge's son, Michael Deere Calhoun and his wife, Mary, joined the company in 1992 as her partners, and the couple became the face of the winery.

In 2011, Fiji Water parent company Roll Global purchased Landmark Vineyards. The deal included the winery, inventory and an 11-acre vineyard. The history of the winery recounted above is in general acceptance but at the time of the sale of the winery, some disagreement arose over the proper founders. According to Mike and Mary Calhoun, the winery was founded by Damaris Deere Ford, Mike's mother, in 1974. However, Bill Mabry, who worked as Landmark's winemaker until 1993 when he sold his interest in the winery to the Calhoun family, believes his family should be given credit for founding the winery. Media accounts in the 1970s and 1980s assign ownership to Marby. According to Marby, his family purchased the original property using money from a group of investors, including Damaris Deere Ford and her two sisters. The original winery in Windsor now houses the Hembree House Cultural Center, which showcases a display of Landmark's founding by the Marby family. Mike and Mary Calhoun think that they should be considered "founders" since the winery underperformed until they took over management and brought in new winemakers in 1993.

Landmark Vineayrds was purchased by Stewart and Lynda Resnick whose $2 billion Roll Global company owns Fiji Water, POM Wonderful Juice, and farms 188 square miles in California for an undisclosed price.

A tasting room is located at the corner of Highway 12 and Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood. The winery also has guest accommodations. The wines are sold on the website and widely distributed. Annual production is about 25,000 cases including Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah and Chardonnay.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Landmark Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $N/A. · Moderately dark reddishpurple color in the glass. Perfume of grapes and spice. A fruit-driven wine with intense dark berry and plum fruit flavors caressed by soft tannins. Very smoothly textured with a slightly hot finish. Decent. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Landmark Grand Detour Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 2,500 cases, $40. Grand Detour is named for the location of John Deere’s black smith shop in Illinois. This wine is a blend of five Sonoma Coast vineyards. Aged in 33% new oak barrels for 10 months. · Dark ruby in color. The nose is scented with black cherries and black raspberries with a hint of dark caramel. Richly flavored, but discreetly concentrated darker fruit flavors with an underpinning of attractive earthiness. Seamless with gentle tannins and a fine nerve of acidity. Like many of the 2007 vintage Pinot Noirs from California, this wine will benefit from more time in the bottle. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Landmark Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., $50. · Cherries and strawberries are featured on the nose with an echo of oak and a nice hit of funkiness. The wine has pretty flavors of dark fruits with an appealing elegant presentation. The tannins are supple and the balance is spot on, resulting in a drinking experience that is easy going. POP 91, WS 94. Reviewed January 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Landmark Solomon Hills Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 120 cases, $55. This barrel select blend consists of 67% Pommard clone and 33% Dijon 777 clone. A small percentage of whole cluster fruit was used. Aged in new and one-year-old French oak for 16 months (6 months longer than other Landmark reserve-styled Pinot Noirs). · Appealing nose of changing themes including dark red cherries and berries, spices including cardamon, and floral scents. Richly layered with spiced dark stone fruits exhibiting a lovely Pinot sweetness and a slight smoky edge. Sturdy on the palate with a soft and satiny texture and healthy tannins that need time to resolve. Satisfying now, but will improve with another 6 to 12 months in bottle. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Landmark Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 500 cases, $65. Kanzler Vineyard is situated just west of the town of Sebastopol on a 16-acre site. The clonal mix for this wine is 54% 115, 44% 667, 3% Pommard. Each block was harvested separately and fermented individually. Only the best barrels of free-run juice were chosen for this blend. · Similar to the Grand Detour in style and flavor but with the fruit intensity ramped up significantly. Complex aromatic profile of black cherries and blackberries, black grapes, pepper and oak. A plush and creamy palate of dark fruits, dark chocolate and slight toasty oak char all wrapped in a complimentary robe of moderately firm tannins. A tenacious wine that grabs hold and persists through a long and chewy finish. If you are feeling hedonistic now, decant and serve with hardy foods. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Landmark Overlook Chardonnay

14.4% alc., $21. 77% Sonoma County, 14% Santa Barbara County, and 9% Monterey County. · Yellow gold color. Pleasing aromas of pears, apples, butter, and toasty oak. Moderately rich core of yellow fruits including pears, apples and banana with a snappy and cleansing finish. One of the most consistently reliable producers of Chardonnay in California. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Landmark Grand Detour Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $33. Landmark is known for its excellent Chardonnays, but has been making a fine Grand Detour Pinot Noir for several years now sourced from several Sonoma Coast vineyards including Kanzler, Keller Estate, Gap’s Crown, Flocchini and Armagh. This winery has a consistent track record with Pinot Noir and the wines are year in and year out always excellent as well as sensibly priced. · Alive with the scent of Bing cherry, cola and oak spice and flavors of dark berry fruits complimented by a sumptuous edge of vanillin oak. Well-proportioned and beautifully crafted, I liked this a lot. Reviewed October 1, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Landmark Vineyards Grand Detour Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $35. Landmark is better known for its excellent Chardonnays, but they have been making this fine Pinot Noir for several years. Sourced from several Sonoma Coast vineyards including Kanzler, Keller Estate, Gap’s Crown, Flocchini and Armagh. Aged for 10 months in 33% new French oak. The winemaker is Eric Stern. · There is a noticeable oak bent to the aromas and flavors. Primarily cherry driven, this Pinot has a nice cherry kiss on the finish. There is plenty of overall finesse. It was delicious with a Sicilian pizza which tamed the oak tendencies. Reviewed November 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2006 Landmark Vineyards Grand Detour Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $35. · There is an oak bent to the nose and flavors. Cherry driven with plenty of oak spice. Sexy cherry kiss on the finish. An elegant styled wine that is quite charming. A Sicilian pizza tamed the oak tendencies. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »