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Schug Pinot Noir Heritage Reserve Carneros 2019  - First Bottle


94 Tasting Panel -
Cocoa and cracked pepper intertwine with notes of wet soil as cherries dipped in sweet balsamic glide across the palate.

Technical Details

  • WinemakerJohannes Scheid
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • Sub-RegionCarneros
  • AppellationSonoma
  • Alcohol14.3%

Schug Pinot Noir Heritage Reserve Carneros 2019

Pinot Noir  |  US

SPECIAL: Ground shipping included on 4+ bottles!
50% off retail!

Just west of Napa, in the cooler reaches of Carneros, Walter Schug was a pioneer for the up-and-coming region as far back as 1980. This is their rarely-seen-at-retail Heritage Reserve pinot noir – and this is one of the best value, bang-for-the-buck, 94 POINT Cali-pinots we have discovered in some time! If you like your pinots silky soft, plump, and layered, with earthy and spicy undercurrents – in that sort of Kosta Browne style – then this is for you!

Walter Schug really should be more famous...not only has he been a Sonoma mainstay for over forty years, but prior to that, he crafted the very first Joseph Phelps Insignia (scoring a solid 99 points from Parker, no less). He also ran vineyard management and grower relations for E.J. Gallo for years, giving him access and relationships to some of the top growers throughout California. Finally, after founding his Carneros winery in 1980, Walter became a major player in the creation of the Los Carneros AVA (one of the first for Napa Valley too)! So yeah...a rather accomplished gentleman who was born and raised in Germany (from a family of winemakers with access to some of Germany’s most historic and ancient vineyards). Sadly, Walter passed in 2015, but his hand-picked protege – fellow German wunderkind, Johannes Scheid - carries on the tradition to this day. The wines here are classic California, with an old-world touch, and perfectly capture the climate and terroir where they are grown. This western Carneros pinot noir is no exception – and drinking at its peak right now.

The wine is simply packed with bright red raspberry and sappy red cherry fruits. Aromas of peonies and red roses pull you into the glass, where the fruit melds with this bright and rich sensation of balsamic, alongside spiced influences like clove, anise, and black pepper. Milk chocolate smoothly glides the wine across the palate, with an earthy, coastal forest note of damp pine and forest duff. Perfectly balancing savory and sweet sensations – the wine is both generous and tightly wound, with a complexity and layering that is revealed over time. It’s an impressive effort and should continue to evolve beautifully for at least another 5-10 years.

We don’t often get access to the member-only gems of this great portfolio, and rarer still to snag them at such an incredible price. You’d do well to grab a couple now and if you’re lucky, you just might be able to rush back in time for more!

PAIRING IDEAS: Ever had monkfish? It just might be one of the ugliest fish you’ll ever see, but oh my, when it is cooked is absolutely delicious. I had one on my travels served atop a bed of sweet and sour peppers, with a little butter and white wine sauce...and it was perfect with a full, ripe, and layered pinot noir like this!

About the Producer

Over 40 years ago, Walter Schug’s pinot noir passion led him from Napa Valley to the Sonoma Carneros region to establish The Schug Winery. After a lengthy career pioneering within the Napa Valley scene, with notable tenures at E & J Gallo and Phelps Winery, he settled on the Shrug estate vineyard on the Western edge of Carneros. Today, winemaker Johannes Scheid is at the helm of the operation. He is carrying the torch of Walter Schug’s legacy, producing European-style pinot noir and chardonnay that highlights the Sonoma terroir.