Bodega Thieriot Pinot Noir 2021

Producer: Senses Wines
Region: Sonoma County
Appellation: West Sonoma Coast
Country: USA
Classification: AVA
Wine Type: Red
Variety: Pinot Noir
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 14.1%
Residual Sugar: 0 g/L
Soil: Goldrige Sandy Loam
Awards: 96-Lisa Perrotti-Brown
info@buyersandcellars.ca www.buyersandcellars.ca

Cellar Profile

Founded in 2011, Senses quickly became one of the most exciting wine projects out of the Sonoma Coast. Occidental natives and childhood friends, Christopher Strieter, Max Thieriot and Myles Lawrence-Briggs partnered with world-class winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown to produce coastal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Beginning with only 100 cases in their inaugural vintage, Senses currently crafts a few thousand cases of single vineyard and appellation wines. Grapes come from many renowned and family-owned vineyards including the B.A Thieriot, Terra de Promissio, Dutton Palms and Charles Heintz sites. The wines are complex, intense in flavour and beautifully balanced. All wines ferment via indigenous yeasts and are neither fined nor filtered. In the past two years, their presence in the marketplace has expanded to include placements on the menus of many Michelin-rated restaurants throughout the United States, including The French Laundry and Le Bernardin.


West Sonoma Coast is the 19th and newest AVA in Sonoma County. Approved as an AVA in May 2022, West Sonoma hugs the steep, wild terrain of the Sonoma coastline in the westernmost portion of the County. Comprised of three sub-AVAs, including Annapolis, Fort Ross-Seaview and Freestone-Occidental, the region is known for its distinct style of cool-climate wines that result from its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. These wines tend to have bright acidity, pure varietal character and moderate levels of alcohol.


Max & Lexi Thieriot planted this vineyard in 2016 after years of searching. Nine acres of Pinot Noir (Calera) are planted on Goldrige Sandy Loam soils. The site is located five miles from the Pacific Ocean and experiences the coolest weather of all the Senses’ vineyards. Platt Vineyard, de Coelo and Steve Kistler’s Occidental plantings neighbour the site.


Pinot Noir—chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France— is grown around the world, mostly in cooler climates. The grape’s tendency to produce tightly-packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, Pinot has the potential to develop more vegetal and earthy aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine. Thin skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lend Pinot to producing mostly lightly-coloured, medium-bodied and low-tannin wines that can often go through phases of uneven and unpredictable aging.


The 2021 vintage showcased the advantages of growing grapes on the coast in a drought year. Where some parts of the state were abnormally warm, the coast remained moderate and stable without severe heat days, allowing for winemaking-through-farming. Tonnage was carefully managed and the fruit was left to hang, developing full phenolic ripeness while still preserving the acidic quality that is so characteristic of the coast. Grapes are hand-picked and harvested at ideal ripeness, followed by a cold-soak for a few days. Fermented with yeasts indigenous to the vineyard, and ultimately pressed and barreled into a selection of the winery’s favorite French cooperages for 12 months.

Tasting Notes 

“The Senses 2021 Bodega Thieriot Vineyard Pinot Noir has a medium to deep ruby-purple color. It spills effortlessly from the glass with gregarious scents of pomegranate, kirsch, and mulberries, giving way to a beguiling perfume of lilacs, bergamot, jasmine tea, and iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate shimmers with floral and mineral layers accenting the powerful core of red berry preserves, supported by very fine-grained tannins, finishing long and lifted.” – Lisa Perrotti-Brown