Auteur Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 2019

Rare and Regal: Sonoma Coast Gems from Auteur Wines

After tasting the Auteur's 2019 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir last week, I proceeded to buy my distributor out. These micro-production wines are of an impeccable quality, showcasing all of the best attributes that Burgundian varieties can attain along the cooler Sonoma Coast. The Chardonnay is rich yet finely detailed and balanced, and the Pinot Noir is a dazzling wine that will make heads spin. Act fast on these folks, they'll be gone in a flash.

Husband and wife Kenneth and Laura Juhasz sell almost all of the 1,200 cases they produce through an allocated mailing list. Word on the street is that they are going to begin selling all of their wines this way beginning with the 2021 vintage. Get in on this action before that happens! Just over 200 cases of the Chardonnay were produced, and just under 500 cases of the Pinot were made in the very high-quality 2019 vintage. Supply, needless to say is limited.

Auteur Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

1. 2019 Auteur Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 

Full, ripe, and fleshy yet high-toned , complex, and mineralic. - JS - 94 points 

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Kenneth Juhasz quietly makes some of California's top Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. In addition to making the wines at his own winery, he is also the head winemaker at Donum and the consulting winemaker at a number of other top Sonoma estates. At Auteur, he buys grapes from some of the most iconic sites of the Sonoma Coast; we're talking Hyde, Durrell, and Green Acres Sangiacomo. While he bottles single vineyard wines from all of those prized vineyards, a healthy amount of fruit from those "Grand Cru" sites makes it into his "basic" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

There's not a ton of info online about this wine, so you're going to have to trust your friendly wine monger here. This stuff is special and superbly made Chardonnay with a nice balance of flamboyance and restraint. Almost Meursault-like, it leads with aromas of brioche, lemon curd, white peach, ginger, and salty minerality. Full-bodied and full yet focused on the palate, the flavors are a continuation of the aromas, with great breadth, length and complexity with every sip.

You will struggle to find a better California Chardonnay for the money, and the same can be said about their Pinot Noir. A wine that left me speechless and in complete awe, I can't imagine a red wine tasting much better than this. 

Auteur Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2. 2019 Auteur Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 

Pommard meets the Sonoma Coast in this stunning Pinot Noir. - JS - 96 points 

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Like the Chardonnay, the Juhasz's buy grapes from top sites along the coast, most importantly Gap's Crown and Manchester Ridge. These cooler sites ripen slower and are harvested later, coaxing out more intricate, complex, and detailed flavors. Produced from a mix of Dijon and Pommard clones and aged 15 months in French oak, this is a rock star of a Pinot Noir that must be tasted to be believed.

Right when I stuck my big old nose in the glass, I knew I was going to go all in on this one, and I'm glad my distributor had 5 cases left. A gorgeous nose of ripe cherry, black cherry, spiced plum, orange zest, and baking spices really caught my attention. This was followed up by a medium-bodied, super silky, and beautifully balanced palate that made it hard to put the glass down. Being that I bought the distributor out, the bottle was left with me to enjoy at home. It was even better. Highly, highly recommended folks!

Imagine a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that were 2/3 Sonoma Coast and 1/3 Burgundy. That's what you get with the Auteur wines. These are incredibly impressive wines that should (and probably will) sell for a lot more. With Christmas and holiday celebrations just around the corner, I don't think either of these will be around for long. Cheers to drinking the good stuff in Asheville, North Carolina!

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville