95 pts | Vinous "Deep magenta. Expansive red and dark berry and floral aromas are complemented by hints of star anise, sassafras and cola. Sappy, seamless and fleshy on the palate, offering intense black raspberry, cherry cola, candied lavender and mocha flavors underscored by a vein of smoky minerality. Seductive in character, finishing with powerful thrust and supple tannins that meld smoothly with the sappy, persistent fruit." - Josh Raynolds
95 pts | Wine & Spirits "Lingua Franca's The Plow is taken from blocks 1 and 2 at the top of Larry Stone's estate vineyard, set on relatively shallow Gelderman and not so shallow Jory soils. Those volcanics yield a wine of pure velvet, firmly planted but silky and sensuous in the mouth. This leads with scents of horehound, sassafras, red and black cherry, a hint of plum and tobacco, all of it firmly expressed, growing more layered and complex over the course of several days. Give it time in the cellar to develop before serving with something substantial, like roast beef." —P.J.C.
92pts | Wine Enthusiast
94pts | OwenBargreen.com
The fruit for The Plow 2019 comes from the best parts of Blocks 1 and 2, where Larry Stone planted a refined, moderately productive Pinot Noir PN777 on Gelderman-Jory soils, with a layer of large gravels that impart extra energy to the vines and create more complex flavors. Wines grown here are the most balanced of our estate, with floral notes, minerality, freshness, round tannins and length. In 2019 this translated into a richly layered wine, with aromatic complexity and deceptively soft accessibility that is underpinned by great structure.
This is another classic release of The Plow, with deep, long flavors marked by the elegance of the nearly perfect 2019 vintage. As in 2017 and 2018, The Plow was composed of the finest lots of wine from the top of the Lingua Franca Estate Vineyard where Larry Stone planted a refined, moderately productive clone of Pinot Noir on the Gelderman-Jory soils that are the most expressive and nuanced portions of our vineyard site. The vine material chosen for these blocks was selected from a highly regarded vineyard in the Russian River with a history of having created great wines. The result is a compelling, complex wine with luscious texture and length, a wine of contemplation and nuance. The long flavors are a complex of black cherry, dried herbs, black plum, red currant, black tea, rose petal, violets and minerals, with a beautiful, long finish.
The fruit for the 2019 The Plow Pinot Noir comes from the best parts of Blocks 1 and 2 in the Lingua Franca Estate Vineyard planted to clone PN777 on Gelderman-Jory soil complex, a type of shallow volcanic soil about 2-5 feet deep with a layer of large gravels that impart extra energy to the vines and create more complex and intense flavors in the finished wine.
In this dense vintage the whole cluster fruit was kept to 18%. Fermentation occurs with wild yeast strains in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks. The destemmed fruit is selected for whole berries by a special destemmer/sorter. No broken fruit goes into the cuvée. Cap management begins with gentle pump overs, followed by traditional pigeage by foot, as needed. After fermentation, the wines age in 23% new and 77% neutral French oak barriques for 12 months followed by an additional 5 months in stainless steel tank to bring the cuvée together prior to bottling.
Food Pairing Notes
This Plow is a wonderful partner with rib-eye, New York and sirloin steaks, lamb shoulder, leg of lamb, lamb loin, roasted duck, grilled duck breast, savory preparations of goose and duck liver, porchetta, sautéed or grilled pork loin, wood-grilled meats and BBQ brisket. This wine is delicious served alongside peking duck, shaking beef, and mushroom rich dishes such as vegetables with shitake mushrooms and oyster sauce, or a simple porcini risotto. It’s terrific with pepperoni pizza or spaghetti bolognese, too!