Imagine two lifelong friends and their wives sitting around a fire pit with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand, debating their future as possible vintners. Bob Zeches and Chad Richards were doing just that, and their new startup, known as Furthermore, was born. With Chad’s lifelong passion for Pinot Noir, the decision to start producing wine was relatively easy. Fortunately, Bob shared his best friend’s lifelong dedication. The hard part was choosing a name. After many agonizing weeks of debate (over copious quantities of great wine no doubt), Chad turned to Bob’s wife who had a habit of saying “…and furthermore.” “That’s it!” he proclaimed and Furthermore became the winery’s name.
Bob and Chad are serial entrepreneurs. Bob is a materials science researcher at UC Berkeley and is currently engaged with several high-tech startups. Chad, whose career boasts a litany of highly successful digital media ventures is currently a senior director of marketing at Apple. In addition to Furthermore, Chad has planted a new vineyard called Nevina, which he named after his adorable daughter.
Spend even short period of time around Chad and you’ll come to an inevitable conclusion – Chad is obsessed with wine in general and Pinot Noir in particular. As a fellow PUG (Pinot Uber Geek) we wholeheartedly agree on the following: Pinot Noir is a highly nuanced, diverse grape, with a deep, piercing soul.
Having tasted Pinots since his teens (how many of you can boast winding up at International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon at age 19?), he started Furthermore in 2006 with the idea of capturing the essence and diversity of this elusive variety. Furthermore wines are made in miniscule quantities with grapes hailing from some of California’s finest vineyards. Noteworthy are the reasonable price points, particularly given the quality of the wines.
Furthermore offers a unique option that is an exciting way to try their portfolio and find out what appeals to your individual palate, a sampler set of five 375 mL bottles of their single vineyard Pinot Noirs. I highly recommend that you order it, invite a friend or two, compare notes and have fun!
The following are my impressions of their wines:
2012 Rose of Pinot Noir:
74 cases of pure deliciousness. Summer in a glass!
2010 La Encantada Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills
76 cases. Clonal selections are Dijon, “sweetheart” clones 115, 667 and 777 that typically supply plenty of dark fruit for your palate to play with, as is the case here. Velvety tannins, love the finish which is lengthy and satisfying!
2010 Rosella’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands
83 cases. Red fruit dominates the scene in this beautifully perfumey offering with hints of spice, citrus and French vanilla; silky tannins. Bright, solid finish.
2010 Sierra Mar Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands
77 cases. Curiously, same clonal selections as Rosella’s (828/Pisoni) yet altogether different wine. A counterpart to its more feminine sibling this wine exhibits power and strength. Broad, broody, earthy and concentrated its core of dark fruit is enticing indeed.
And if you haven’t been amply seduced the finish ought to supply the “finishing” touch – long and luxurious it’ll invariably cause you to reach for another glass.
2010 Bohemian Vineyard, Russian River Valley
74 cases. Again, Dijon Clones 115, 667 and 777. Screamed “RRV!” from the get-go, a welcome opening. Dynamic ripe dark fruit well framed structurally offers a solid mid-palate and meanders to a delicious sexy finish. “Hedonism” leaps to mind.
2010 Weir Vineyard, Yorkville Highlands
76 cases. DRC clones and Wadenswil 2-A, a powerful combination that make this wine easily the most “burgundian” offering in Furthermore current release portfolio.
Lighter in color/style, this Pinot Noir is no slouch when it comes to delivering concentration. Subtle and sophisticated, it boasts lovely red fruit, great acidity/minerality, well-managed tannins and a lingering finish.
Furthermore also makes a whopping barrel (26 cases) of late harvest Pinot Noir which sounds like a barrel of fun.