Toulouse is located near the northwestern end of the Alexander Valley AVA, a few short kilometers after emerging from the switchback drive through the Navarro River Redwoods State Park from Mendocino on the Californian coast.
We visited there in August 2016. It was absolutely charming (in spite of the spoiled LA somm tasting on our left) and were served by Jessica who told us the Toulouse story of its owner/grower, “Vern” who was the Oakland fire captain until his retirement in 2002 when he moved to the Alexander Valley.
We tasted the Pinot Gris with its white pepper and lemon zest, followed by the 2015 Rosé made from Pinot Noir (rhubarb with dried tarragon). A sumptuous Riesling and spiced Gewürztraminer followed but then there were the Pinot Noirs.
This 2011 came from a cool summer with some rain and we opened it at 6 years old to enjoy with west coast salmon. On the eyes, it’s a delicate, translucent garnet with a nose of cassis, red fruit and herb. The dry palate offers high acidity, soft tannins and flavours of plum, raspberry and cherry with delicate green herb, light star anise and freshly turned earth.
This wine has not been filtered, so all the crunchy, good bits have been left in.
WSET Good plus; although you’ll have to visit them to find this gem, it’s worth the trip.