Eric Sussman is an absolute icon in the New California movement. Since the inaugural 2002 vintage, Eric has been making some of the most thrilling Pinot Noirs in California. He started his study of Pinot Noir with the 1995 vintage in Burgundy at Comte Armand in Pommard and Domaine Jacques Prieur in Meursault. After returning to northern California, he worked one year at Bonny Doon and from 1988-2001 as the associate winemaker at Dehlinger. At some point he met Bill and Joan Smith, former owners of La Jota, and they formed a partnership that became Radio-Coteau Wine Cellars in 2002. Radio-Coteau only works with extreme cool climate sites, where the grapes struggle through a very long growing season to gain ripeness, which creates intense aromatics and a laser focus.
County Line was created by Eric in 2003 as a side project and companion to Radio-Coteau with the goal of creating food friendly wines that were ready to drink upon release, instead of needing time in the cellar to mature. 2018 County Line Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir was sourced from organic vineyards, aged in neutral French oak barrels, and bottled unfiltered.
"Flush with bright red fruit, the 2019 County Line Pinot Noir opens with dried strawberry, fresh raspberry, and ripe Bing cherry. This brambly fruit entry is charmingly offset by earthen forest floor undertones and alluring notes of crushed rose petal and bergamot tea. The mouthfeel is casually sophisticated – softly textured yet invigorated by balanced acidity and expressive tannins that delicately linger. From mushroom risotto to pasta Bolognese to grilled swordfish, the potential pairings for this accessible and expressive Pinot seem endless." -- Winery