Newsletter and Tasting Notes

Fall 2017

Dear Friends,

We hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones happy, well and enjoying the dog days of summer. It never ceases to amaze us how quickly time passes. It feels like someone is flipping the pages of the calendar before we have had the chance to live the days. This past year has offered challenges that reminds us of how grateful we are for the life we lead, for our loving family and caring friends.


We escaped the winter doldrums by spending some vacation time in Palm Springs, California. We felt like we had been transported to another planet while in Joshua Tree National Park with its massive rock formations and wonderfully diverse flora and fauna. We took some amazing hikes, two of which led us to oases complete with palm trees and water in the middle of the otherwise barren desert. Truly otherworldly. We also enjoyed a wonderful California seaside road trip that took us as far south as Santa Barbara where we biked, frolicked on the beach and combed the boat docks. Our winter respite was a nice reboot for the busy year ahead.


Estate Vineyard Update


The time has finally arrived for the inaugural harvest of our estate fruit. It has been a roller coaster ride for farming rookies like us. As you may recall, our vineyard was first planted in 2012, but in 2014 we were forced to replant the vineyard due to a deadly fungal pathogen called Young Vine Decline. Since the replanting, we can report very good growth and development. Although our new vines are growing well, last summer many of the vines turned red in color. Upon testing, the vineyard tested positive for a viral disease called Red Blotch, which has been identified in many states in the past year. Researchers speculate that this disease has been around for many decades but has not been identified because the standard tests conducted were not specific to this type of virus. The only way to reliably test for this disease is through DNA sequencing specific to this virus. The virus can inhibit a vine’s ability to fully ripen its fruit. There is still a lot to learn about the virus but it is believed that there are probably strains of the Red Blotch virus with varying degrees of virulence. That means that even though a vineyard may test positive for the virus, it does not mean the fruit yield, quality or vine health will be impacted. While we still are unsure of the long term health and viability of our vineyard, Mother Nature has provided an accommodating environment for our first harvest by bestowing an abundance of rainfall (33% more than a normal year) and a consistently warm summer spurring vine development. So, we are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this first harvest. We will continue to closely monitor the extent to which, if any, the virus has on our vineyard.



2015 Vintage Retrospect


After the abundant harvests of 2012, 2013 and 2014, the pendulum has swung the other way. By any measure the 2015 harvest produced at least 25% less fruit than a normal harvest and in some vineyards tonnage was off by 40% to 60%. Why? Was mother nature just tired and decided to do less work? Was it multiple years of California’s drought that finally withheld water to the vines? Was it a mild winter which caused an early bud break coupled with cool and wet spring weather contributing to smaller grape clusters and crop yield? Perhaps some of all of the above. Because of the smaller fruit yield the vines were able to produce physiologically riper fruit at lower brix levels for an earlier harvest date. While a smaller fruit yield does not always indicate improved quality, it did in this vintage. The 2015 Pinot Noirs offer intense aromatics, richly concentrated fruit, big bodied mouthfeel, with lower alcohols while displaying wonderful balance and still being more approachable than normal at this stage. This vintage promises to deliver a wonderful experience for those that drink their WesMar early and will also reward those that choose to cellar their WesMar for years to come.


As tasted August of 2017. These wines were bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The 2015 vintage is comprised of four vineyard designated Pinot Noirs, one appellation Pinot Noir and one appellation Chardonnay.


2015 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Hellenthal Vineyard

The usually shy aromas of Hellenthal are on full display offering an alluring mix of both red & black stone fruits, mixed berries, cocoa and earthy elements. Upon savoring the palate, complex layers of dried black plum, concentrated wild black berries exist harmoniously alongside citrus elements, honey, minerality and fruit tannins that showcase a completely captivating wine experience. The depth and longevity of flavors are intoxicating.


2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard

This vintage offers a seductively prettier Salzgeber than the more normal strong fruit tannined version. The nose suggests rich red fruits, cola and river stones. A sip encourages finding full flavored Satsuma plums, Rainier cherries, notes of cinnamon, hints of toasted oak that lead to this vineyard’s signature fruit tannined framework, highlighted by a plush and velvety finish.


2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard

This 2015 bottling is another outstanding example from this consistent vineyard. The bouquet is perfumery and very florally driven displaying blueberries, rose petals and hints of chocolate. The piquant flavors of blackberry jam lead, followed by more subtle supporting blueberries sprinkled with a dusting of chocolate. The white pepper essence always present in young Balletto bottlings is masquerading as nuanced allspice. This wine has a voluptuous mouthfeel, strength of fruit and engulfing body all bundled inside the bottle.


2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard

Most years the Oehlman bottling vacillates between its more feminine and delicate flavored profile to its bigger bolder expression depending on vintage and harvest brix. This vintage the Oehlman displays the elegance of the lighter profile with the robustness of the bigger and riper vintage. The typical Oehlman aromas exist offering lighter red fruits, orange blossom, tea and spices. The palate flavors are supportive of the aromas, but very robust in nature. The cranberry/raspberry flavors are bold and intense, the orange essence is more orange zest or juice than blossom, followed by black tea and baking spices. These flavors are in a holding pattern in the mouth while the mind races to catch up to the experience.


2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

This seductive blend of Russian River components will make one’s nose perk up to the lively aromatics of dried red fruits, anise, citrus and tea. The flavors derived from the blend showcase the makeup: Balletto’s dark fruits & spice with everything nice 43%, Rochioli’s bold red fruits 25%, Oehlman’s cran/rasp & orange zest prettiness 17% and Salzgeber’s dried red fruits and fruit tannins 15%. Warning! Must be tried to be believed.


2015 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Yes, you read the headline correctly, Chardonnay from WesMar. As our Pinot Noirs are crafted, this is fruit forward and acidicly driven. The 2015 Russian River Valley Chardonnay assaults your nose with tropical aromas that snap one’s head back making one think of the floralness of Viognier on the nose. The palate offers sweet tropical fruits, lesser notes of lemon cream, Golden Delicious apple all framed in a viscous, minimally oaked, lasting experience.


WesMar From Your Perspective


I just wanted you to know how much we have enjoyed ALL of your library wines. But the 2000 Olivet Lane we drank last night was truly off the charts. You bring so much happiness to our family. Thanks for sharing your talents and these great wines with us! Andy, New York


I wanted you to know that I split a case of the library wines you offered last year with a friend. I’ve had five and every one has been phenomenal, with the ‘05 Hellenthal and ‘01 RRV particularly standing out. A real testament to your winemaking. Keep up the good work. Jim, California


WOW. We just had your 2010 Hellenthal with a roasted turkey breast. What a great wine! We were not surprised, we have enjoyed your wines for years. The wine reminded me of blackberry jam and plums. The finish went on and on. Well done and thank you. Don, Washington


2015 Magnums (1.5 liters) and
2015 Jeroboams (3 liters)


As you know, we love large format bottles. If you like extra wine, if you like increased ageability, if you have thirsty friends, if you like to make a wine statement or if you would like a memento to mark a special occasion,
consider adding a large format to your cellar.


WesMar Engraved Wine Openers

It has been several years since we have offered any personalized WesMar items, so it seemed time to do so. After a year of testing numerous wine openers, we have finally picked one that has withstood our misuse, abuse, use. We are offering a stainless steel Coutale Sommelier Prestige two stage opener with a folding knife with “WesMar” engraved on both sides. What could be better than opening a bottle of WesMar……… using your WesMar opener to free the nectar.


Holiday Gifts

Make WesMar a part of your holiday gift giving. A variety pack of 750 mls or a couple of magnums alongside a WesMar wine opener would surely bring a smile to even the Grinch’s face. Act early to take advantage of ground shipping. Your gift will ship to the recipients door with a personalized holiday card enclosure.


Ordering Notes


Ordering Notes


    • In appreciation of your patronage we are offering Free Ground Shipping for purchases of 24 bottles or more.


    • To place your order please visit our website at, or return the enclosed order form via mail, pdf file or fax to (707)829-8886. Please feel free to call with any questions or to place an order over the phone, we would love to catch up with you personally (707)829-8824.
      You will receive an email prior to your shipment.


  • If you would like to pick up your wine, please mark pick up on your order form. Details and directions to follow.



Visiting WesMar Winery

We are open by appointment for visits and tastings. You will be warmly greeted in our unassuming working winery. We will share stories while sipping some Pinot Noir. We look forward to meeting new oenophiles and catching up with old friends too.
Give us a call or send an email to set up your visit.



We want to thank you for the opportunity to present our wines to you. We are very pleased with the 2015 vintage wines and know they will please your palate as well.



Sincerely, Kirk “Wesley” and Denise “Mary”



WesMar Winery - Pinot Noir

At WesMar VineyardsWesmar Vineyards

Wesmar Winery 2015 Pinot Noir - Hellenthal Vineyard
Wesmar Winery 2015 Pinot Noir - Salzgeber Vineyard
Wesmar Winery 2015 Pinot Noir - Balletto Vineyard
Wesmar Winery 2015 Pinot Noir - Oehlman Vineyard
Wesmar Winery 2015 Pinot Noir - Russian River Valley
Wesmar Winery 2015 Chardonnay- Russian River Valley