WINE SPECTATOR: Exploring Sonoma’s Pinot Stars! Our guide to the California region’s top tasting rooms for world-class Pinot

Sonoma has become a hot destination for Pinot Noir, with the county boasting many of California’s leading wineries for the grape. Spread over three regions, they draw upon a range of terroirs and bottle Pinots in a variety of styles.
The area is home to Pinot stars Marcassin and Kosta Browne, standard-bearers such as Dehlinger and Rochioli, and many more standouts, including Arista, Auteur, Donum, Merry Edwards, Patz & Hall and Siduri.


95 PTS Auteur Pinot Noir Labyrinth
92+PTS Auteur Pinot Noir Manchester Ridge
92 PTS Auteur Chardonnay Durell
92 PTS Auteur Chardonnay Green Acres
92 PTS Auteur Pinot Noir Savoy
91 PTS Auteur Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
91 PTS Auteur Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
90 PTS Auteur Pinot Noir Shea
89 PTS Auteur Chardonnay Hyde

“Founded in 2003 by husband and wife team Kenneth and Laura Juhasz, this boutique winery has gone from strength to strength. Their early vintages were good, but the most recent ones have been consistently exceptional with a selection of terrific non-malolactic, crisp, steely, fresh Chardonnays and impressive, diverse styles of Pinot Noir. Moreover, their pricing policy remains one to admire and support – as the wines clearly justify what are moderate levels.”

– Robert Parker, Jr

WINE SPECTATOR: Where to Stay, Eat and Taste in Sonoma

Winemaker Kenneth Juhasz has a way with Pinot Noir, producing some impressive wines for Donum and Pali, among others. Auteur is his own label, which he runs with his wife, Laura. He learned the winemaking ropes in Oregon before transplanting to Sonoma Valley in 2002. They make a range of Pinot Noirs from vineyards in Northern California and Willamette Valley, as well as Chardonnay. Auteur’s tasting room is a cottage just off historic Sonoma Plaza, where guests sit at communal tables either by a fireplace or on the patio, depending on the weather, for tastings. It’s a laid-back atmosphere that allows you to focus on the wines and perhaps meet a fellow Pinot lover. Article June 2016, Where to Stay, Eat and Taste in Sonoma June 2016.


Shatters Records! More on Record-Breaking Sonoma Wine Auction
AUTEUR LOT 25 Sonoma to Scotland!
SOLD FOR $100,000
To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andews, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. Join Auteur and indulge in Scotland’s legendary scenery, known to make famous poets weep with joy and some of the most romantic and exciting scenery in the world. For more information, Wine Auction Catalog 2016


94 pts 2013 Durell Chardonnay
92 pts 2013 Green Acres, Sangiacomo Chardonnay
90 pts 2013 Hyde Chardonnay
90 pts 2013 Savoy Pinot Noir
90 pts 2013 Machester Ridge Pinot Noir


“The 2012 offerings appear to be the finest wines Auteur has yet made.”
–Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, December 30, 2014

94 pts 2012 Durell Chardonnay
93 pts 2012 Savoy Pinot Noir
93 pts 2012 Green Acres, Sangiacomo Chardonnay
92 pts 2012 Hyde Chardonnay
91 pts 2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
90+pts 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot

–Robert Parker, December 2013


The Five California Vineyards You Need to Know. By Lettie Teague, May 2015

Anyone looking for wines that are consistently strong should seek out bottles with labels bearing these names, says Lettie Teague. THERE ARE MANY great vineyards in California, but very few people will see their names on a label. That’s because they often belong to a single producer turning out wines in tiny amounts. READ MORE…


94 pts 2008 Auteur Chardonnay Durell Vineyard
94 pts 2011 Auteur Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard
93 pts 2009 Auteur Chardonnay Durell Vineyard
93 pts 2009 Auteur Pinot Noir Manchester Ridge Vineyard
92 pts 2009 Auteur Pinot Noir Sonoma Stage Vineyard
92 pts 2008 Auteur Pinot Noir Sonoma Stage Vineyard
92 pts 2008 Auteur Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard
92 pts 2010 Auteur Chardonnay Durell Vineyard
91 pts 2011 Auteur Chardonnay Durell Vineyard
90 pts 2011 Auteur Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard
90 pts 2011 Auteur Pinot Noir Manchester Ridge Vineyard

Wine Spectator, 13 Exciting California Chardonnays

By James Laube, April 4, 2011

We’re in the midst of a changing tide of California Chardonnay vintages, with a mix of releases from 2008 and 2009 in this report, all from established producers.

Auteur is Kenneth and Laura Juhasz’s label. The couple focuses on Burgundian varietals, buying all of their grapes from select vineyards in California and Oregon. This 2008 Durell ($40) is rich and full-bodied, with lively acidity and good depth.

Wine Spectator Reviews

94 pts Manchester Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
93 pts Russian River Pinot Noir 2012
93 pts Durell Chardonnay 2008
93 pts Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2009
93 pts Sonoma Stage Pinot Noir 2009
92 pts Durell Chardonnay 2012
92 pts Durell Chardonnay 2010
92 pts Shea Willamette Valley 2012
92 pts Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2011
92 pts Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012
92 pts Sonoma Stage Pinot Noir 2008
92 pts Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008
92 pts Willamette Valley Ophelia 2009
92 pts Shea Back Block Reserve 2009
91 pts Hyde Chardonnay 2010
91 pts Durell Chardonnay 2011
91 pts Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir 2012
91 pts Manchester Ridge Vineyard 2011
90 pts Green Acres Chardonnay 2012
90 pts Hyde Chardonnay 2011
90 pts Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012
90 pts Savoy Pinot noir 2012
90 pts Shea Vineyard 2009

“NUMBERS GAME, by James Laube”. Wine Spectator Discusses Kenneth’s winemaking style with regard to alcohol, ripeness and terroir.
Oct 15, 2013

Kenneth Juhasz, owner-winemaker of Auteur in Sonoma, has been making wine for a decade. He began his career with Pinot Noir in Oregon, using Burgundy as a model, yet he’s found a happy home in Sonoma, where he has raised the quality bar by making his Pinot Noirs in a riper, fuller, more flavorful style. In particular, Auteur’s Mendocino Ridge Manchester Ridge Vineyard 2009 (94, $50), Sonoma Coast 2009 (93, $38) and Sonoma Coast Stage Vineyard (93, $60) are the best California wines he’s made. His work with the 2009 vintage at Donum (six outstanding Pinots) added to his remarkable year.

Three Unprecedented & Well-Deserved 100 point Scores. Purely Domestic Wine Report (pdwr), Doug Wilder

“I first learned of Kenneth Juhasz and Auteur when I tasted his solid premiere release 2003 Pinot Noir Hyland and Montasi vineyards from Oregon. The following year he set a high bar with a 2005 Pinot Noir from Shea Vineyard Back Block, becoming the first Pinot Noir I rated 100 point. For 2006, Auteur released vineyard designated Pinot Noir from California. After three days the wines were more stunning than when first opened, and received three unprecedented and well-deserved 100 point scores.”

Wine Spectator, 12 Stunning California Pinot Noirs

By Aaron Romano, October 27, 2014
Here are a few of the standouts from the vintage, with Pinots stretching from Anderson Valley in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south.

AUTEUR Pinot Noir Mendocino Ridge Manchester Ridge Vineyard 2012 Score: 91 | $50 Rich and vibrant, with blackberry and wild berry flavors forming a core that is spicy and firmly tannic, gaining black licorice, dried herb and savory notes as the finish sails along. Drink now through 2023. 148 cases made. —J.L. AUTEUR Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Savoy Vineyard 2012 Score: 90 | $60 Firm, tight and savory, complex and concentrated, with dried herb and berry flavors, ending with anise and pennyroyal notes. Drink now through 2022. 174 cases made. —J.L.

"California Chardonnay's Big Easy"

July 31, 2014 Wine Spectator Issue

Kenneth Juhasz, of Auteur Wines in Sonoma attributes the year's moderate temperatures and leisurely harvest with creating wines loaded with minerality while maintaining restrain and verve. "Based on weather, natural acidity and tannin I think that 2012 has produced Chardonnays that have the ability to age," he says.
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WINE SPECTATOR, 12 Outstanding California Chardonnays

By Aaron Romano, October 20, 2014

This selection of new-release California Chardonnays shows how well the grape performed in 2012. Vintners enjoyed ideal weather and a leisurely harvest, which allowed them to pick the grape at its own pace. At their best, these wines are intense and pure, with ripe, vibrant flavors, and may reward short-term cellaring.

AUTEUR Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Durell Vineyard 2012 Score: 92 | $42 AUTEUR Chardonnay Carneros Green Acres Vineyard 2012 Score: 90 | $42 AUTEUR Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2012 Score: 90 | $35


(one of our favorites!) The Wine Guy - Greg Walter, May 23, 2013 Recognizing One of the Nice Guys The Wine Guy - Greg Walter, April 24, 2014 Interesting, refreshing wines for warmer weather The Wine Guy – Greg Walter, April 10, 2013 Sonoma: More Pinot critical mass than ever

Wine Spectator, 10 Stirring California Pinot Noirs

By Aaron Romano, November 24, 2014
Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs can vary in style depending on where the grapes are planted. The appellation is vast—it covers nearly 800 square miles—and ranges from the cool Pacific coast nearly to the town of Sonoma in the east, encompassing numerous microclimates along the way. This week we highlight several examples of Sonoma Coast Pinot.

At the top of the list is Auteur. Owner-winemaker Kenneth Juhasz began his career making Pinot Noir in Oregon before settling in Sonoma, where he has been making wines for Donum Estate and Robert Stemmler for the last decade. Juhasz blends vineyards from cool-climate sites near Sebastopol with more temperate vineyards near the Petaluma Wind Gap, merging the microclimates to create a complex and savory style of Pinot Noir.


December 20, 2012

Read Article at Wine Spectator
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Recent reviews from Pinot File.

The International Wine Review 2014

- Report #44 The Wines of Sonoma

Auteur 2012 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 90 The 2012 Chardonnay is sourced from three of Sonoma’s top vineyards: Dutton Ranch in Green Valley, Durrell Vineyard in Sonoma Coast, and Sangiacomo’s Green Acres Vineyard in Carneros. It reveals bright and lively pear flavors with good acidity and freshness and a stony character on the finish. Very well done. Auteur 2012 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard 94 An elegant wine with all the richness of good white Burgundy. Precisely focused with flavors of orchard fruit, citrus and minerals seamlessly integrated with toasted oak. Auteur 2011 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard 92 This is a gorgeous Chardonnay from a topnotch vineyard. It is rich and flavorful with hints of citrus and white flowers. It is bright with good acidity and persistence on the finish. Auteur 2012 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 90 The Auteur 2012 Pinot Noir offers aromas of fresh black cherry fruit with hints of underbrush. On the palate it reveals dark berry fruit and chocolate with scents of black pepper and toast. It has good balance and acidity, firm round tannins and a long finish.


How Shea became the choice pinot vineyard. By Katherine Cole