Wine Spectator 92
"Cedar and hot stone notes accent the dried cherry, plum and pomegranate flavors that glide across the palate. Shows focused minerality on the finish, with citrusy hints. Drink now through 2023. 5,000 cases made.—K.M."
"Our Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is medium-bodied with rich aromas of plum, cherry, green tea and a slight clove spice. On entry, the wine has a lean entry with rich and sweet cherry and plum flavors framed by vanilla and oak notes throughout the mid-palate. The spicy finish lingers on the palate. The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir fruit is a blend of Pommard and Dijon clones from carefully selected vineyards within the region."~Winery Notes
A true négociant, Sean Minor does not own a winery or a vineyard, yet his name stands for character and value in wines in 49 states across the country. Born in Kansas, Sean attended Arizona State University where he received a degree in finance and met his wife, Nicole, before venturing into the world of wine. After cutting his teeth at Napa’s Beaulieu Vineyard, Sean furthered his education in wine at U.C. Davis in Viticulture and Enology and subsequently was recruited to manage viticulture at King Estate Winery & Benton-Lane Winery in Oregon. Sean would soon move his family to California for the opportunity to manage Renwood Winery, where he was able to hone his skills in operations and marketing.
Through their experiences in the wine industry, Sean and Nicole were able to identify a gap in the market – consumers were yearning for wines that were easy to enjoy, true to terroir, and didn’t break the bank – and in 2005, Sean Minor Wines was born. Initially, the brand was called “Four Bears” in honor of their four children. Since then, the business has evolved, their name has changed, and production has grown to some 150,000 cases. Since the Minors don’t own any vineyards, they invest diligently in long-term contracts with prized grape growers and sustainable farms throughout California and Oregon. Sean’s goal is to keep costs down while maximizing quality at every step, and to offer wines that truly represent the appellation from which they’re produced. Consulting winemaker Will Bucklin has been on staff since the start. A graduate of UC Davis’ enology program, Will gained experience at Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Thomas Hardy in Australia, and Navarro Vineyards in Mendocino, before meeting Sean at King Estate in Oregon. Together, Will and Sean work very closely with the fruit sources and are able to maintain consistent production year after year.
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"Every once in a while we are presented with wines that are complete "no brainers", and Sean Minor's wines certainly fell into that category. They all offer tremendous quality and balance at incredibly low prices.
Sean Minor has been in the wine business for 20+ years, starting at Beaulieu Vineyards and then moving to Oregon to run King Estate and Benton Lane wineries. He then returned to California to oversee Renwood Winery and then started his own label in 2005.
In 2011, Sean began to offer wines under the Sean Minor label and the Sean Minor Four Bears (which refers to his four children) label. The Sean Minor label features premier regions from California and now includes the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros Pinot Noir and Napa Valley Red Blend. The Sean Minor Four Bears label represents the same quality in an affordable, everyday style and includes the Central Coast Chardonnay, Central Coast Pinot Noir, Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc and Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sean's goal is to keep costs down and yet maximize quality at every step. As Sean states, "My winemaking philosophy is to offer wines that exude quality and truly represent the appellation from which they're produced, yet are affordable for everyday enjoyment." To achieve this, he starts with a base for each wine that he crafts from grapes he vinifies at his winery. He augments this with selected lots of purchased wines when top quality juice comes available on the bulk market."