I reported below on my tasting of the 2008 Bearboat Russian River Pinot Noir, which is on sale right now for $14.99 at D&W FreshMarket in Kalamazoo. Across town at World Market, you can buy the 2008 Bearboat Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir for the same price. The label looks the same, the vintage is the same, but they are not the same wine.
Generally, Sonoma Coast is considered the superior appellation for Pinot Noir. It is the area south of the Anderson Valley, near the north Pacific coast--known for its cool, foggy conditions. The Russian River Valley is a bit to the east, farther inland, but also cool climate and highly respected for Pinot Noir.
Bearboat's Sonoma Coast is 100% Pinot but only 25% from the Sonoma Coast, 50% from Russian River and 25% from Carneros (another fine Pinot appellation). Bearboat's Russian River is 75% Pinot and 25% old vine Gamay, all from cool areas of the Russian River Valley.
At 14.99, both wines are excellent values. I was impressed with the Russian River and am eager to try the Sonoma Coast in the weeks ahead. As I've mentioned before, wine is all about real estate.