Many vineyards produce grapes of good quality year in and year out. The Hellenthal Vineyard is more fickle. We have always liked the wines produced from this vineyard, but the outstanding vintages have set the bar so high, that a more normal year is almost disappointing. This 2009 offering is one of those outstanding vintage examples from this vineyard that sits on a mountain top in the hills above Cazadero. The vineyard is such a mixture of clones and rootstocks that it is hard to pin down flavor characteristics that may have derived from a particular clone or rootstock. However, this melange of seductively enticing flavors and nuances is unparalleled in the WesMar lineup. This Hellenthal exhibits robust dark and red fruit flavors, defining tannins, lots of structure and a finish that is still going. The telling characteristics here are the strength, concentration and linger of the flavors.
2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard (74 cases)
The Salzgeber Vineyard is on the northern end of the Russian River Valley appellation, located approximately a half a mile from the river in Healdsburg. This vineyard is unique in that Jack and Phyllis Salzgeber have planted multiple varietals that would normally excel in more distinctive varietal districts. One would think it strange that Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc would grow on the same plot of land. In this vineyard it meets with success. We have worked with this vineyard since the 2004 vintage. Every year the vineyard has produced a wonderful Pinot Noir with deep red fruits, more red cherry than strawberry, with a plum like acidity, vibrant fruit tannins that compliment the fruit strength, finishing robustly.
2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard (194 cases)
We have been producing wine from this vineyard for eight years. While John Balletto farms approximately 1% of all of the grapes produced in Sonoma County (and that is a lot of grapes) we are always appreciative of his small farmer practices. The care and quality that goes into his vineyards is of the utmost importance to him and these efforts are apparent in the end result. He is always available to hear our comments on vineyard conditions that we encounter while monitoring our block of ripening fruit. When we first began buying fruit from John, we had our choice of a multitude of clones, rootstocks and trellising systems. Due to the proximity of this vineyard to the influences from the Bodega Bay breezes flowing off of the Pacific Ocean we chose the Pommard clone due to its earlier ripening. This decision has turned into a winemaking joy. This earlier ripening fruit produces wines that are very dark in color, very aromatic, fruit flavors that are a jubilee of berries, clearly defined acidity, and an unmistakable touch of white pepper and spice.
2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard (194 cases)
Although the Oehlman Pinot Noir has always been one of Denise’s favorites, we have watched as its popularity has grown immensely. At first it was the folks from the east coast who could appreciate the Oehlman as a likeness for some of the Burgundies that they were accustomed to enjoying. Now it has become one of our most popular Pinot Noirs on the west coast as well due to its personality which is unlike so many of its Russian River Valley counterparts. It is appreciated for the very defined acidity that is more and more missing from California Pinot Noirs, red fruits along the lines of raspberries and strawberries that compliment but do not overshadow the experience, a subtle vanilla flavor, tea leaves, citrus and baking spices.
2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (281 cases)
Every year we blend a Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley appellation. These wines are almost exclusively a blend of the vineyard designates from the given vintage. What we offer you in this blend is a superb value. This bottling is always very expressive and will age with the same grace as the vineyard designates. In fact, we have found that as each vintage’s wines age, the appellation wines frequently out shine the vineyard designated bottlings during early developmental stages. You can count on this wine to be a crowd pleaser (see “WesMar wines from your perspective”). This wine showcases classical appellation characteristics of rich red fruits, wonderful body, a textured mouthfeel, accents of cinnamon, vanilla, mocha, with staying power in the finish.
2008 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard (85 cases)
Aromas show a combination of light and dark fruits with a mineral quality, floral and eucalyptus notes. On the palate are generous, boastful fruits such as dried black cherries and red plumb. The fruit flavors are supported by complimentary fruit tannins, a wonderful minerality and the typical acidity that ties WesMar wines together.
2008 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard (296 cases)
The nose reveals dark stone fruits, cocoa and a spiciness. The palate shows intense flavors of black plum and boysenberries with a jam like concentration. There are complimentary flavors of chocolate and white pepper that linger long in the mouth. Due to a change in the Russian River appellation boundaries this vineyard is no longer in the Sonoma Coast appellation. This is the same Pommard clone fruit source with which we have always worked.
2008 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard (314 cases)
A great nose of enveloping aromas of cherry, maple and a hint of citrus. On the palate are long lasting flavors of ripe red cherries, dried cranberries, the standard baking spice that is so common with the Oehlman Vineyard and a touch of cinnamon. This wine exhibits mild tannins and crisp acidity, that finishes long and cloying. It is a more masculine version of Oehlman Vineyard.
2008 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (363 cases)
As is usually the case with WesMar’s appellation blends this wine is exclusively a blend of our vineyard designated bottlings. Aromas of red fruits, vanilla, cinnamon and cola. The mouth shows a mélange of black plum followed by strawberries and red cherries. These flavors are complimented by subtle flavors of tea leaves, cinnamon and citrus accents with a wonderfully balanced long finish.
Nose of stone fruits, hints of anise and maple syrup. On the palate is found intense flavors of mixed berries, dried currants, blackberries, with a jam like quality and hints of tea and nuts. A rich and cloyingly dense concentrated wine. This vintage reminds us of the 2004 for its palate engulfing qualities. Looking for some complexity? Interested in a challenge? Do you like a tease? Then this wine is for you. The Hellenthal has a depth of fruit & character that is unparalleled. It will keep you guessing as to what it was you tasted, and just when you think you know, it will throw you another dimension!
2007 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard (129 cases)
Aromas of deep red fruits, vanilla and coffee. A lush texture hits the palate carrying with it rich fruits of red cherries, plums and cocoa with framing acidity, moderate tannins and cola notes. This wine offers a wonderful expression of red fruits. The fruit flavors hang mid palate setting the stage for a long finish.
Pungent, deeply concentrated berry aromas with a touch of cinnamon. An enticing mix of black plum and boysenberry coupled with a spectrum of spices and wonderfully drying tannins that intertwine harmoniously and carry through to a long finish. This feminine beauty will grab your attention with fragrant aromatics, then treat your palate to a varying array of sweet fruits and subtle spices that linger and linger.
2007 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard (267 cases)
Alluring and inviting floral aromas with citrus and red fruits. Lovely sweet cran/raspberry fruits, followed by hints of citrus and rose petal essences. The Oehlman always has a lively acidity that carries this medium bodied wine to a viscous finish. Want a glass or two of wine as you prep dinner? How about a glass or two after dinner as you finish your evening. Then this is your wine. But beware, it may be gone before you realize.
2007 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (268 cases)
Expressive aromas of red fruits and vanilla. Flavors of strawberries and cherries flood the palate with engaging tannins and moderate acidity. An intensity of the fruits carry through the mid palate, offering great texture and finishing with a velvety mouth feel. This wine is a blend of our R.R.V. designates and typifies the prettiness of a WesMar appellation wine.
2007 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (316 cases)
Nose offers a mélange of dark fruits, dark tea and spices. This weighty wine shows flavors of mixed fruits comprised of black cherries, black plums complimented with coffee, and spices. Like the Balletto, the fruit tannins are forthright and complimentary within the richness of its framework. This wine is a blend of Hellenthal and Balletto vineyards + a dash.
2006 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard (157 cases)
We are pleased to be working with this eleven year old vineyard from the truest sense of the appellation, just a quarter mile from the Russian River. The vineyard is situated midway between the cooler environs of Forestville to the south and the warmer Healdsburg to the north. It is a welcomed first opportunity to work with clone # 115. The nose offers cherries and chocolate. On the palate of this thick viscous wine are flavors of concentrated black cherry and black plum with mild oak notes. Integrated tannins coupled with ample acidity provide a moderate structure to this fruit first wine. Pairs well with hearty dishes.
Fragrant intense aromas of dark fruits, with hints of vanilla and cooking spices. A harmonious sweet entry of red plums, raspberries, subtle blueberry undertones coupled with black tea and a tease of white pepper. You will enjoy a wine with cloying tannins, spirited acidity, a mouth enveloping viscosity with a lingering finish. Pairs well with meat or game.
2006 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard (261 cases)
Aromatic and alluring nose of red berries, citrus and blossom. Bursting flavors of strawberries and cherries followed by hints of citrus, with an accent of baking spices. These flavors are supported by complimentary tannins, lively acidity with a viscous body. The smooth and complex finish is ever lasting. We are calling this the “New Oehlman” as we have seen the fruit profile of this wine change over the last two years. Due perhaps in part to more vine maturity and in part to the fruit being harvested over a larger percent of the vineyard, exuding a different terroir. This “New Oehlman” fruit profile is more in the vein of a traditional Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. A true crowd pleaser. Pairs well with lighter meats, fish and fowl.
2006 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (355 cases)
Aromas of Stone fruits. Flavors of red cherries with a background of apricots and some mint highlights surround a structured core of tannins with a wonderfully brisk acidity. The flavors linger long after the sip is gone. This wine delivers itself cautiously at this early stage of development. Those who have the patience to lay it down or wait for it to open will be rewarded. This wine will be very popular among burgundy fans. Pairs well with lighter meats.
2006 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (322 cases)
An invitingly forward nose of sweet red fruits, maple with a subtle oak accent. This rich wine offers a mouthful of sweet strawberries and a dash of cinnamon on the entry, with a lush mid palate, supported by medium strength tannins and framed with moderate acidity. This beautiful wine offers bursting flavors on entry with lasting flavors in the finish that will pair with a wide spectrum of cuisine.
2006 Zinfandel, Russian River Valley (183 cases)
Aromas of spice, and berry fruits. The mouth offers a sweet blackberry entry followed by wild berries, anise, chocolate, cola with minimal oak. This is a fun medium bodied zinfandel with a medium length finish that is vinous and well balanced.
On the nose are dark brambly fruits, with a cocoa essence. The palate showcases cloying flavors of blackberry and blueberry with dark spices. This elegant wine is very concentrated and complex with an intense mid palate and viscous long finish. The strength of tannins frame this wine. Due to severe spring coastal weather conditions the fruit yields were reduced by eighty percent of the average. (115 cases)
2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Vintners Reserve
The Vintners Reserve is a selection of four of the best barrels produced from the 2005 vintage. These barrels offer aromas of berries, stone fruits, licorice and caramel. Tantalizing your taste buds will be a fruit basket of flavors, such as dark cherries and plums with subtleties of nectarines and peaches with a harmonious balance of acid and tannins. Multiple layers of flavors will fill your palate, occupying your thoughts, lingering long after the sip is gone. (101 cases)
2005 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Balletto Vineyard
The strength of bouquet of this wine might keep you smelling it indefinitely. Nose of dark berries and black fruits with dark spices and hints of maple. This wine displays firm tannins and ample acidity. A voluptuous mouthful of flavors of black plum, lush raspberry with Caribbean spices exist on the palate. These flavors continue to tease your taste glands through a long finish. The challenge lies in the ability to be patient throughout the long finish while containing the urge to return to the aromatic bouquet. (204 cases)
2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard
The aromas of this Oehlman bottling are simply captivating. A ballet in the glass. The nose offers floral essences of honeysuckle, citrus blossoms, red berries, tea and caramel. This feminine beauty offers flavors of cran-raspberry fruits, dried orange rind, vanilla and tea. This soft tannined wine has plenty of texture and an extensive finish completes the experience. This 2005 vintage Oehlman reminds us of the popular 2003 Oehlman. (268 cases)
2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Olivet Lane Vineyard
Aromas of red fruits, with hints of vanilla. Flavors of red cherries and vanilla. This Olivet lane is more Burgundian in style with a leaner more acid and tannin driven profile, while delivering a round mouth feel and full finish. We regrettably must inform you that there will not be a 2006 vintage Olivet Lane, so those of you that have found this to be one of your favorites should stock up on this 2005 vintage. (308 cases)
2005 Zinfandel, Russian River Valley
Nose of dark fruits, with pepper essence. The palate offers blackberry jam, black currants, anise, sweet oak with modest tannins and lively acid. This is a big Zin whose ample alcohol is fully supported by ample fruit. (45 cases)
2004 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Olivet Lane Vineyard
Nose of sweet red fruits, cinnamon, and vanilla. Flavors of rich cherry and strawberry complimented by vanilla essences, subtle tannins with a viscous long finish. This crowd pleaser continues to showcase the traditional nuances of the Russian River appellation. Enjoy this Olivet Lane with stuffed pork loin or rabbit. (177 cases)
Aromas of wild berries and sweet molasses. Flavors of nectar berry, blackberry jam, dried blueberries and spices flood the palate and are supported by concentrated fruit tannins. Drinks beautifully now and will age gracefully in your cellar. This vineyard’s extremely low crop yields and its small berried clusters give this wine an intense and complex experience with a never ending finish. Sure to tantalize your taste buds! Savor this Hellenthal Pinot Noir with prime rib roast or your favorite full flavored entree. (154 cases)
2004 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Balletto Vineyard
Aromas of dark stone fruits, caramel, and spice. Dominate flavors of black plum and raspberry, complimented by spice, tea, and mocha, fill the palate through a full lingering finish. Our very popular 2003 Sonoma Coast bottling was made with 75% Balletto vineyard fruit. The Balletto Pinot Noir will pair beautifully with duck confit or lamb shanks. (151 cases)
2004 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
The nose exhibits dark fruits framed with citrus floral essences and undertones of sweet vanilla. A sip reveals nicely structured black cherry and dark plum flavors with notes of chocolate and tea, finishing with cloying and lasting flavors. By using the Oehlman vineyard fruit for the foundation of this Russian River Valley bottling we have blended a harmonious wine with fruit fortitude, intrigue and elegance. This RRV Pinot Noir will compliment grilled vegetable pasta or oven roasted chicken. (395 cases)
2004 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Hints of citrus essences and apple in the nose. Flavors of apple, melon and lemon complimented by a slight nuttiness with a full viscous mouth feel. As with our previous Chardonnays this wine has a minimal oak presence. A food pairing for this Chardonnay might be Opah, Ahi or your favorite catch of the day. (52 cases)
2003 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Piner Ranch Vineyard
This vintage Piner Ranch has aromas of dark cherry, plum with maple syrup and vanilla essences. Structured flavors of black cherry, plum, caramelized sugars and chocolate flood the palate. Piner Ranch has always taken its sweet time to show off its intricacies, but has always delivered. This is the last vintage from this thirty year old vineyard, as the vines were ripped out so the vineyard could be replanted. (206 cases produced)
2003 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard
Aromas of orange peel, spring blossoms, red berry fruits and cinnamon. On the palate exists tangy citrus orange zest, concentrated cran-raspberry fruits, floral essences and a splash of dark tea. The strength of fruit from the Oehlman vineyard continues to catch up to its intriguing complexities. This feminine stalwart had the most lively fruit left of all bottlings on day six of our tasting. (168 cases produced)
2003 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Olivet Lane Vineyard
This elegant wine shows notes of cherries, strawberries, cola and hints of lavender. This rich and thick wine reveals flavors of cherries, wild strawberries, cola framed with shy hints of vanilla and cinnamon. A typical Olivet Lane, may surrender some complexity, but it is unabashedly brute strength fruit. (162 cases produced)
2003 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
A nose of dark red fruits with chocolate and caramel fragrances. A taste reveals leading flavors of cherries and plums followed by sweet molasses flavors, with some minor elements of citrus and anise in the background. The long finish is thick and cloying. As was the case with the 2002 vintage this wine is comprised entirely of the Piner Ranch, Oehlman and Olivet Lane vineyards. (345 cases produced)
2003 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Intense aromas of red berries and cherries. The palate shows cascading flavors of raspberries and red cherries, Earl Grey tea and floral essences. While this wine has wonderfully rich flavors in the mouth, the nose is so intense it has captivated us during our tastings. This wine is made from the Pommard clone, with 75% coming from one vineyard in the Gold Ridge area and 25% from another vineyard. (91 cases produced)
2003 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Aromas of citrus fruits, tropical floral notes, honey and a touch of mint. Flavors of pear and tropical fruits fill the palate, with a soft round vanilla presence that finishes with some lemon notes. This vintage we added a new barrel to the mix that gives the wine more roundness in the mouth and a slightly more enhanced vanilla flavor than in previous vintages, without being excessive. (75 cases produced)
2002 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Piner Ranch Vineyard
Aromas of dark plum, licorice and caramel. The palate shows black plum, with hints of red cherry, anise and dark chocolate. This wine is thick and cloying in the mouth. The 2002 Piner Ranch offers even more strength of fruit than the 2001, with a more rounded and intriguing fruit profile. ( 247 cases produced )
2002 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Olivet Lane Vineyard
Nose of sweet strawberries, vanilla and cinnamon. In the mouth is revealed sweet pungent strawberries, framed by subtle vanilla & cinnamon notes and supple tannins. This wine reminds us of driving through strawberry fields at the height of the season savoring the rich sweetness in the air. ( 185 cases produced )
2002 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard
Floral essences of citrus blossom, raspberry fruit and spices. On the palate one senses tangerine blossom and sweet cran-raspberry fruits, with hints of tea. This feminine beauty has structure and a finish to dazzle. The fruit for the 2001 Vine Hill Road was entirely from this vineyard. This 2002 vintage Oehlman has the extra depth and concentration of fruit that we demand from our vineyard designated bottlings. ( 81 cases produced )
2002 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Gilbraith Vineyard
Aromas of tropical fruits, orange zest and white pepper. A sip reveals bursting flavors of orange zest, pink grapefruit and blueberry cream with hints of white pepper. A taste reveals a syrupy texture to this wine that won’t let the flavors end. ( 67 cases produced )
2002 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
This Russian River Valley bottling is comprised of fruit from the Piner Ranch, Olivet Lane, and Oehlman vineyards exclusively. Our Russian River blend shows aromas of plum, red berry, mocha and spice. The palate shows a leading edge of rich dark plum fruit followed by vibrant flavors of red cherries, strawberries, cocoa, vanilla and a framing of soft tannins. ( 445 cases produced )
2002 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Notes of lemon, pear and cream in the nose. On the palate exists lemon, apple, honeysuckle and a slight nuttiness. As with the 2001, this wine has minimal oak presence. This is a very rich feeling wine in the mouth. ( 39 cases produced )
2001 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Olivet Lane Vineyard
This is a garnet colored wine with aromas of smoked meats, dark cherry fruit and spice. A sip reveals pungent ripe black cherry fruit, oak, caramel and nutmeg. This wine has very concentrated fruit with generous body and texture. ( 187 cases produced )
2001 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Piner Ranch Vineyard
This wine shows dark stone fruit, mint, anise and coastal sage in the nose. On the palate exists an entry of black plum, cola, followed by flavors of toffee and black tea. This wine exhibits strength of structure and integrity with a finish that never seems to quit. ( 198 cases produced)
2001 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Aromas of cherry, mocha, and tea leafs lead you to a mouth of bing cherries, dark chocolate and soft oak tannins. This is a balanced wine showing equal parts rich fruit, oak, fruit tannins and acid. ( 226 cases produced )
2001 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Vine Hill Road
A rich sweet pretty nose with aromas of orange blossom, red berry, baking spices and vanilla. A taste reveals sweet orange/cranberry fruit, cinnamon and creamy vanilla. This wine is feminine, but forthright. ( 173 cases produced )
2001 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley ( 48 cases produced )
Aromas of lemon custard, honeysuckle and nut. On the palate are found lemon crème custard, honeydew melon, citrus notes, backed by a macadamia nut coating on the tongue. A minimal oak presence allows full enjoyment of the lively fruit.
2000 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Olivet Lane Vineyard (110 cases produced)
This Olivet Lane bottling is sweet cherry and soft vanilla from the first whiff. In the mouth are bright cherry flavors, cocoa, spices, with a textured mouth feel. There is the presence of soft oak backing this rich wine. The coating left in the mouth delivers a long, full finish.
2000 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley ( 350 cases produced )
The Russian River Valley bottling has aromas of strawberry in the foreground with dark tea and cola in the background. On the palate exists the confirmation of the sweet strawberry/cherry fruits, hints of cinnamon, vanilla, with a supple and approachable structure. This wine has a real viscosity in the mouth that lengthens the concentration of the fruit.