2013 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard
The Salzgeber Vineyard has continued to mature over the years. The overt tannin structure and more course fruit flavors that existed in earlier years have changed to offer a wine that is now lead by softer pretty fruit with supportive background fruit tannins. The Salzgeber has aromas of dark red fruits leading into the usual flavors of red and black cherries, cocoa, cola and sandalwood. (128 cases).
2013 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard
Even though we have worked with this vineyard and these particular rows for over ten years now, we are still amazed that the vineyard characteristics differ year in and year out. The white pepper that has been present in recent vintages has been replaced this year by a subtle blend of baking spices. Aromas of berries and spice. Flavors of palate quenching black plums, blueberries with a touch of anise. This wine has a great mouth feel and long lasting flavors. (148 cases)
2013 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard
The Oehlman Vineyard has always vacillated between a lighter cran-raspberry profile and a more robust bright red cherry profile depending on the vintage and brix at picking. This year is more like the latter. The first impression is a jubilee of red fruit aromas and citrus. These alluring aromatics entice you to linger here before moving onto a taste. On the palate are sweet red cherries, dried cranberries, citrus rind and dark tea. This weighty experience of rich and bright red fruits is more Californian than some of the Burgundian like examples from the Oehlman wines of the past. (172 cases).
2013 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
A wonderful marriage or ménage a trios as it is between Oehlman on the entry, Balletto in the mid palate and framed by Salzgeber’s structure in the finish. Although Kirk almost always prefers the Sonoma Coast bottling to the Russian River Valley bottling, this vintage has caused him to take pause. This delightfully rich glass of Pinot Noir is unabashedly Russian River Valley with its complex flavors of red fruits that span the spectrum, finishing with a note of cinnamon and a touch of oak. (186 cases)
2013 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
After flirtatious thoughts that the Russian River Valley blend this year might be my favorite, I (Kirk) can once again pledge my allegiance to this Sonoma Coast bottling. There is just something special about how Hellenthal and Balletto Vineyards cohere. This year the Hellenthal fruit offers a little more structure to compliment the more revealing fruit side from the Balletto. The palate entry is a blast of dark berries and cocoa that leads to lively red berries mid palate and finishes with a long brisk viscosity. (141 cases)
2013 Pinot Noir, Fort Ross-Seaview
This bottling from the relatively new sub-appellation of Sonoma Coast will still be familiar to you. Like in 2006, we declassified this 100% Hellenthal Vineyard to note its departure from a typical Hellenthal profile. This 13% alcohol bottling offers sweet red raspberries, lively acidity while being structured but feminine. Due to its lighter profile, we expected the flavors to taper after tasting from the same bottle over four days. We were pleasantly surprised by its staying power. Like the 2006, the 2013 may take longer to come around, but will offer the rewards in the end. (148 cases)
2013 Pinot Noir, Sonoma County
The 2013 Sonoma County bottling is from a single vineyard source off of Westside Road in Healdsburg. This approachable full bodied wine has aromas of strawberry jam and cinnamon while the palate shows sweet ripe strawberries, dried cherries with complementary acidity and structure. Some of you will find this bold and rich Pinot Noir to be your favorite. (87 cases)
Aromas of stone fruits & spice. A very interesting array of both black and red fruits, making it very difficult to describe as it is quite complex. Predominately stone fruits that dance on the palate for a very very long time. This wine will pair beautifully with any rich meats, my choice would be lamb loin chops.
How is it that the most fruit forward wine on the palate can be so shy in the nose? The Hellenthal has a multifaceted fruit profile due to numerous clonal selections comprising the block from which we source. The Hellenthal has typically been either bold or timid depending on that years vintage. The 2012 is the best of both worlds with great fruit strength but oh so alluring.
2012 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard
Aromas of dried cherries. Flavors of strawberries, cherries and a hint of chocolate that tantalize the palate upon entry, carrying through the mid palate and right through the finish. An oven roasted chicken and a bottle of Salzgeber equals a great night.
Flavors of bing cherry, red plums with generous acidity lead to a velvety mouth feel offering that wonderful fruit tannin that we have come to love from this vineyard.
2012 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard
Aromas of black plums & tea. Flavors of black plum, blueberry, dark tea and a slight touch of tobacco are accompanied by a lovely spiciness that is intriguing all the way through to a bright long finish. Enjoy this wine alongside a barbequed steak & portabella mushrooms.
Following the 2011 Balletto which offered a robust fruit experience accented by black pepper, this vintage is a throwback to the standard dark fruits, slight white pepper and this year a hint of tobacco.
2012 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard
Aromas of pomegranate, Earl Grey tea and cocoa. Flavors of sweet dried cranberries folded into a honeysuckle essence with a dusting of orange peel. The long and viscous finish lingers & lingers. This very feminine yet independent wine will shine through any presentation from our oceans.
Sweet cherries and strawberries with a candied concentration offer an exceptional mouthful of flavor.
2012 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Aromas of strawberry and raspberry. Flavors of bright raspberry, red plums and black tea are wonderfully accentuated by a brisk acidity and mouth watering finish. This wine would complement a duck confit salad with dried fruits.
Rich red fruits stream in offering nice acidity, lots of viscosity finishing in a long balanced experience.
2012 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Aromas of cherry cola. Flavors of black plums flood the palate carrying a mouthcoating array of baking spices balanced nicely with fruit tannins. With this long finish and enveloping viscosity it would pair well with a pork tenderloin topped with a wild berry glaze.
A wonderful marriage of the Hellenthal and Balletto vineyards.
2011 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard (92 cases)
Aromas of bold red fruits and tea. Rich sweet cherries envelope the palate, the fruit tannins provide the backbone of this experience, notes of dark tea, finishing long and viscously. The Salzgeber has always displayed firm tannins, sometimes dominating the wine experience. The most recent vintages from this vineyard have shown a wonderful balance between the strength of the fruit and fruit tannins. (This is Denise’s favorite Salzgeber bottling to date).
2011 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard (193 cases)
Nose of jam like berry fruits and pepper. A concentrated array of dark berries and plum fill the palate carrying with it white pepper spice, great mid palate weight, a long lasting and complex finish.
2011 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard (192 cases)
Aromas of lighter red fruits, floral blossoms, citrus peel and a sweet spiciness. Sweet fruits of red cherry, strawberry and hints of citrus meld seamlessly with baking spices and vanilla. This bottling is a pretty expression of Pinot Noir.
2011 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (254 cases)
Aromas of dark fruits and spice. A rich and complex jubilee of blackberries and cherries, soft notes of oak and finishing long, viscous and complex. We confess that there are no inferior vineyard sources going into our blends. As is always the case, the Russian River Valley is a blend of the above components. Can you tell us what percentage of which vineyards?