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?
The Hellenthal always has a jam like concentration on the nose. Aromas of stone fruits. There are concentrated flavors of black plum, black cherry with hints of blackberry and a slight nuttiness towards the finish. This is a beautiful “Premier Cru” Pinot Noir.
2010 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard (146 cases)
This represents what we consider to be a classic Russian River Valley profile of flavors. Aromas of sweet red fruits. Rich flavors ofstrawberries and red cherries, with a creaminess mid palate, hints of vanilla and cola, finishing with wonderful structure.
2010 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard (195 cases)
Acute aromas of blueberries, with a mélange of baking spices. A sip reveals complex flavors ranging from dark to red fruits, the typical hint of white pepper and complimentary tannins throughout the long finish.
2010 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard (171 cases)
Ah! The nose. How can so much pleasure be derived by just the smell. The explosion on the palate is an intriguing mix of red fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, citrus blossoms and cinnamon. The long finish here gives one pause, as the natural tendency would be to rush for another pleasurable sip.
2010 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (212 cases)
The usual suspect. An outstanding blend of the above vineyard designates. Notes of cherries, maple essence and inviting acidity. This wine delivers a viscous, mouth coating and lingering experience.
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.