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)