Located in California’sSonoma Valley, the Russian River Valley Wine Region was granted American Viticultural Area status in 1983. The AVA’s boundaries were then expanded in 2005 by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, increasing the region by 30,200 acres to 126,600 acres. Moderate in climate, the region experiences a cooling fog that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean typically at night. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay excel in the region, with the cooler temperatures helping to shape the precise acidity and the region’s sandy loam soils creating palate richness. Aromatically, the Pinot Noirs typically yield notes of wild strawberry, black cherry, smoke and earth, while the Chardonnays are fragrant with green apple, nectarine and Meyer lemon. For a full list of ratings and reviews be sure to check out Russian River Valley Buying Guide.
A spectacular Pinot Noir, but a very young one, and extremely dry. It’s a wine of great structure, with rich acids and tannins framing extraordinarily complex flavors of grilled cherries, strawberries and raspberries, with complicating notes of cola, pomegranates, orange zest, anise, dusty Asian spices and smoky sandalwood. A truly great Pinot Noir from a great…
Amazingly rich, offering deep, complex layers of cherries, black raspberries, cola, anise biscotti, pomegranates, persimmons, black tea, orange zest, mushrooms, you name it, but don’t forget the spices, everything from cloves and black pepper to cinnamon. Utterly delicious, with a silky, briskly clean mouthfeel. But the tannins are pronounced. They’re not so strong…
This is the best of the winery’s new releases, both for drinking now and for cellaring. Combines power and elegance, with upscale flavors of cherries, currants, cola, rhubarbs, dried herbs and oak, wrapped into devastatingly rich tannins and a perfect touch of acidity. Should age well for 10 years.
A spectacular Chardonnay—this is dazzingly beautiful and mesmerizing in its appeal. The complexity of flavor stuns, offering tiers of pineapples, oranges, green apples and golden mangoes. Then the oaky influences appear in the form of buttered toast and caramel, with a suggestion of honey. The finish is dry and crisp in acidity.
An extraordinarily lush, dramatic Pinot Noir. Dense and full-bodied, it shows flashy flavors of black and red berries, currants, cola, pomegranates and dusty spices, enhanced with the most perfect application of smoky oak and wrapped into a rich, silky texture. The balance is exquisite, a tension of acidity and tannins. Beautiful now, and should develop bottle…
This important Pinot Noir is expensive, but it is absolutely worth a search. It’s not a single-vineyard wine, but a blend of various blocks from the cooler southern part of the valley. Oak, to the tune of 70% new, is very strong in char and vanilla, but way stronger is the fruit itself, which is exemplary and stunning. Raspberries, cherries and strawberries just…
This wine shows real first-growth quality in its intensity and concentration, with orange nectar, golden mango, pear, peach pie, buttercream, vanilla, buttered toast and spice flavors. The balance is exquisite, and the way the acids dance along the palate make the wine clean and lively.
An awesome Pinot Noir—it’s hard to find words to describe its beauty. It’s bone dry and rich in stimulating acidity, and the cherry and raspberry fruit flavors have an earthy, mushroomy quality that grounds the wine and gives it a real sense of terroir. Shows the fleshy attractions of the amazing ’07 vintage, with an undisputed capacity to age. Now–2017, at least.