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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A few small production Pinot Noirs, Round 2

The first round of Pinots was a couple weeks ago at the Wine Spectrum wine bar in Santa Rosa (blog post dated June 9th).   The second round was Tuesday, June 22nd.  Four wineries poured two Pinots each. Unfortunately, they're not doing another Pinot tasting like this.  Too bad, I was just beginning to like it!  Though my pocketbook is better off now...

The approaches to making Pinot Noir were all over the place from the lower fruit profile Burgundian style to the fashionable rich and lush California style.  Even with this range in wines all were very good and it really just depends on your preferences.

ADASTRA

They advertise themselves as an organic estate grown winery.  They only produce a couple hundred cases of each wine.  The Francophiles will love Adastra.  If you're ever in the neighborhood (Carneros) give them a call and set up an appointment to taste.

2007 Carneros
Medium-bodied, restrained, Burgundian in style, earthy.  This should be a great food wine.

2007 Proximus
More of everything, more complex.  Needs at least a couple years in the bottle and will probably go many more.

INMAN

Their thing is being earth-friendly with organic vineyards, low-impact labeling, and solar power at the new winery they are opening soon.  Besides that Kathy Inman puts together solid Pinots at reasonable prices.

2007 Russian River Valley
Nice complexity, medium fruit.  Made nicer by the fact this is the least expensive Pinot of the night ($30 retail).

2007 RRV Estate
A bit more fruit and just a bit of heat.  Cherry cola nose and a spicy finish.  Could use a little time in the bottle to settle down. A typically delicious Russian River Valley Pinot.

KETCHAM

A couple guys with a few acres outside of Healdsburg, a love of Pinot Noir, and a hobby that got out of hand.  Their wines are definitely in the fruit-forward California style.

2008 Russian River Valley
Very rich, thick, lush, soft.  Easy drinking.

2008 Estate
The same vineyard as the previous wine, just from specific blocks.
This wine was tight (it's an '08) but is more complex and seems to have a lot going for it.  I would love to try this in a year -- or try the '07 version now.

STEMMLER

During the 1980s Robert Stemmler had a facility and tasting room in Dry Creek Valley and was one of the few good Pinot producers at the time.  The winery was sold off and I haven't had a Stemmler wine in a long time though I see them occasionally on store shelves.  My mistake for waiting so long.

2007 Ferguson Block, Carneros
Bright, earthy, medium complexity, spices, leather. Nice drinking wine.  I love the complexity not often seen in the more fruit-forward wines.

2007 Donum, Carneros
Unfiltered and unfined. Rich, luscious (in more of a French style than a Californian), and complex.  Definitely needs a bit of time.  It's a "wow" wine now; will be a "wow-wee" wine in a few years. A classic wine in the making.  Only downside is it's expensive, but the good things usually are.