*Two Stars* In the world of high-value Pinot Noir, the top of the line are the wines with vineyard designations, and the second tier are what are loosely called 'appellation bottlings.' There has never been anything wrong with those more 'generalized' labels, except for the obvious fact that the best grapes available to people like DuMOL, Williams-Selyem, Kosta Browne, Merry Edwards go into the pricey bottles with vineyard names while the appellation editions get the dregs. Well, if this wine is made from leftovers, they were obviously pretty spectacular to begin with because there is depth and richness, precision and balance to the pure red cherry fruit and creamy oak character on display here.
A seductive, luscious Pinot Noir in the making is the 2007 Pinot Noir Russian River. The good news is that there are 2,700 cases of this wine, which exhibits sweet plum and black cherry notes intermixed with forest floor, cloves, and spice. The wine is rich, fresh, medium to full-bodied, and long. This is a blend of five or so vineyards, and also a blend of not only Dijon clone material but also old California heritage clones such as the Martini, Calera, and Swan. This wine should drink nicely for 4-5 years. (RP)
Offers a rich, concentrated core of spicy berry, black cherry and plum. Full-bodied, this is a touch raw and tannic midpalate, but still where you'd want a wine this age to be. Most impressive on the long, lingering finish. (JKL)
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