Pinot Noir Wine Club
Pinot Club - Eighth Allocation
This month, we present one of the iconic Pinots of Oregon's Willamette Valley, Domaine Serene's Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir.
Your allocation is for one bottle.
The 2006 Evenstad was called "one of the year's best Pinot Noirs" from Wine and Spirits Magazine and has garnered great press from the pundits:
"Medium ruby-colored, it offers notes of cedar, cinnamon, clove, cassis, and raspberry. This is followed by a medium- to full-bodied wine with layers of complex red fruits, enough structure to evolve for 3-4 years, excellent integration of oak, tannin, and acidity, and a lengthy finish." 91 points, Robert Parker.
“Smooth and round, with a lovely polished feel to the dark berry, cherry, licorice and spice flavors, flowing easily over finely tuned tannins, persisting expressively.” - 92 points, Wine Spectator
Domaine Serene's mission is to grow, produce and market consistently outstanding quality ultra-premium wines.
Pinot Noir - 7th Allocation
This month's selection is one of the reasons that you joined the Pinot Noir club: a highly allocated Russian River Pinot Noir that's impossible to find in stores: Rochioli Russian River Pinot Noir!
One of the great wine families of Sonoma, the Rochiolis’ legacy dates back to the 1930s, which may not be quite as long as the Martinellis, who date back to the late 1800s, but underscores the extraordinary wine culture these families built with their meticulous attention to top vineyard sites, which today are some of the gems of Northern California.
Tom Rochioli’s approach to Pinot Noir is definitely hands-off. He destems 100%. (As he says, “No one eats the stems of apples, peaches, or apricots.”) He ages everything in 100% Francois Frères cooperage, and does not touch the wines until they are racked out of barrel to be assembled for bottling, which is done with neither fining nor filtration.
These consistently brilliant wines are among my favorite Pinot Noirs of California. The delicious 2008 Pinot Noir Estate (just under 4,000 cases produced) is one of the finest Pinots one can find from Russian River. It exhibits sweet pomegranate, raspberry, cherry, roasted herb notes along with a hint of smoky oak in its seductive, round, opulent personality. It should drink well for 7-8 years.
Fifth Allocation - Pinot
We've found another amazing wine for you this month - from Bolinas-based wine eccentric Sean Thackrey: Andromeda Pinot Noir Devil's Gulch.
A few months ago, we presented Dutton Goldfield Devil's Gulch from this same vineyard, and always find it interesting to have the opportunity to taste similar vineyard sources from different winemakers.
Pinot Noir Devil's Gulch Ranch has a nice foresty/earthy nose with hints of strawberry, black cherry, and spice. Dark medium/ruby, the wine displays nice fruit, and a round texture.
One of California's most iconic and mystical winemakers, Sean Thackrey has logged in 20 or more vintages of consistently stunning wines that perhaps say it all with the simple quote on his label: -Sean A. Thackrey, Vintner, Bolinas, California
Pinot Club - Sixth Allocation
This month, we travel to the Anderson Valley, to try a wine from one of my favorite wine makers - Milla Handley of Handley Cellars. Milla has been crafting wines under the Handley Cellars label in the Anderson Valley since 1982. Since that time, she has garnered a national reputation for balanced, well-made, and well priced wines that reflect the terroir of the Anderson Valley.
Her top Pinot Noir - Handley Cellars Holmes Ranch Pinot Noir comes from grapes farmed on the Handley Estate and contiguous, neighboring vineyards. Originally, Holmes Ranch was a homestead inhabited in the early 1900’s by the Guntly family. It is the current location of Handley Cellars. Locals call this area, closest to the coast, the “Deep End”. Its cold spring mornings and cool coastal summer breezes encourage slow ripening and create intense Pinot Noirs with bright flavors, complexity, and depth. The mix of vineyards and clones give this wine focus and complexity. It is a blend of Romani Vineyard located just behind Handley Cellars, RSM - a hillside vineyard, and the Estate Vineyard.
April '10 Pinot
This month, we're pleased to present a one bottle allocation of 2007 Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir, the flagship wine from the winery that put the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA on the map!
96 points from Parker, who raved: "An exceptional effort from 10-year-old vines, this dense ruby/purple-hued, full-bodied Pinot Noir exhibits a killer aromatic display of black raspberries, forest floor, spring flowers, cola, and a subtle hint of smoke. Although extravagantly rich, it is not overweight, but rather well-delineated and pure. This is a full-bodied tour de force in Pinot Noir winemaking that has the aromatic complexity of a grand cru Burgundy, but the sensational fruit, glycerin, texture, and mouthfeel of the golden state of California. "
Winegrower Gary Pisoni comes from generations of farmers who tended row crops long before he was born. Pisoni enjoyed drinking and collecting fine French wines while in college. When he graduated, he was eager to find a way into the wine business. When he told his father he wanted to plant grapevines on the family cattle ranch in the Santa Lucia Highlands, he was met with several objections, not the least of which was the cost. Gary countered to his father, “Have you ever been to a $250 lettuce tasting?” His father relented and a legendary vineyard was born in 1982. Gary’s positive energy has made him a household name among Pinot circles.
Gary planted his own-rooted vines in virgin soil. It took ten years of witchers and well drillers to tap into a water source on the sixth try. Water turned the wilderness into a garden and made Gary’s dream come true. The original vines are rumored to be from suitcase cuttings from a famous domaine in Vosne-Romanee, now called the Pisoni clone or selection.
Winemaker son Jeff and grape grower son Mark created the Pisoni label, releasing the first estate Pinot Noir in 1998. A second label, Lucia, debuted in 2000. Pisoni fruit quickly became highly prized in California and Pisoni Vineyard put Santa Lucia Highlands on the map, becoming one of California’s true ‘cult’ vineyards. Many top producers craft a Pisoni vineyard-designate Pinot Noir; Gary Pisoni also manages nearby Garys’ Vineyard with Gary Franscioni.
Generally, the Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir is sold exclusively through a mailing list. We have a good relationship with the winery and were able to wrangle a bottle for each of you.