Gold Medal– 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Sonoma County has a long history of wine growing, dating back well into the 19th Century, but prohibition hit the area hard, and Sonoma doesn't seem to have as many historic wineries as nearby Napa. In fact, we've heard that Sonoma county didn't surpass the pre-prohibition area of planted vineyards until the early 2000s! While today's winery doesn't date back as far as that, for the area, Russian River Vineyards, founded in 1963, counts as an old timer. They were also an early adopter of organic viticulture, and with a new ownership team in place, the quality of the wines just seems to keep getting better.
The 2008 Russian River Vineyards "Bella" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a light, pale garnet color. The nose is very high-toned with cranberry and cherry dominating, yet accompanied by captivating undertones of anise, cocoa, and underbrush. The palate is equally red-fruit driven, with cherry and briary raspberry. This a wonderfully pretty wine, light in body, with plenty of acidity, yet the flavors are expansive on the palate, with smooth, elegant tannin lingering on the finish. Pairs gracefully with food, making this versatile wine perfect for risotto, stew, braised beef or many other dishes. This is a must have for any true Pinot fan, an unbelievable value for Pinot Noir, especially from the cool, low-yielding vineyards of the Sonoma Coast. Grab this one in bulk and enjoy it over the next several years!
Appellation: Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley
Varietal composition: Pinot Noir
Harvest Date: 10/1/08
Aged: 15 months in 30% New Tonnellerie Sirigue French Oak
Production: 523 cases
The softly undulating hills of the famed Russian River Valley, caressed by cool blankets of fog and anchored by volcanic soils, are home to some of the world’s finest vineyards, which consistently produce outstanding, distinctive and highly praised wines.
In the heart of this renowned wine growing region is the picturesque and historic Russian River Vineyards, one of the valley’s oldest and most storied wineries.
Ever mindful of its treasured past, new owners Chris O’Neill, Barbara Sattler, Giovanni Balistreri, Anthony Austin, and Debra Del Fiorentino are meticulously renovating the estate, with the goal of transforming it into a modern-day archetype of an organic, sustainable and “green” winery.
Learn more at www.russianrivervineyards.com