2009, Best Vintage Ever - James Laube, Wine Spectator
Gold Medal - Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Exceptional - Dan Berger
Just when we think we have run out of sources for Pinot from the exceptional 2009 vintage, it seems we always come upon a new winery with just a little bit left. This 2009 Sandole Pinot is made from estate grown fruit on the tiny, 6-acre Oehlman Ranch in the heart of the Russian River Valley. This beautiful wine won a gold medal at the highly competitive Sonoma County Fair, and it is easy to see why, as it shows remarkable elegance and depth. Single-vineyard Russian River Pinot is among the most expensive red wines outside of Napa Cab, yet we are able to offer this one for under $30. With what should be a long life ahead of it, this is one to stock up on now, and enjoy watching it age.
The 2009 Sandole Oehlman Ranch Pinot Noir is light garnet in color, with an intriguing nose of huckleberry, black cherry, and graphite, with floral undertones. The palate shows cherry, violets, black pepper, and red berries. Vibrant and bright, this Pinot has a seductively smooth mouthfeel, but without the accompanying lushness that comes from too little acid. This touch of tartness allows it to pair gracefully with a wide range of food, and should lead to a long life in the cellar. Enjoy this one now, or cellar for 5 years or more.
Vineyards: Oehlman Ranch
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Appelation: Russian River Valley
Harvest Date: September 22, 2009
Total Acidity: 0.63
Cooperage: 100% French Oak 35% New
Release Date: May, 15 2011
Oehlman family history in the bay area goes back well over a century with emigration from Germany to San Francisco in 1872. Sailing through the bay as ship's riggers they viewed a picturesque landscape on the port side, drawing them north to the rolling hills of Sonoma County. The family prospered in the Russian River Valley, embracing plentiful opportunities for new farming and ranching.
Living in the Vine Hill District of Russian River Valley they developed an appreciation for sustainable farming techniques of prunes, apples and grapes. This three fruit mixture dominated the ranch in 1894 when a combination of phylloxera and prohibition knocked out many of the grape vines by the mid 1920s. In 1987 a grape resurgence began with a new six acre parcel of Pinot Noir terraced into the south-east hillside overlooking the valley.
More at www.sandolewines.com