91 Points - Wine Spectator
Double Gold Medal - San Francisco Chronicle Intl. Wine Competition
What happens when you hire "Rockstar" winemaker Greg LaFollette from the renowned Flowers Winery? You get ready for awesome wine. The first year, the San Francisco Chronicle's International Wine Competition awarded Double Gold, one of only two Pinots from the entire West Coast to receive that award. Then came more, and more...
Throughout the Spring and Summer attention is paid each grape vine to coax out the best possible fruit that the vine can offer up. At harvest, grapes are picked in the vineyards by hand at night or in the early morning so that fruit arrives at the winery cool and in pristine condition. The fruit is again inspected when it arrives at the winery. The berries are hand sorted and then processed into small lots.
When primary fermentation is nearly complete, the wines begin malolactic fermentation. The wines are transferred into small French oak barrels for continued aging for up to 20 months. This commitment to the smallest details continues today in the winery, where the idea, and the ideal, of the word "handcrafted" is translated to our hands-on approach to fermentation, punch-downs and racking.
Production is small, so that we can maintain that intimate connection with the wines. We are physically in the vineyards any time we need to be, which has a significant impact on viticulture and picking decisions, and ultimately, on quality.
"Offers hues of purple and rose-red around the edges of the glass. On the nose - a sensory cacophony of forest floor, bacon fat, sun-ripened berries and a wild, visceral, almost primal aromatic attitude that is... sexy. The complexity continues on the palate, with perfectly balanced, juicy acidity matching the broad, contained tannin structure. Mid-palate expands, filling the mouth with red berries framed by exotic and savory spices, tapering to a long, harmonious finish echoing the bacon fat seen in the nose and a lingering complexity of earth and berry and forest floor requiring yet another sip, and another.
Pure Hedonist Balance."
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Aging: 100% French Oak, 20% New
The idea for Jim Ball Vineyards began over 27 years ago. Traveling the West Coast for the first time, he fell in love with Northern California, its juxtaposition of rugged Pacific Coast and ordered vineyard rows. Years later, another epiphany occurred - the haunting allure of Pinot Noir and the brilliant purity of Chardonnay. The wines of the Gods.
A search began for the Holy Grail where Bungundian varietals and methods meet California terroir. They found it, in vineyards in the Anderson Valley, the Russian River, and the Mendocino Ridge - those sweet spots on the California Coast where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay could be taken to exalted levels.
More at www.jimballvineyards.com.