Promise not to judge me? This wine girl did not like Pinot Noir when she started working in the wine industry. Yeah, I know; it’s hard for me to believe, too.
During a visit to the Hope & Grace tasting room in Yountville in late 2009, it was the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir that broadened my horizons. Since then, I don’t think I’ve ever met a Pinot from the Russian River Valley (#RRV) that I didn’t like.
So it was no surprise that, this past Saturday, I fell head over heels for the 2010 Bluxome Street Winery #RRV Pinot Noir (which I brought to Salito’s in Sausalito to share with some friends). Purchased from www.fpwm.com for $32/bottle, this silky-smooth wine is dark ruby and opaque in the glass. Sourced from five different vineyards, it delivers classic #RRV cherry cola flavors. The palate is opulent and complex with nuances of vanilla and spice; it finishes with lingering notes of red fruit. That was Saturday night. Yum!
Then on Sunday. . .
Although I was pouring for SojournCellars at the Pinot Days event at Fort Mason in San Francisco, I was able to sneak away and do a bit of tasting. The folks from Bluxome Street were there with the 2011#RRV Pinot as well as single-vineyard Pinots from Yorkville Highlands and Mendocino. I was partial to the #RRV, but all three are super tasty and available direct from the winery (which is located in SF!).
With limited time to taste, I visited a few of my longtime favorites. The selections from J Winery & Vineyards included the 2011 #RRV Estate Grown Pinot Noir (which is great every year) and the 2010 Robert Thomas Vineyard #RRV Pinot Noir (which was new to my taste buds). With deep aromas of cherry and spice, this limited-production wine is dark and delicious with lingering notes of baking cocoa, dark fruit, and dusty earth. But I feel like that brief description barely scratches the surface of what this wine is capable of. It’s one to spend an evening with!
Like Sojourn, Dutton-Goldfield makes many vineyard designate Pinot Noirs; vintage after vintage, they continue to wow me. The 2011 selections from Dutton-Goldfield are fantastic, particularly the new Azaya Vineyard bottling (Marin County). Lean and fruity, this wine would be perfect for lighter summer fare.
I was also impressed with the offerings from Ten Acre Winery (more on that later) and La Fenetre, which included many delightful Pinots from Santa Barbara County. (Click here for tasting notes for the A Côté Pinot Noir from one of my previous blog posts).
If you like Pinot Noir and you’ve never been to Pinot Days, make sure to get on their mailing list and check out the event in SF, SoCal, NYC, or Chicago. Even if you don’t drink Pinot—go. It will show you what you’ve been missing!