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Domaine de la Cote Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2014
Domaine de la Cote is a stunning estate set across six prime vineyard sites in the Santa Rita hills which includes a tremendous variety of terroirs and microclimates. The estate was purchased by Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman in 2013 after they recognised the potential for producing sensational Burgundian-style wines here. The vineyards are cooled by breezes and fogs from the nearby Pacific Ocean which helps to showcase the natural freshness and aromatics of the Pinot Noir grape.
This bottling is produced from top quality fruit from across the estate’s vineyards which gives a complex picture of the varied terroirs found here. Parr and Moorman have chosen to showcase the purity of fruit, producing a refined yet fun-loving red that is reminiscent of both Premier Cru Beaujolais and a fine Volnay from Burgundy.
On the nose there are enticing hints of red cherries, crushed ripe plums and dried herbs. The first sip reveals a bright acidity, medium body, and generous wild berry flavours which linger on the tongue. This is a wine which will continue to evolve over the next five years or so, but it is also ideal to enjoy now alongside a generous platter of cheese or charcuterie.
Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyard 2015
A vivid ruby red in colour, the nose of this superb Pinot Noir offers ripe cherry, red currant and black fruit aromas along with mocha, vanilla and biscuit notes. The palate delivers a complex and rich mix of ripe cherry, black fruit and a touch of spicy vanilla. The medium body, medium tannin and medium acid all balance perfectly and the complex layers of this wine make it very interesting and very enjoyable. The finish is long and persistent with a hint of spice and minerality at the end.
A perfect complement to red meat (such as beef or lamb), white meat, pasta dishes and cheese.
The Joseph Phelps Winery does all it can to preserve the fruit in perfect condition including hand harvesting before dawn, hand sorting, gentle pressing and long, slow fermentations. Aged for 13 months in oak (partially new oak) the resulting wines are complex , high quality, and very much sort after. The belief is that the terroir makes the wine – a fact that Joseph Phelps believes in and delivers.
Davis Bynum Jane's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
Davis Bynum was the first winemaker in the Russian River Valley to produce a single vineyard Pinot Noir in the 1970s. He was amongst the region’s pioneers who realised the cool climate was ideally suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and he set out to emulate the Burgundian approach with a uniquely Californian twist. In 2007 the estate was taken over by Bynum’s great friend, Greg Morthole, who continues his mentor’s legacy by seeking to innovative while maintaining the highest possible quality standards.
This stunning single vineyard Pinot is made in a richer style with plenty of dark fruit character balanced by a crisp freshness. On the nose there are hints of cassis, blackberry, and ripe dark plums while the first sip reveals a full body, velvety texture, and very soft tannins. Following vinification the wine is aged in a combination of French and Hungarian oak for 11 months which adds subtle smoky and sweet spice notes.
The power and finesse of this wine make it a great match for rich duck dishes like Peking duck and smoked duck salads. It also shines alongside beetroot risottos, pasta served with mushrooms, and roasted pork.
Orin Swift Slander Pinot Noir 2017
Orin Swift Cellars was founded by David Swift Phinney and is today regarded as one of America’s top boutique wineries. David fell in love with wine while visiting Florence in Italy and spent time working for Robert Mondavi Winery before founding his own project in 1998. The unusual name of the winery comes from a combination of his father’s middle name, Orin, and his mother’s maiden name, Swift.
This stunning Pinot Noir is crafted from high quality fruit sourced from top vineyards in the Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley and Santa Rita Hills AVAs. following vinification the wine ages in French oak for a total of 10 months which helps to add complexity and a touch of spice to the finished wine.
On the nose there are intense hints of baked black cherries, dried rose petals, and earthy forest floor. The first sip reveals a generous full body, rich dark plums, strawberries and cranberries. Oak ageing helps to soften the tannins which are remarkably smooth and mellow, and the wine closes with a long finish of caramel, toasted brioche and raspberry jam. The bright red fruit character of this wine make it an ideal partner for duck dishes, and it will also continue to develop and evolve in the cellar over the next decade or so.
Duckhorn Pinot Noir Goldeneye 2016
Recently named one of the world’s top 100 wineries by Wine & Spirits magazine for the seventh time, the Duckhorn story began with Dan and Margaret Duckhorn’s purchase of their first Californian vineyard in St Helena in 1976. Over the intervening forty years, the couple have built a stellar reputation for classy French varietals. In 1996 the Duckhorns founded Goldeneye winery amongst the coastal redwoods of the Anderson Valley which boasts perfect cool climate conditions ideal for Pinot Noir.
The pure essence of the varietal immediately leaps out of the glass with bright cherry, cranberry and blackberry aromas followed by undertones of sweet spice, sage and leather from the 16 months of ageing in oak barrels. A velvety texture, medium body and subtle tannins please the palate along with well-integrated oak influence and wild berry flavours. Chicken roasted with rosemary and sea salt would be an excellent match for the wine’s ripe berry and earthy notes.
This was an outstanding vintage for the Anderson Valley thanks to wet weather early in the spring which ensured the vines had sufficient water throughout the growing period and dry, warm conditions during the harvest. The result was a low yield of small berries which produced stellar wines with great concentration of flavour and silky smoothness in the mouth.
Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir 2017
Deep ruby in colour, the nose displays ripe cherry, black berry and plum with additional notes of cranberry, leather, cedar and cloves. The palate releases a beautiful mix of flavours such as strawberry jam, ripe raspberry, gingerbread and caramel perfectly mingled with toast and cigar. The mouth feel is almost full bodied with good levels of tannin balanced perfectly with acid and alcohol. This is a beautifully complex wine with many layers – a top quality Pinot that is a joy to drink. The finish is long and persistent with just a hint of raspberry and cinnamon at the end.
Great to drink on its own or even better when paired with salmon, pork, pasta, beef, or ham.
The Belle Glos name comes from the winemaker, Joseph Wagner, who named it in honour of his grandmother Lorna Belle Glos Wagner who was the co-founder of Caymus.
The grapes were harvested early morning while still cool. Hand sorted and de-stemmed prior to a cold maceration in stainless steel tanks that can last up to 2 weeks. Only the free run juice is used which ensures top quality, superb wines. This juice was barrelled in French oak of which 60% was new, for 9 months prior to bottling.