Joseph Jewell Wines
2010 Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Floodgate Vineyard
California: Russian River Valley
Open the Floodgate!
Today’s Joseph Jewell Wines 2010 Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir hails from one of the most well-known and most successful of Pinot Noir vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The Floodgate Vineyard has enjoyed a long and prestigious history, with Gary Farrell, Alysian, Cartograph Wines and others sourcing Pinot Noir there. Today’s wine was made from select blocks of hillside vines where exposure to sun and the elements is optimal.
Whereas most wineries are already releasing their 2011 wines, Joseph Jewell chose to wait until the wine was perfect. This is quite a feat for any winery, as release dates can sometimes be motivated by desire for cash-flow over readiness. Joseph Jewell chooses the long and careful pathway from vineyard to your table. This elegant wine gets its fine ruby color from an extended 5 day cold soak. The ruby juice then moves on to rest in the finest French oak barrels - until the wine is ready to go to bottle. From there, it rests until it is ready to release to you.
This wine is classic Russian River, with lovely fruit that is balanced against elegant elements of spice and earthiness. Fruits really come alive as you spin the wine in your glass. Please decant or swirl this wonderful wine for best results. One of our esteemed panelists, whom we call “Dr. Pinot”, said this of the wine, “When you first open this wine, you say, ‘hmm’. Then, after five minutes, ‘HMMM’. After ten minutes, ‘YEAH!’” We agree with Dr. Pinot, who also said, “This wine has very fine tannins and much more structure than most 2010s that I’ve tasted.”
Lovely dark plum with bright ruby edges. At the core, the wine shows as very slightly opaque.
Dark cherry and black raspberry fruit meld with pomegranate, wild strawberry and cooked cranberry. Underneath, the wine shows richer aromas of rich spice, cherry candy and subtle toasty vanilla. One of our more experienced panelists also detected a hint of coffee.
Leads with bright cranberry, orange peel, alpine strawberry, plum skin, subtle spice and a hint of sandalwood.
This wine has a long-lasting finish that is loaded with plenty of ripe fruit that presents all across the palate. Subtle vine tannin adds a hint of dryness that encroaches from the edges and gradually moves inward.
This is a very food-friendly wine that would work with many different foods. We’ll be enjoying ours with spinach salad with crumbled goat cheese, fresh strawberries and pancetta with an aged balsamic dressing. Fettuccini carbonara would also be divine.
What the Winery Says
The 2010 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir possesses medium intensity and bright clarity in appearance with a core ruby color. The developing nose shows medium intensity with aromas of dark cherries, plums, a hint of tobacco leaf and coffee bean intertwined with fresh thyme spice. The palate shows medium acidity and body with medium to medium plus flavor intensity and length. With red fruit and earthy flavors confirming the nose, additional notes of cinnamon and clove are delivered on a rich, silky texture. Tannins are ripe and polished with balanced acidity leading to a long, elegant and nuanced finish.
90 Point Review - The Prince of Pinot Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Initially shy, but pleasing aromas of dark red cherries and berries take on more intensity over time in the glass. Mid weight flavors of Bing cherry and dark red berries are complimented by a note of savory herbs and cola. Soft tannins, a silky mouth presence, and respectable finishing length. A charming wine.
- Adrian Jewell Manspeaker and Micah Joseph Wirth
- 90 Points - The Prince of Pinot
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
- Floodgate Vineyard
- 10 months in French oak, 33% new
About the Winery
When friends and winemakers Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker teamed up in 2006, they made their first wine together in a Windsor garage. With two French oak barrels, a small basket press, and exactly one ton of Russian River Valley grapes, they produced 50 cases of single-vineyard Pinot Noir. With no winery affiliation or property of their own, they combined their middle names for the new venture and pooled their resources to build their own wine company dedicated to capturing the unique terroir of single-vineyard sites. The success of that first release enabled Micah and Adrian to invest seriously in their project and grow their garage experiment to a 2500-case production of exceptional wines.
Since that first Pinot Noir, they’ve created several wines, including Russian River Valley Appian Way Pinot Noir, Dry Creek Valley Grist Zinfandel, and Alexander Valley Redwood Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, all with distinct noses and finishes that reflect their unique style of winemaking.
Winemaker Micah Joseph Wirth
Micah is the fourth generation in a family of wine pioneers. Raised in Alexander Valley, his interest in wine started at only eight years old when he accompanied his winemaker father Chris Wirth to work at Preston Vineyards. Once he was old enough to be helpful in the cellar, Micah learned the basics of winemaking from his father at ElvenGlade and Raptor Ridge in Oregon. The logical next step was enology classes at UC Davis, and then grueling 15-hour days of harvest internships at Chalk Hill Winery.
A year later, he was hired on full-time at Gary Farrell Winery. For the next 7 years, he worked with highly regarded winemakers Gary Farrell and Susan Reed. The hard work fueled Micah’s passion for winemaking and his ambition to start his own label. His tenure as Cellar Master at Gary Farrell was instrumental in developing partnerships with grape growers and securing top-quality fruit for Joseph Jewell.
Winemaker Adrian Jewell Manspeaker
Having grown up on the fog-shrouded northern coast of California, Adrian learned early on to appreciate its complicated patchwork of micro-climates. When he moved to Sonoma County, his upbringing sparked an interest in the origin of wine and the evolution from vineyard to barrel to bottle.
His wine country location allowed him to conveniently study winemaking and viticulture at UC Davis’s extension program and take business management courses on the side. He put theory into practice at C. Donatiello and lent a hand at Peay Vineyards, then teamed up with Micah and the two became business partners.
Adrian’s intense drive and commitment are apparent in every detail of his work, from his relationships with the growers to the design of the labels to the overall quality of the finished product.