2017 Graton Ridge Vineyard RRV Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Graton Ridge Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
Over the fence, over the moon
So, there we were, blind tasting through a bunch of bagged Pinots…
When this one rose like a phoenix from the pack and simply FLOORED us.
We dug into the background and discovered that this estate vineyard sits right next to Paul Hobbs’ Lindsay Estate where the finished product fetches $100+ a pop – IF you can score an allocation.
Waiting list be damned! $55 retail price begone! We’re dropping this plump, juicy Pinot into your lap at more than half off! Like a BOGO and then some. Savvy Operatives out there might have some of the previous vintage we offered last year, or the year before. This time we got an even better deal.
What captured our attention was the fabulous richness and tremendous complexity. This one scores big in the intellectual department with its grab bag of balanced flavors. Medium bodied, with a serving of cranberry sauce and red licorice up front, a healthy dose of clove and savory baking spices around back, some earthiness and cigar box tiptoeing around the side - and plenty of bright acidity keeping it all moving along. A wine you will come back to with each sip looking for something else.
The Paul Hobbs connections don’t end there either. It actually started when winemaker Erica Stancliff was 10. Hobbs came over for a dinner and brought a bottle of 1997 Michael Black Merlot from Napa. When Erica declared that she “didn’t drink wine,” Paul asked her to smell the glass and describe what she smelled. Out poured adjectives which would have made any wine writer proud. Then she tasted. Again, the sensory descriptors flowed. Hobbs’ response: “you need to be a winemaker!” And so the stage was set, eventually Hobbs later took her under his wing. From there she spent time at Crossbarn, Rudd Estate, and her own label Trombetta before making her way to Furthermore…
We aren’t the only ones who took notice. San Francisco Chronicle reported “In early 2016, Zeches and Richard finally opened a winery home of their own… not far from the wineries of Paul Hobbs, Merry Edwards, Dutton-Goldfield and Red Car. This is the best place to sample this stellar line-up of Pinot Noir from across the state.” Furthermore is committed to quality. Just a couple of years ago Ross Cobb (of Williams Selyem, Flowers, and his own Cobb Wines fame) joined the team as consulting winemaker.
Trust your faithful Wine Spies buyer Agent Noir - in over a decade of tasting hundreds if not thousands of Pinots, this stands out and deserves a spot in your collection. It will not disappoint!
90 Points – PinotFile
“Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Really nicely perfumed with aromas of ripe Bing cherry, olallieberry pie, and black grape. Discreetly concentrated and suave in the mouth, with a core of dark cherry and black raisin flavors with added notes of black tea, dark chocolate and cassis. Smoky oak plies the background.”
Limpid ruby with a brilliant crimson cloak that caresses the glass
Cranberry sauce and red licorice up front, a healthy dose of clove and savory baking spices around back
Medium-bodied, some earthiness and cigar box, and plenty of bright acidity keeping it all moving along
Fabulous richness and tremendous complexity, scores big in the intellectual department with its balance
A wine you will come back to with each sip looking for something else, to savor with a wide variety of food
What the Winery Says
- Erica Stancliff
- Co-winemakers / propreitors
- Bob Zeches & Chad Richards
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Dijon 115, Pommard
- Graton Ridge Vineyard
- Vine age
- 18 years old
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
- 10 months
- 25% new French oak from Cadus
- 9 barrels made