Pezzi King Vineyards
2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Chardonnay •Bacigalupi Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Russian River Valley. Bacigalupi Vineyard. Pezzi King. Chardonnay. Need we really say more?!
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Mission Codename: The Hits keep Coming
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Pezzi King, a Wine Spies Operative Favorite, and secure an ample allocation of their Golld Medal Winning Russian River Chardonnay – in time for summertime sipping
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pezzi King Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2007 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Bacigalupi vineyard
Winemaker: Chris Barrett
Backgrounder: Our Operatives love Pezzi King wines, and today we send Agent Red back to Pezzi to secure a quantity of their amazing 2007 Chardonnay, born of the Russian River Valley. The Russian River is a region known for producing Chardonnay or remarkable distinction and depth of character. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below, and find why he selected today’s wine.
The Bacigalupi family has been growing some of the finest – and most famous – fruit in California for nearly a half century. The family’s vineyards earned notoriety in the 1970’s when their grapes caused a worldwide sensation. With wine made from Bacigalupi grapes, Chateau Montelena of Napa Valley stunned the world by winning the prestigious Judgment of Paris, beating out wines from France, the traditional winners of the competition. Today’s wine is made from the finest Bacigalupi fruit, and to great effect. The Wine Spies love this well-balanced and very robust Chardonnay. Read Agent Red’s interview with Pezzi King winemaker, Chris Barrett, following his tasting notes below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Bright and light golden yellow, with perfect clarity and color that remains consistent right out to its edges. After swirling the wine, several rounds of skinny legs march steadily down the glass.
Smell – Full and lush, heady and inviting with bold aromas of citrus, acacia, freshly cut pineapple, candied pear and dark toasted oak. As the wine warms, these give way to fresh pear, smoky sweetwood and a hint of flint.
Feel – Medium bodied and round across the mid palate, this wine gradually fills the entire palate with a soft mineral dryness that starts at the edges of the mouth and works its way inward.
Taste – Big and complex with rich flavors of citrus, pineapple, pear and cedar. These give way to a soft nuttiness that carries additional flavors of tangerine, hazelnut and mineral-laden white flowers.
Finish – Long and rich, the wine starts bright and filled with citrus. These flavors eventually conclude with softly dry oak and mineral-rich dried white flower flavors.
Conclusion – This is one big, rich, complex and delicious Chardonnay! If you love complexity and bold flavors in your Chardonnay, this is the wine for you. With a heady aroma that offers layers of complexity and flavors that go on and on, our tasting panel was very impressed with this latest Chardonnay from Pezzi King. Pair this bold wine with anything, particularly more difficult pairings like spicy foods or pungent hard cheeses. This wine gets our hearty recommendation!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Chris Barrett
AGENT RED: Greetings, Chris. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Russian River Chardonnay today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
CHRIS: I think it had more to do with growing up in Sonoma County. My Dad has always made wine and it started in the garage with the barest of equipment. It is now a passion we share and always talk about.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
CHRIS: I look up to more of the local winemakers and growers. The ones that have been around and know how to focus on expression.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
CHRIS: I still help my Dad out but my main focus is Pezzi King.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
CHRIS: Our Chardonnay comes from the Bacigalupi’s Vineyard located in the Russian River. It’s there old Wente clone that when you barrel ferment, creates a wine with a lot of body and flavors.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
CHRIS: Goes great with a variety of seafoods and salads. Not only does it pair well but this wine can carry before dinner and all the way through dessert.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Russian River Valley so special?
CHRIS: Here we have the benefits of the hot weather but also there is the coastal influence. This creates wines with a lot of fruit and balanced acidity.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
CHRIS: Bottling and Bottling. We have a lot of exciting bottlings coming up and with harvest around the corner, I want to get everything done.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
CHRIS: I like wines that stand on their own. To experience the wine with your senses. Smelling before tasting and tasting after swallowing.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
CHRIS: I really want to thank you and for those who get a chance to try this wonderful Chardonnay, Enjoy!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Pezzi King vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
About This Wine:
This wine was carefully crafted to allow full expression of the Russian River terroir. The well established vines provide concentrated flavor and depth. Enticing bouquet of lemon blossom, pear and citrus with notes of roasted hazelnuts, carmel and smoke on the palate. The wine was fermented naturally using indigenous yeasts supplying additional complexity and adding weight to the palate.
History of Pezzi King Vineyards:
James P. Rowe, Sr., is passionate about his Italian heritage. His love of agriculture is rooted in the time spent as a child at his grandfather’s Central Valley ranches, while his family ties are expressed in the name he and his late wife Jane gave their vineyard: Pezzi King combines the names of Jim’s and Jane’s mothers, respectively.
The Rowes established Pezzi King Vineyards in 1993, when Jim discovered a beautiful vineyard nestled in the hills of Dry Creek Valley during a weekend visit from San Francisco. Aware of the vineyard’s superior terroir and captivated by the site’s natural beauty, he purchased the 137-acre estate and undertook its beautiful transformation into one of the leading producers of Zinfandel in the acclaimed Dry Creek Valley appellation.
The first step was restoring the vineyard to its natural, unspoiled potential: Jim Rowe, Sr. immediately eliminated all use of chemicals and implemented all-natural farming techniques. His commitment to quality extended to the winery, as well, which they completely renovated with state-of-the-art equipment.
Today, Jim Rowe, Sr. and his wife, Cynthia, run the winery as a collaborative enterprise. Cynthia Rowe is involved with business planning and strategy for Pezzi King Vineyards.
Jim Rowe, Sr. states his mission for Pezzi King Vineyards directly: “I wanted wines that would be considered among the best in the world. To accomplish this, I had to start with an excellent piece of land and add the right mix of talent and hard work. We’re doing that at Pezzi King and we’ll continue to strive for and achieve excellence in everything we do.”
In 2006, Pezzi King Vineyards won 10 Gold and 5 Silver medals in wine competitions and is among one of the highest rated Zinfandel in the world.
About the Winemaker:
Gabriella Gazzano is no stranger to critically acclaimed Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels. She helped craft them for five years at Fritz Winery in Cloverdale, and the opportunity to make wine for one of the region’s most noted Zinfandel producers is one major reason she agreed to become Head Winemaker for Pezzi King Vineyards. “I started my winemaking career experiencing old-vine Zinfandel at Fritz, and I’m really excited to be back in Dry Creek and work with the wonderful fruit that Pezzi King grows and sources,” said Gazzano.
Harvested: September, 2007
Appellation: 100% Chardonnay
Varietal: 100% Russian River Valley
Barrels: 100% New French Oak, Rousseau, Vernou, Piano
Total Acidity: 0.63 gm/100ml
Cases Produced: 700