Adobe Road

2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir •O’Neel Vineyard

California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley

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Mission Codename: The Heroes of Hall Road

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Operatives loved Adobe Road’s 2006 O’Neel Vineyard Russian River Pinot Noir. Send Agent Red back to Adobe Road to procure their 2007 O’Neel Pinot, a wine with the reputation of being even better.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery

Wine Subject: 2007 O’Neel Vineyard Russian River Pinot Noir

Winemaker: Michael Scorsone

Backgrounder: The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is attracting great attention from wine lover’s around the world. Why? The quality of the fruit produced here is usually exceptional. Today’s wine, from Adobe Road Winery, sets a new standard for quality and value. Recently, The Wine Spies learned that Adobe Road was running low on their excellent Pinot Noir. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark burgundy in color, with a darkening heart of dark purple plum skin. At the edges of the wine, shows a ring of pure garnet. Skinny legs streak down the glass after swirling.

Smell – Lush dark cherry, red plum and softly smoked cranberry lead the way. Just below these sit more subtle aromas of sweetwoods, dried tobacco leaf, blackberry, brown spice, earth and supple leather.

Feel – A firm yet soft medium body is apparent right at the tip of the tongue as you take your first sip. Then, the wine feels lush and medium-round across the mid-palate. Once across the entire palate, fine tannins introduce a warming dryness that spreads quickly around the mouth, eventually culminating in a soft and appealing black pepper-spiced dryness.

Taste – Dark cherry juice with black plum, cedar and cranberry at first, followed closely by earth, subtle tobacco, overripe blackberry, plum jam and a hint of crème brulée.

Finish – Medium-long, with black cherry and plum fading slowly and ending with a delightful tart red fruit and black-pepper spice.

Conclusion – Last year, we had the great fortune to get our hands on the final stock of Adobe Road’s fantastic 2006 O’Neel Vineyard Pinot Noir from our great friends at Adobe Road Winery. When we were invited to taste today’s wine, Adobe’s 2007 O’Neel Vineyard Pinot Noir we raced over to Adobe Road’s wonderful tasting room in the town of Sonoma. What we found in the 2007 was a wine that drank even better than its predecessor! The 2007 has more depth and deeper flavors, providing an experience that is both delicious and interesting on the palate. This bright Pinot Noir paired beautifully with a herb encrusted grilled New York steak with mushrooms and blue cheese. We say that it would pair beautifully with most anything. Enjoy now or cellar for the next few years.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Michael Scorsone


PLACE OF BIRTH: Pennyslvania

WINE EDUCATION: Culinary Institute of America and Napa College

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Adobe Road, Turley, Failla, Neyers

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Let the wines show character and personality. A strong sense of vineyard location. Show tradition…but not afraid to take chances. Don’t make the wine into something it’s not.


CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Having the opportunity to work with Adobe Road and also all the traveling that I’ve done in my career.


AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are honored to be showing your 2007 O’Neel Vineyard Russian river Valley Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

MICHAEL SCORSONE: Thanks, Red. It’s good to be showing another wine with The Wine Spies!

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

MICHAEL: Growing up in an Italian family where food and wine is very important, my travels to old world wine regions and working in the fields in Italy.

RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?

MICHAEL: I’m always learning something new and always expanding my knowledge.

RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?

MICHAEL: “Hands off”, non-invasive approach and letting the wine show its personality.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

MICHAEL: Ted Lemon from Littorai because he’s an excellent wine maker and farmer. He is one of the few winemakers who does it all.

RED: How long have you been making wine?

MICHAEL: Ever since I was a little boy, I helped my dad make his wine.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

MICHAEL: Myself, our customers – and the Adobe Road wine team

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

MICHAEL: I like this Pinot because it has a lot of texture and sweet spices. This wine also compliments food very well too

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

MICHAEL: That’s easy, roasted leg of lamb!

RED: In your opinion, what makes the O’Neel Vineyard so special?

MICHAEL: This vineyard is on the border of Russian River near the Green Valley which is a slightly cooler region of the Russian River. The location – and the care that the grapes receive – makes for some pretty spectacular Pinot.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

MICHAEL: Right now I am finishing up with harvest. Lots of pressings and barrel downs to do. I’m very happy with the vintage!

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

MICHAEL: Thanks, very much, Agent Red! Cheers!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of the Adobe Road tasting room, in the heart of the town of Sonoma, California, can be seen in this satellite photo.

The approximate location of the O’Neel Vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

Awards & Accolades:

Silver Medal2010 Sonoma County Harvest Fair

About This Wine:

Elegant aromatics of strawberry preserve, raspberry and allspice, gently lift in the glass. The fine tannins are reminiscent of cranberry juice and a bold and silky mouth feel round out the flavor profile. A great wine to pair with pork tenderloins in a raspberry glaze or roast turkey with cranberry sauce.

About The Winery:

Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.

Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.

With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off.

Technical Analysis:

Appellation: Russian River, O’Neel Vineyard

Winemaking: Fermented “open top” with 25% whole cluster.

Barrel Aging: French Oak, 30% New

Release: August 2010

Bottled: May 2009

Production: 250 cases

Analysis: Alcohol 14.1%

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