2008 Bacigalupi Vineyard Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Bacigalupi Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Armida Winery is truly an excpetional Pinot Noir worthy of your next special meal and to age in your cellar. Enjoy!
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Mission Codename: Kiss of the Wolf
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Infiltrate Armida Winery and secure a limited allocation of their newly released Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Armida Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Brandon Lapides
The Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County, produces Pinot Noir of remarkable distinction. The cooler maritime conditions of the region make the Russian River Valley ideal for growing Pinot Noir. The Russian River Valley in Sonoma is particularly well suited to producing exceptional Pinot Noir. This AVA was officially designated in 1983, but many of the wines in the region used the designation as early as the 1970s (early in California’s wine history) with the many of the vines having been first planted in the early 1900s.
Today’s Pinot Noir comes hails from grapes grown by the world renown Bacigalupi family, whose vineyards in the Russian River Valley are legendary
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Bright ruby red in color with a clear light core that glistens when held to the light. Along the edges the color becomes a ruby-pink and when swirled evenly spaced thin legs ring the glass.
Smell – Rich, abundant and complex with notes of earthy red and black cherry and other rip red fruit layered over familiar aromas of baking spice, vanilla toast and floral violets. A touch of mushroom and black tea linger just under the fruit.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this full-bodied wine has vibrant acidity, dusty minerality and finely grained tannins that soften and evolve as the wine aerates.
Taste – Great complexity for a young Pinot with restrained red cherry, sweet raspberry and strawberry layered over baking spice and earthy notes that include forest and mushroom. Throw in some floral violets, black tea and cola all framed by toasted vanilla and oak for Pinot perfection.
Finish – Long and super clean with its red fruit and toasted oak gently fading as the spice and earthy notes linger with the dusty minerality and acidity.
Conclusion – The 2008 Armida Winery Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a delicious wine that, despite its youth, shows great complexity on both the nose and palate with a sturdy but approachable structure and a long lingering finish. Reminiscent of a nice Burgundy. Perfect to enjoy by itself, this wine’s vibrant acidity also makes it a great food wine. Enjoy this wine with a selection of fresh goat, sheep and cow’s cheeses now or cellar for up the the next five years.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Brandon Lapides
WINE EDUCATION: BS. Fermentation Science University of California at Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Internships: Testarossa Vineyards, RH Phillips, Brancott Cellars; Assistant Winemaker: Peachy Canyon Winery, Dutton Goldfield Winery
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Lets bring back the old school philosophies, using as little new technology as possible.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Fill up my cup, Mazeltov.” – Black Eyed Peas.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Brandon. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Bacigalupi Vineyard Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BRANDON LAPIDES: No problem. Glad to be back with you, today.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BRANDON: Growing up I was mystified that when our whole family would get together, there would be many lengthy discussions about different wines. My curiosity then led to my eventual love of wine.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BRANDON: ’61 Latour. My grandfather had enough foresight to start buying Bordeaux wines in the late 60’s. I have been fortunate enough to have a few bottles over a span of 10 years. The wine has been the only wine that I have tasted that has ever lived up to its hype. The balance and complexities in the ’61 Latour after 40+ years of aging influenced my winemaking to try to have as much longevity in my own wines.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
BRANDON: This pinot noir is the essence of the Russian River Valley. Bright cherry acidity and silky tannins dominate the wine’s profile. Early morning picking and meticulous attention to the winemaking and barrel selections make this wine special and unique.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BRANDON: I love to pair this wine with summer-fresh bruschetta. The acidity of the tomato, along with the richness of the mozzarella and toastiness of the bread match many of the same flavor profiles of the wine.
RED: In your opinion, what makes Russian River Valley so special?
BRANDON: Russian River Valley is special for Pinot Noir. The cool, foggy nights and warm, bright sunny days allows for beautiful fruit flavors while retaining the fruits natural acidity.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BRANDON: These days we are evaluating barrel selections in our current 2010 wines. Once the barrels are evaluated we will rack the wine from barrel to tank and then return to our selected barrels.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
BRANDON: I always recommend that consumers accompany our wines with food. Our wines pair well with a variety of foods and should be consumed with family and friends.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
BRANDON: I would love to invite any of your readers to come visit our vineyards, winery and tasting room right outside of Healdsburg. We have a beautiful patio with an incredible view overlooking our vineyards and manicured gardens. There is also a bocce ball court to test your skills after a glass of wine.
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 Armida Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This 20 year old vineyard is just down the road from our winery, placed on bench just west of the Russian River. The vines are an old Wente field selection which showcase rich strawberry rhubarb aromas in this wine. The mouthfeel is lush, with hints of vanilla and brown spices. Sweet oak and strawberry flavors linger on the palate.
About The Winery:
Hello folks! We purchased controlling interest in Armida Winery from Robert Frugoli in 1994. Wow, it is difficult to believe more than 15 years have gone by since we began this grand adventure. On little more than hope, faith, and a little help from our local friendly bank, we jumped into the “family owned and operated” wine business with both feet. Bruce arrived having just sold his super successful home furnishings business in San Jose, and Steve brought his experience including stints as President of Buena Vista Winery and COO of Freemark Abbey Winery. Bruce’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with Steve’s wine industry knowledge, and a whole lot of hard work, has transformed Armida Winery from a sleepy little winery producing pretty good wines to a much more lively place focusing on ultra premium, hand crafted, single vineyard wines from the top vineyards of neighboring Dry Creek, Russian River and Alexander Valleys.
We make over ten different wines showcasing some of the very best vineyards in Sonoma County including Maple Vineyard Zinfandel, Flora Ranch.
Zinfandel, Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir, Black Kite Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Pinot Noir, Castelli-Knight Pinot Noir, Parmellee-Hill Pinot Noir, Stuhlmuller Chardonnay, Keefer Chardonnay and Durell Vineyard Chardonnay. From our seven-acre estate vineyard we produce Il Campo (“Field Blend”), a delicious combination of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. We also produce “POIZIN” (Zinfandel), “The Wine to Die For,” and “ANTIDOTE,” a beautiful Pinot Grigio in cobalt blue half bottles.
Over the years we have met so many interesting people. Many of our best customers are our friends and we enjoying seeing them and being able to spend time with them. We don’t make a whole lot of wine, preferring to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. As such, practically all of our wine is sold directly to members of our wine club and those of you who visit us at the winery. Our wine club always gets first crack at our smallest production wines, a privilege they seem to enjoy very much! We invite you to drop by here any time between 11am and 5pm to try our wines and enjoy the ambiance of our hillside property and views. If so inclined you might want to bring along lunch to enjoy on the large patio overlooking the Russian River Valley, or perhaps play Bocce Ball on the court above the pond. We take our wines very seriously, but once they are “made,” we make sure to have a whole lot of fun.
On any given day you will find us working in the tasting room along side Janet or Kristina, tending the garden, fixing something (maintenance is non ending!), doing office work (not our favorite) or helping wine maker Jessica and cellar master PW during harvest. We will be sure to say HI when we see you!
Variety: Pinot Noir
Optimum Period for Consumption: Drink now to 2018
Appellation: Russian River
Varietal Composition: 100% Bacigalupi Pinot
Harvest Dates: 9/6/08
Sugar at Harvest: 25.8
Time in Wood: 16 mos
Type of Cooperage: 1/2 new, 100% French Oak
Bottling Dates: 2/15/10
Number of Cases: 632
Total Acidity: 0.65
Residual Sugar: dry