2006 'Christina' Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Don Miguel Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Marimar Estate Winery is a delicious example of the great Pinot Noir that hails from the Russian River Valley region. If you love Pinot, then please consider this award-winning wine, carefully… At today’s price, we didn’t have to consider for very long!
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Mission Codename: The very special Christina
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit our friends at Marimar Estate an abscond with their limited release ‘Christina’ Pinot Noir
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 ‘Christina’ Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Marimar Torres
Backgrounder: 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.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and densely ruby red with a dark but clear core. Slightly more pale ruby along the edges and when swirled, tightly spaced fat and color stained legs thin as they race down the side of the glass.
Smell – Rich and aromatic red and black fruit, and specifically dark ripe cherry along with strawberry-rhubarb pie, including the brown spice. Soft earthy notes, toasted oak and aromatic wood, exotic spice, black tea and a touch of cola also fill out the broad nose of this wine.
Feel – Smooth and plush on the initial attack, this full-bodied and dry wine has round tannins and expands on the palate with its vibrant acidity and smoothly textured minerality hitting at mid palate and lingers long.
Taste – Full, ripe and plump flavors of red and black cherry and long with other sweet and ripe red fruit. Sentimental brown and exotic spice, soft earthy undertones, toasted vanilla oak, cola and black tea hints.
Finish – Long and plush with the rich fruit lingering long as all the pleasing but complex notes of spice, earth, cola and other flavors all fade in unison.
Conclusion – This 2006 ‘Christina’ Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is an amazing wine for the autumn! Great red fruit, sentimental brown and exotic spice, plush and warm on the palate. Generous aromas and flavors – simply a lovely wine that is drinking perfectly right now. Pick up a few bottles for your harvest dinners or to bring along as you enjoy the colors of the season.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Marimar Torres
WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Founder and Proprietor, Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Produce a wine as an extension on farming the vineyard; we don’t have a winemaker because the grapes make the wines; they are our stars. Our job and our philosophy is to guide, or “shepherd” the grapes into expressing best the fruit of our vineyards.
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1991
AGENT RED: Greetings, Marimar. We are thrilled to be showing your *2007 “La Masía” Chardonnay * today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MARIMAR TORRES: I hope everyone who reads this will come visit our winery, we love to receive visitors!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MARIMAR: My family has grown grapes and made wine in Spain since the 17th century – I think that wine is in my blood!
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MARIMAR: Probably DRC!
RED: Wow, that’s some influence! For our Operatives that don’t know, “DRC” is an abbreviation for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which is an estate in Burgundy, France that produces white and red wine. It is widely considered among the world’s greatest wine producers, and DRC bottles are among the world’s most expensive. It takes its name from the domaine’s most famous vineyard, Romanée-Conti.
Tell me, Marimar, who do you make wine for?
MARIMAR: Since you can’t please everybody, you’d better be true to yourself and make the wines that YOU love. We work as a team – our Tech Director, our Cellar master and myself – in expressing our vineyards’ fruit in the wines. And we’ve worked together since 1994-1996, so our tastes always agree.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MARIMAR: Our Cristina Pinot Noir is named after my daughter and it is our most special wine. It is a small bottling of selected barrels, all of premium French oak. Each vintage we choose a unique blend of our Pinot Noir clones that we feel will age longest and represent best our estate’s terroir.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MARIMAR: Pinot Noir, when vinified the way we do here, is the most versatile companion to food and it goes with soooo many dishes! One of my favorites is duck, especially combined with dried fruits in a sweet/savory sauce – a very Catalan combination – like the recipe for Duck with Figs in my cookbook The Catalan Country Kitchen.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Green Valley so special?
MARIMAR: Our Green Valley AVA is the coolest and foggiest in the Russian River Valley – ideal for growing Pinot Noir. There are 4 factors, in my view, that influence the quality of a wine: Soil, Climate, Variety, and the person behind the wine.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MARIMAR: Harvest!! We’re in the midst of a very tough harvest, so I take care of that morning and afternoon and then, in the evening, I do my emails..
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MARIMAR: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are, in my opinion, the most versatile and food-friendly varietals that exist – and ours are particularly so. Try them with most foods, without being afraid about the pairing being great in anybody’s eyes (and palates) but yours. Remember, the best wine is the one YOU like!
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MARIMAR: Come visit us at Marimar Estate Vineyards and Winery, an hour from the Golden Gate Bridge and 10 minutes from Sebastopol, for some unique Spanish Tapas paired with terroir-driven Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs!
RED: I love your winery, Marimar. 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 approximate location of the Marimar Estate can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points – Wine Enthusiast – 93 “Held back an extra year, this wine shows lots of crunchy acidity. It’s also still fairly tannic. Together, those two structural elements will permit it to age, but the question is whether the fruit is dense enough. The flavors include raspberries, pomegranates, cola, rhubarb and sandalwood. Could surprise after 2013. – November 2010.”
About This Wine:
Why "Cristina“? Named after my daughter, Cristina, this wine is a special selection of 20 barrels from a unique blend of our Pinot Noir clones that we feel best represents the terroir, or personality, of the Don Miguel Vineyard.
This is a wine for aging, yet lovely to drink right now. The complex nose displays aromas of blackberries, plum preserves and sandalwood. The palate, broad and seamless, shows perfect balance between the atractive fruit and the elegant oak. The lively acidity carries the wine to the end and ensures the long aging potential of this magnificent wine.
The Organic Don Miguel Vineyard: Named after the late patriarch of the Torres family, this organic vineyard is located in the Green Valley — the coolest, foggiest region of the Russian River, only ten miles from the Pacific. The European-style high density of over 2,000 vines per acre provides low yields and requires intensive labor; but the vines live longer and the grapes acquire greater concentration and finesse, more elegant aromas, and better balance.
The Vinification: The grapes were harvested September 21-26 and after minimal crushing, they fermented in small stainless steel tanks. The wine was aged in premium French oak barrels from the forest of Bertranges: 50% new from Rousseau, Remond and Marsanay, and 50% one-year-old. After 11 months of oak aging the wine was bo" led, unﬁ ned and unﬁ ltered, in August 2007.
The Clones: The six clones planted in the vineyard’s 30 acres of Pinot Noir yield wines with complex layers of ﬂ avors. The blend of clones in this vintage is 60% Pommard, 25% Cristina 88, and 15% Swan.
About The Winery:
Nestled in the rolling hills of western Sonoma County, the Russian River/Green Valley appellation is a perfect microclimate for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Only 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 50 miles north of San Francisco, the site is influenced by the sea’s cooling breezes and drifting fog. That is why Marimar Torres selected this privileged location to “export” the Torres family legacy of fine wines to California.
Marimar Torres has been involved in the wine business all her life. Born in 1945 in Barcelona, Spain, she is fluent in six languages and holds a degree in Business and Economics from the University of Barcelona. She is also a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program, and studied Enology and Viticulture for a year at the University of California in Davis.
At Marimar Estate, she directs the activities at the winery and its two vineyards: Don Miguel, named for her late father, in Sonoma County’s Russian River/Green Valley; and Doña Margarita, after her mother, in the Sonoma Coast Appellation.