2006 'La Masia' Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Don Miguel Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
What We Say
Top Pinot Noir
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’s Green Valley sub-appellation. If you love superb PinotNoir, then please consider this award-winning wine, carefully..
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Mission Codename: Ode to Don Miguel
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: After a protracted surveillance, send Agent Red to infiltrate Marimar Estate Winery, to (finally!) acquire their delicious Don Miguel Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Marimar Estate
Wine Subject: 2006 Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley
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 RRV 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. Read Agent Red’s mission report and tasting notes below for the full intel on this exciting wine.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pure red ruby with perfect clarity. This is unusual for an unfiltered wine. Color is evenly concentrated, from edge to core. When swirled, tightly packed clusters of thick tears take their time emerging, before slowly crawling their way down the glass to the wine, below.
Smell – Softly sweet cherry candy, fresh forest, young strawberry and fennel mix with fresh violets, soft tobacco, hard soft pine sap, sweetwoods and Bing cherry.
Feel – Cool and light-weight on the attack. Very gradually, the wine settles onto the palate, coating the mouth and slowly drying – from the center of the tongue, outward. Eventually, lips and cheeks are treated to a softly mineral-driven, softly peppery dryness. Fine tannins and a bright acidity add texture and intrigue.
Taste – Bing cherry, black cherry, strawberry and cranberry lead off. These are followed by more subtle flavors of young strawberry, subtle brown tobacco leaf, tomato stem, plum and a hint of oak.
Finish – Extended, with lingering red fruit that hangs on for a very long time. As the fruit fades, earthen flavors accompany the spreading, easy dryness. The brightly balanced acidity adds a mouth-watering effect at the very end.
Conclusion – This 2006 Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir is a fantastic wine from our new friends at Marimar Estate. We have been trying to infiltrate this winery of more than a year now. Today, you are the beneficiary of our persistence! This brightly delicious wine is bursting with red fruit and gentle earthen flavors. On the palate, the feel is lush and inviting. We could not stop experimenting with sips of differing sizes, in order to experience different feels and flavors. We recommend that you do the same. Complex but approachable, this wine is a terrific solo-sipper, but we recommend pairing it with your favorite pork or chicken dish. This is a wine that shows off the specific terroir of the Russian River Valley, in general, and the uniquely planted and tended Don Miguel vineyard, specifically. With densely planted vineyard rows, the Pinot Vines in this vineyard produce fruit that delivers greater flavor and complexity. This bursting with red fruit Pinot Noir gets our heartiest Wine Spies recommendation.
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 2006 Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley 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 Operativees 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: It’s an estate-grown, estate-bottled Pinot Noir from our Don Miguel Vineyard, named after my father.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MARIMAR: Soooo many dishes! But one of my favorites is duck, especially in a sweet/sour 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!
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MARIMAR: Right now I am in Spain – it was nice of you to join me here, Agent Red – where my entire family lives and works; I have a home in Sitges, near Barcelona. Spain is our #1 export market – we have an American-style Wine Club here, which is absolutely unique. Just last night we had a cheese & wine pairing followed by a dinner, with recipes from my cookbooks, at the Torres family’s restaurant – which ended at 2 am. Our Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are very much loved here!
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: 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 Estatee can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
93 Points – Wine Enthusiast – 93 “This vineyard, in the cool Green Valley part continues to produce outstanding, ageworthy Pinot Noirs of distrinction. The ‘06 is a large, powerful wine, distinctly Californian, packed with cherry, cranberry, cola and spice " avors that are immature in their fresh jamminess. But with a dramatic tannin-acid structure, and a just-right touch of new French oak. It will improve in the cellar.”
90 Points – Wine News – “Dense garnet hue. Enticing scents of black cherry, black berry and red plum with hints of vanilla and white pepper. Ripe " avors of black cherry and mocha. Velvety tannins and impressions of vanilla and oak in the black cherry-laden close
About This Wine:
The aromas in this 2006 vintage reflect the classic Green Valley/Russian River fruit—raspberry, strawberry cream, Bing cherry. On the palate it is seductive and well balanced, with bright acidity and soft tannins. The elegant oak contributes a rich texture that rounds out the captivating mouthfeel and adds a note of lively spice.
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. I named this bottling after the Spanish name for The Farmhouse, since our winery is designed to resemble a classic Catalan farmhouse.
Planted in the European-style high density of over 2,000 vines/acre, the yields are low and labor is intensive; 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 19-26. After minimal crushing, they fermented in stainless steel, with no whole clusters. The wine was aged in premium French oak barrels, 36% new, coopered by Remond, Rousseau, Marsannay and Marchive from the forest of Bertranges. It was bottled, unfined and unfiltered, 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 28% Pommard, 26% Swan, 21% Cristina 88, 16% Dijon 115, 5% Lee, and 4% Dijon 667.
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.